Obama’s taking all our guns away! Wait… what?

punt-gun-banned-1860sWhat Obama did:

  1. Strengthened background checks by requiring that all gun dealers are licensed and conduct background checks (apparently closing the gun show loophole). Added jobs for over 200 more FBI examiners to make the background check process faster.
  2. Proposed (yes, not actually real yet) 200 more ATF employees, and basically acknowledged a new ATF internet investigative unit to track and prevent illegal internet weapons trafficking. Also had the Attorney General send a memo “encouraging” US Attorneys to conduct more domestic violence outreach.
  3. Proposed (yes, not actually real yet) $500 million for better access to mental health care. Informed us that Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration are trying to make it easier in background checks to report specific mental health reasons an individual has that should prevent them from purchasing a firearm.
  4. Encouraged departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security to conduct research into gun safety technology.

So that’s like, one real thing and a bunch of not real things, or already existing things, or things that might help down the road if there is a Congress that will actually make them real things. That one real thing is a big deal, but it’s nothing that will prevent any law-abiding American citizen from purchasing a legal firearm.

Regardless…

What gun nuts think Obama did:

  1. Banned all guns forever and ever, amen.
  2. Ordered nationwide confiscation of all privately-owned guns.
  3. Named Bill Ayers new ATF Director and replaced all ATF agents with the Black Panthers.
  4. Directed the ATF to round up (mostly white) people with too many guns and put them and their families into FEMA camps. Wolverines!

I wonder, if we had smarter wingnuts, would that make them more dangerous, or would it make them less likely to be wingnuts? And I must say, blast it! Once again, Obama passes on his opportunity to subvert the Constitution, throw the nation into crisis, and begin his reign of tyranny!

I suppose there is still time.


Aren’t we a little beyond that point?

bors-comicThe Sheriff of Burns, OR, has a suggestion:

“I want to talk directly to the people at the wildlife refuge,” Harney County Sheriff David Ward told reporters assembled at a junior high school in Burns, Oregon. “You said you were here to help the citizens of Harney County. That help ended when a peaceful protest became an armed occupation.”

“It’s time for you to leave our community, go home to your families, and end this peacefully,” he added.

How nice for those white people! Disrupt an entire county for several days, conduct an armed takeover of a Federal building… No big deal! Just go on home when you feel like it. And just in case you didn’t know who was really causing the trouble here, let’s get a quote from another nice white person to clear things up:

But people near the wildlife refuge remain concerned about a potential standoff. Robert McKnight, 38, who was in the parking lot of the refuge headquarters, said on Sunday that he was “worried for these people, not law enforcement.”

“You got Ruby Ridge, Waco, all kinds of people that have tried to stand up, and they get slaughtered,” he added.

Yea, uh, white dude, just to remind you — Waco was led by a cultist who “tried to stand up” by brainwashing people and fucking their children. And Ruby Ridge was just another deluded, self-professed family of “patriots” like the Bundys that decided getting into a standoff with the government was a better alternative than due process.

Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo has it about right when he calls this, “white privilege performance art.” These people should have been put in jail in 2014 when they did this the first time. Black Lives Matter gets the National Guard, White Privilege Matters gets Andy Griffith.


We used to have Bundys that were funny

nra-hostageNow all we have are pathetic fucking cowards.

The Bundy family of Nevada joined with hard-core militiamen Saturday to take over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, vowing to occupy the remote federal outpost 30 miles southeast of Burns for years.

The occupation came shortly after an estimated 300 marchers — militia and local citizens both — paraded through Burns to protest the prosecution of two Harney County ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, who are to report to prison on Monday.

Don’t forget, they call themselves “patriots”:

In phone interviews from inside the occupied building Saturday night, Ammon Bundy and his brother, Ryan Bundy, said they are not looking to hurt anyone. But they would not rule out violence if police tried to remove them, they said.

Lay siege to them and starve them out. Arrest them all for acts of treason. If they respond with violence, deem them as terrorists and deal with them appropriately.


There’s A Demon In That Florida Swamp

OK, Disney. I get that you got my email address. A regrettable but necessary evil for the father of a 3-year-old.

I get that, although you offer an option to opt out at once from all of the 15 different email lists to which you’ve added me, it doesn’t really work and I’m still going to have to unsubscribe from all 15 of them separately.

What I don’t get, as a computer guy, is why it takes up to 10 days for my name to come off the email lists. That’s absurd. Databases don’t work that way.

And then, more than 10 days later, I’m still getting emails.

So what you’re really saying is, “we’ll give you 10 days to either forget or realize that you’re really One Of Us (one of us! one of us!)!”

I have long believed that Mickey’s real catchphrase is, “I’ll swallow your soul!”

