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Video: Richard Feynman - Ode to a Flower

The physicist and the flower
Arts • Views: 35,609

Amazon Deal of the Day - Last Minute Gift Cards w/ No Expiration

Amazon Gift Cards - Last minute gift idea
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Facepalm: The Wingnut Word-Counting Brigade Springs Into Action Again

Only commies use personal pronouns this much
Wingnuts • Views: 34,185

‘Tis the season for wingnuts to recycle their anti-Obama memes, and once again we find them diligently counting words in Obama’s speeches, in order to prove — prove, I say! — that the President is an uppity malignant narcissist who thinks he’s important for some reason: Obama Uses Funeral Service to Talk About Himself | the Weekly Standard.

President Barack Obama used the funeral for Hawaii senator Daniel Inouye to talk about himself. In the short 1,600 word speech, Obama used the word “my” 21 times, “me” 12 times, and “I” 30 times.

If you saw the President’s speech about Daniel Inouye, you know it was a touching, heartfelt tribute to the Senator from Obama’s state of birth. So naturally, the right wing was provoked into paroxysms of rage and personal pronoun-counting.

This non-argument is not supposed to convince anyone (how could it?); it’s just a numb-skulled tactic the wingnut chattering classes have been using to rile up the knuckle-draggers for years, recycling it at periodic intervals when they can’t think of any other way to attack Obama.

For example, here’s our post on an idiotic word-counting exercise by George Will in 2009: Ready … Set … Now Count Those Words!

At least we know some of them can actually count.

Right Wingers in Gun-Buying Panic: Record Sales of Assault Rifles at Gun Shows

Worshipping violence and death
US News • Views: 33,592

What sort of person reacts to the horrible mass murder in Newtown by rushing out to a gun show and buying the same assault rifle used by Adam Lanza to slaughter 26 people?

Answer: a whole lot of right wingers: Gun Enthusiasts Pack Shows to Buy Assault Weapons.

Gun enthusiasts thronged to shows around the country on Saturday to buy assault weapons they fear will soon be outlawed after a massacre of school children in Connecticut prompted calls for tighter controls on firearms.

Reuters reporters went to gun shows in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Texas, and found long lines to get in the door, crowds around the dealer booths, a rush to buy assault weapons even at higher prices and some dealers selling out.

The busiest table at the R.K. Gun & Knife show at an exposition center near the Kansas City, Missouri airport was offering assault weapons near the entrance. West Plains, Missouri dealer Keith’s Guns sold out of about 20 AR-15 style assault rifles in a little over an hour, owner Keith Gray said.

An AR-15 type assault weapon was among the guns authorities believe suspect Adam Lanza stole from his mother to use in the massacre of 20 school children and six adults at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school on December 14.

NRA Head LaPierre on Meet the Press: “Call Me Crazy”

MOAR GUNZ
Wingnuts • Views: 27,156

You’re not going to hear any surprises here, as NRA bigwig Wayne LaPierre just continues parroting his “more guns are the only solution” talking points, utterly rejects any and all forms of gun control, and advocates for armed guards in every school classroom.

The right wing has been advocating for cutting funds to schools and teachers, and destroying teacher’s unions, but they have no trouble spending as much money as possible on MOAR GUNZ.

I love how LaPierre pretends to be very concerned about improving mental health care — and at the same time repeatedly calls mentally ill people “lunatics” and “monsters.”

But perhaps the most telling moment: when LaPierre says, “If it’s crazy to put more guns in schools, then call me crazy.”

He’ll get no argument from me. He’s not just crazy, he’s batshit insane. If we ever do create a mental health registry, his name should be first on the list.

All We Want for Christmas Is…Guns

The sickest, saddest effect of the Newtown Massacre: a lot more Bushmasters are going to be sold
US News • Views: 23,673

All We Want for Christmas Is…Guns

I’m not here to convince you that we need gun control, because over the next few months there are going to be huge choruses of people calling for that. Instead I’m here to convince you — meaning you personally — that you don’t need a gun. You won’t even really want a gun if you spend some time on the facts.