Go ahead, say that out loud in your best Mickey Mouse voice. It’s liberating.


it must be said…

The following groups say the danger of human-caused climate change is a … FACT:

U.S. Agency for International Development
United States Department of Agriculture
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
National Institute of Standards and Technology
United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Energy
National Institutes of Health
United States Department of State
United States Department of Transportation
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
National Center for Atmospheric Research
National Aeronautics & Space Administration
National Science Foundation
Smithsonian Institution
International Arctic Science Committee
Arctic Council
African Academy of Sciences
Australian Academy of Sciences
Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
Academia Brasileira de Ciéncias
Cameroon Academy of Sciences
Royal Society of Canada
Caribbean Academy of Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Académie des Sciences, France
Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina of Germany
Indonesian Academy of Sciences
Royal Irish Academy
Accademia nazionale delle scienze of Italy
Indian National Science Academy
Science Council of Japan
Kenya National Academy of Sciences
Madagascar’s National Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences
Academy of Sciences Malaysia
Academia Mexicana de Ciencias
Nigerian Academy of Sciences
Royal Society of New Zealand
Polish Academy of Sciences
Russian Academy of Sciences
l’Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
Academy of Science of South Africa
Sudan Academy of Sciences
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Tanzania Academy of Sciences
Turkish Academy of Sciences
Uganda National Academy of Sciences
The Royal Society of the United Kingdom
National Academy of Sciences, United States
Zambia Academy of Sciences
Zimbabwe Academy of Science
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
American Astronomical Society
American Chemical Society
American College of Preventive Medicine
American Geophysical Union
American Institute of Physics
American Medical Association
American Meteorological Society
American Physical Society
American Public Health Association
American Quaternary Association
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Society of Agronomy
American Society for Microbiology
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Statistical Association
Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
Botanical Society of America
Crop Science Society of America
Ecological Society of America
Federation of American Scientists
Geological Society of America
National Association of Geoscience Teachers
Natural Science Collections Alliance
Organization of Biological Field Stations
Society of American Foresters
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Society of Systematic Biologists
Soil Science Society of America
Australian Coral Reef Society
Australian Medical Association
Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Engineers Australia
Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
Geological Society of Australia
British Antarctic Survey
Institute of Biology, UK
Royal Meteorological Society, UK
Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
European Federation of Geologists
European Geosciences Union
European Physical Society
European Science Foundation
International Association for Great Lakes Research
International Union for Quaternary Research
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
World Federation of Public Health Associations
World Health Organization
World Meteorological Organization

The following groups say the danger of human-caused climate change is a … FRAUD:

American Petroleum Institute
US Chamber of Commerce
National Association of Manufacturers
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Industrial Minerals Association
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Great Northern Project Development
Rosebud Mining
Massey Energy
Alpha Natural Resources
Southeastern Legal Foundation
Georgia Agribusiness Council
Georgia Motor Trucking Association
Corn Refiners Association
National Association of Home Builders
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Petrochemical and Refiners Association
Western States Petroleum Association

So… where do you stand – with science or with the profiteers?

Source: Daily Kos and Skeptical Science.


Voluntary Segregation

Segregation has been the cause of a lot of civil unrest in this country. So it should be no surprise that it could cause more. What is surprising is that this time it’s basically segregation by choice; this is a group of people convinced that they are being dangerously repressed, though they are not. And a large part of the convincing would have been achieved by a systematic campaign by conservative media outlets to pound the meta message that the plurality of America, the “Real Americans” – the white, Christian, rural, small town and suburban-dwelling caricatures of what America really looks like on TV™ – are under attack by an unholy, America-hating hydra whose heads are, to name a few: illegals, gays, the government, abortionists, Muslims, socialists (or fascists, because apparently there is no need for a distinction in the realm of irrational ad hominimism). And now, though not for the first time of course, another head of the hydra is the President.

“As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education — it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality,” said Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Steve Russell. “This is something you’d expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.”

It appears that the far right have officially decided to voluntarily segregate themselves from the rest of the country. This is an ideological manifestation that is causing a segment of our populace to distrust anyone who doesn’t look like them. It can be as benign as a steadfast, damn-the-facts, science-denying, government is bad, give or take a dash of “values voter” indignance. Or it can be a more threatening version: Armed to the teeth, sometimes fundamentalist but definitely militarist, waiting for the day the government comes and tries to take their weapons; convinced that day is soon.

Either way, these are “voters subject to non-rational persuasion.” And they have their own media to do the persuading. And the traditional media aren’t helping, either. This isn’t a problem that will fade away quickly or easily, and the signs that we have crossed a threshold are evident: People showing up to presidential events openly carrying weapons; fistfights and other outright violence regularly breaking out at congressional town hall meetings; a dauntingly steady stream of right wing domestic terrorism; and most importantly, the simultaneously indifferent and sensationalist coverage of it all by almost every facet of the traditional media. Read this AP article. notice the tone – just a regular news story about normal, concerned Americans who think the president is trying to brainwash their children. With one speech. Because now even listening once to someone with whom you don’t agree could cause permanent brain damage. Think of the children! You see how America really is? This is just normal! It’s normal for a state senator to accuse the president of the kind of despotism “you’d expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq,” without the news outlet attempting to put that into perspective.

It’s normal for people to hide behind a wall of ignorance and spew falsehoods for the press to blithely repeat to the public as if it’s fact. It appears that the voluntary segregators are an integral part of the grand traditional media created reality show that is America™. Sure, there will be some yelling, maybe a little violence – it’s great for ratings. But this pot probably can’t take too much more stirring until it boils over, and that’s when things truly, and disturbingly, get real.


is the sky falling yet?

i’ll be the first to admit that i’ve been apprehensively awaiting the end of the world (as we know it, heh) since about 1993. not really sure why, just one of those things that comes with growing up in the 80s and being “inspired” by the bellicose rantings of our petrified hair-laden leading man — you know, republican jesus — ronald reagan.

people tend to forget that we did literally have the threat of nuclear annihilation present every single day; and no, i don’t think i’m conflating the feeling due to some overdeveloped red dawn-like stigma. furthermore, we were reminded of it constantly in the news and in films like the day after, testament, wargames and even “comedies” – spies like us come to mind. so by the mid-90s, maybe it was just pure nostalgia that gave way to the sense that some calamitous event was absolutely headed down the pipe.

but then it never happened. we even had a most promising scenario with y2k, but still, no dice. over time i suppose the feeling subsided a bit (probably during the years i was living in australia and generally became a happier person), but it has always remained even in some latent form.

all that is, no doubt, an interesting preamble to my thoughts on our current situation. but here’s how it relates: when someone today talks about a financial crisis, my mind usually goes back to when i was in college in the 90s, just formulating my disaster hypothesis. one vivid memory i have is being in the student center at middle tennessee state university and seeing the tables set up there by credit card companies hawking their false promise of free money. because that’s what it is to an 18 year old just out of the reach of their parents’ influence – free money.

it doesn’t take a nobel prize in economics to deduce that this won’t end well. back in 1993 i didn’t even know what a credit score was…but i did know that we had become one nation, under debt. and now, the earliest financial lesson many newly independent american teenagers were going to learn on their own was it is the american way to worry about it later. put it on the card, throw the unopened statements in a drawer somewhere, and ignore it until one day you get a call from someone who wants their money.

and you have a crisis on your hands.

well, the phone’s ringing and the bills are due, america. we’ve had a congress, financial system and almost an entire population living the american way — put it on the card…worry about it tomorrow. well, guess what? today is tomorrow. or at least it had better be. we can’t act like teenagers with brand spankin’ new shiny plastic credit cards any more. we have to learn a new american way. cash is king, baby, and it’s the only tomorrow-proof economy there is.

the solution to today’s crisis can’t be about finding some way to keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them. the longer we try that, the worse the outcome will be. the sky will fall and there will be no tomorrow.

the great farce of our society is that we actually have the means to provide for everyone — food, shelter, medicine, and even plenty of the non-essential distractions that we american consumers tend to enjoy so much. alas, we’ll even spend money we don’t have to give the appearance of strength and stability, rather than take the steps necessary to be truly strong and stable.

so…are we going to change? do i get to go down in history as yet another rube in his day prophesying the end times? there was an era of my life when i had a perverse semi-interest in the coming of calamity. at least it would be interesting. for a while. but then, i realized, it would get old. really fast.

these days — i hope i’m wrong.


impeach jesus!

ahh, that feeling… you know the one.

maybe you get chills, or goose bumps. or maybe you just have the feeling that you’re “not alone.”

you know what that is?

that’s jesus, spying on you. yep. it’s jesus, conducting an illegal spiritual wiretap on your ass, and there’s nothing you can do about it. and he’s gonna keep doing it. because he’s more powerful than santa claus. and you know what santa claus can do.

there are at least 30 million people in america that might feel that it’s completely alright for jesus to watch your every move. jesus knows what you look like naked. and they’re fine with that. jesus doesn’t care about the constitution. jesus was around long before the constitution ever existed.

hell, for all they know, jesus coulda freakin’ wrote the constitution.

because jesus has a hand in everything. jesus made america. that’s it. i said it. i wish i’d realized that before now but well, it took me moving to australia to finally get it. because i don’t meet anyone from any other country that thinks jesus had anything to do with their country’s creation.

and no, i’ve never met anyone from the vatican.

little did you know, but jesus and the holy ghost used to have equal powers, along with god. but god became almost ceremonial years ago, practically window-dressing in the world of spiritual power. jesus used to have to ask god if he could do things like enter people’s souls, or create countries, but now he just does it without asking. after that, jesus and the holy ghost had a power struggle, and of course jesus won. the holy ghost was supposed to be watching jesus, making sure he didn’t get out of line and start acting like a king or something crazy like that. but the holy ghost was sympathetic to jesus also, practically rubber-stamping everything jesus wanted to do. the holy ghost trusted jesus. nobody thought jesus was going for all the marbles, did they?

all i’m saying is that jesus has extraordinary powers, for a dead guy… who never mentioned once that he wanted people to worship him, or start a religion based on his teachings. just think if he had nukes, or a star wars program.

oh. i guess he does.