Though you might have various reasons for wanting a firearm, those rationalizations do not measure up against the cold facts or the questions I’m going to pose below if you spend some time to really think about them.

As this post points out, if you create another gun scare then you sell more guns. This makes Wayne Lapierre the biggest industry gun pimp in the US, because he’s now created another run on AR’s. It’s basic human psych 101 - you can create demand by falsely amplifying fears while at the same time creating a sense of scarcity or depletion of the item you are selling.

More Guns sold through irrational fears of President Obama

There are a few questions underneath these sales that everyone with a firearm or who might be considering a firearm purchase really needs to ask themselves that I will get to in bit. First however I’ve got to be master of the obvious.

The US has about 83-87 firearm deaths on average every single day if you look back a decade to present. There are between 8-11,000 homicides with firearms every year, but there are about double that number of people ending their own lives through firearm suicide.

Besides the 8-11,000 homicides every year (on average about 31 per day in 2009) Two Thirds of all firearm deaths are suicides (18,735 in 2009, or an average of 51 per day.) People killing themselves with their own firearms or borrowed firearms comprise 6 out of every 10 suicides in this country, or about triple the number for suicide by suffocation (the category that slicing arteries open falls under.)

Whether you are a firearm owner, or are a prospective buyer these homicide and suicide death stats are ones you need to think long and hard about. Chances are pretty good that you know someone who is either depressed, mentally unstable, a substance abuser, or who is just going through a very rough time — even if it’s not you that I am describing.

If those people end their lives with your rifle or handgun how are you going to feel? If they borrow or steal your assault rifle (and most mass killing are committed with legally obtained weapons or borrowed legal guns,) and end up putting several bullets each into a large group of people or students like the Newton massacre, how’s that going to affect you?

What are the real chances of you having to use your gun in self defense?

What are the chances of really needing an AR because of societal collapse?

Both of those chances are much less than you might think, and the chances of homicide, suicide, and accidental deaths from firearms are much greater than the average person realizes. Right now they are tracking almost even with automobile deaths, and we all know someone who has died in a car wreck.

If you are older than 20 chances are pretty good that you can name several people who you knew or were acquainted with growing up who are now dead from firearms. Chances are slim that you can name a real person that you know who’s driven off a zombie attack, blue helmets, or even a home burglary with a firearm.

Please think before you buy, there are better things you could use that money for, and if you own a firearm please do the sane, rational thing and consider removing it from circulation. Don’t do it for political reasons, do it because you care, do it because you care about yourself, your family, your friends, and your fellow citizens. I’m really writing this for my friends and family who are still in Alaska - where they lead the pack in firearm deaths per capita.

If Black Friday shopping trends are any indication, the gift of cold, hard steel will be more popular than ever this holiday season. According to USA Today, on that day dealers called the FBI with a total of 154,873 background check requests for shoppers seeking to buy firearms. That’s 20 percent more than last year’s record of 129,166 calls in one day. Sixty-two percent of the Black Friday requests were for long guns like shotguns or rifles, such as the Bushmaster .223 reportedly used by the suspect in today’s shooting in Newtown, Connecticut (a state where you don’t need a permit to carry a rifle).

The FBI doesn’t keep track of guns sold—only the background requests it fields—but that number is almost certainly higher than the number of calls received, given that consumers can buy more than one firearm per request. Overall, background requests have jumped 32 percent since 2008 (PDF). As Bloomberg Businessweek pointed out, gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson reported a record number of sales for their last quarter, up nearly 50 percent from the year before. The rise in gun sales doesn’t necessarily mean that there are more first-time gun owners, though: A CNN investigation in July showed that fewer people own more and more weapons. 

[Link: www.cdc.gov…]
[Link: www.cdc.gov…]
[Link: www.vpc.org…]

and:
aje.oxfordjournals.org

Data from a US mortality follow-back survey were analyzed to determine whether having a firearm in the home increases the risk of a violent death in the home and whether risk varies by storage practice, type of gun, or number of guns in the home. Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.

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 Frank says:

Consider for a moment any beauty in the name Ralph. -- In an interview with Joan Rivers who had just asked him why he gave his children such odd names, Frank gave the reply above.