Friday, March 30, 2012

Arizona can’t seem to expunge its resident bigot…recalled Sen. Russell Pearce

Russell Pearce recalled
With much fanfare, but still with the support of Arizona Gov. Jan Pearce and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, State Sen. Russell Pearce was drummed out of office by voters in his hometown of Mesa in November of 2011. Huff Post reported that it could end Pearce’s political career, but that reporter obviously doesn’t really know this fruitcake. The man does not have the grey matter to realize what a low-life he, being advised by other crackpots like himself.

It was a disgrace to the man, to his family and to the people of Arizona. This was the latest addition to the long list of incidents that have brought the great state of Arizona to its knees recently with ridicule it does not deserve. Add to that Joe Arpaio’s latest escapade into President Obama’s birth certificate issue, followed by Jan Brewer’s tacky and tasteless finger-wagging episode, also with the President, and you can understand why Arizona is the laughing stock of the U.S.

J.T. Ready with Russell Pearce
 But it is Russell Pearce that has most helped Arizona assume the reputation of a racist and bigoted state through his long time suppression of illegal immigrants, culminating in the anti-immigrant legislation, SB-1070. Pearce’s prejudiced views are well known, fostered in part by his past association and friendship with known racist and neo-Nazi J.T. Ready. In another example:

Pearce sent an email to supporters once that included a white nationalist declaration, accusing the media of pushing the view, quote, “a world in which every voice proclaims the equality of the races, the inerrant nature of the Jewish, quote, ‘Holocaust‘ tale, the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of nonwhite aliens pouring across the borders.”

Sheriff Joe Arpaio
 This would be the man that wants to become a state legislator again, and to confound his critics, there are RP supporters all over the state. The Red Mountain (AZ) Tea Party is one instance, and Joe Arpaio’s never-ending loyalty is another. In Arpaio’s case, he’s just hanging on to the shirttails of Pearce to assure himself of at least those votes when he runs again in November. Arpaio is being investigated by the feds for a number of offenses.

Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times has been on Pearce’s coattails for some time now exposing the corrupt politician for the shameless individual he is. Lemons caught Pearce, a Mormon, in an outright lie in reference to the Mormon Church’s attitude toward his anti-immigration bill. He said the church “green-lighted” his SB-1070 bill. “I got hold of the church headquarters in Salt Lake,” he claimed, “And they said they absolutely do not oppose what Arizona is doing.”

Lemons tried several sources and came up with the same conclusion as far as the Mormon Church was concerned, according to a spokesperson: "We have made our position on immigration clear. The church believes that an enforcement-only approach is inadequate." The reporter then pressed the church on several related comments on the matter by Pearce and received the following answer from Eric Hawkins:

"The church's position on immigration is principle-based and applies universally. Any position adopted by individual politicians or members is theirs alone and does not indicate the endorsement of the church." He continued, "I know of no communication with Russell Pearce.”

And I would be remiss if I didn’t relate another illustration of just how crude Russell Pearce can be, and on national TV. It’s the RP “crushed scrotum” story that occurred during a recent event in Phoenix where GOP hopeful, Rick Santorum, gave the keynote address. It had to do with a wife’s comment over how her husband’s “scrotum” was now “wired together” and working. She meant “sternum” but as Stephen Lemons reported, there were few laughs. Pathetic!

See famous Russell Pearce "crushed scrotum" joke below:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gun sales surge while shootings continue to occur on a daily basis

Zimmerman's weapon of choice
9mm semi-automatic

It took the death of Trevon Martin in Florida for those of us who are sane to begin questioning insane gun laws like Florida’s “stand your ground” legislation that allowed George Zimmerman to shoot and ask questions later.  Of course there was no answer, since the round from Zimmerman’s Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm semi-automatic pistol found its way into the black teen’s chest and killed him.  No doubt this has already prompted another run on handguns…just in case.

The “just in case” is for a lot of things like, naturally centered around more gun control, but primarily because gun worshippers are afraid that Barack Obama will cut loose in his second term with tougher controls over the purchase of weapons.  As well he should, but so far we have seen no indication of this kind of move, except, in a recent conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev where the President made the following comments:

Obama and Medvedev

Obama asked Medvedev to let Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin know that he needed to “give me space” to deal with objections to the U.S.’s missile- defense plan.

“This is my last election, and after my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said to the Russian leader.

“I understand,” Medvedev replied in English, adding that he would “transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Although the above concerns a completely different issue, it was clear when Obama ran in 2008 that he had an interest at the time in some form of sane gun control.  Then, not only was he hit by the gun bubbas in Congress, but the NRA and the rest of the gun lobby attacked him repeatedly through its membership and a perpetual media campaign.  The idea was to whip the public into a frenzy that the new president wanted to take away their guns.  It worked.

Excellent video on "Stand your Ground" law, below:

Gun buyers overwhelmed the retail locations in 2011, prompting a record 16.4 million instant criminal background checks of potential owners, up 14.2 percent from 2010, according to the FBI.  Even though some were denied or the transaction wasn’t completed for some reason, others purchased multiple weapons. 

It was just last week that gun maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. announced the company was forced to temporarily suspend its acceptance of any new firearms orders due to a barrage of wholesale orders, already 1 million in 2012.

Reasonable gun control

It is obvious that most of the approximately 16 million new guns in 2011 went into responsible gun-owning households.  However, that’s one new gun per 20 individuals, almost 8 new guns per household.  To me these figures are ludicrous when you consider the fact that there are already millions of weapons out there in homes and on the street.  How many more do we need? 

Will the National Rifle Assn. be satisfied when the figure hits the billions, if it hasn’t already? 

MSNBC says, “Correlating state laws and gun sales is difficult, but in Utah and Texas — two states that have ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws" — pre-purchase background checks rose by 84.5 percent and 19.3 percent respectively in 2011.  In California and New York — two states that do not have ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws — background checks rose by 10.9 and 12.6 percent respectively, according to the FBI.” 

NRA spokeswoman Stephanie Samford said: “People are really just putting a premium on personal safety.”  With 8 new guns in a household, you can buy a lot of safety.  I wonder if that is really what it’s all about.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mississippi hate-crime a sign state hasn’t gotten over its prejudice

James Craig Anderson
If the perpetrators in Jackson, Miss. were old guys who lived back when it was in vogue to suppress and even kill blacks, one might assume the hate just hadn’t worked itself out because of their age.  But the murder of African-American James Craig Anderson was committed by 3 racist goons aged 19, 20 and 19, who are, or were, just beginning their lives.  Where did they get their training for this heinous crime, and what kind of Mississippi household still produces this kind of maniac?

I grew up in the South, lived in Mississippi several years, experiencing the kind of hatred these 3 nutcases must have harbored for blacks.  But that was in the 40s and 50s, when it was open-season in that part of the country on anyone of color, or who was just different.  Prejudice was rampant but, fortunately, I had someone to compensate for the hate; a black man I looked up to with the same respect of any white person.  He was called simply Man and worked for my uncle.

This all started when I noticed Man always entered my uncle’s house through the back door.  Not yet in my teens, I still realized there was something wrong with this and asked him why he did it.  His answer was simple and to the point: he said it was to keep other people from thinking he thought he was good enough to enter through the front door.  In other words, my uncle didn’t care but the folks across the street would think he was “uppity.”

I told him I couldn’t believe what he was saying and, rather than talk about how naïve I was, he took time to explain the situation.  Although I had witnessed Negros—as Man identified himself in those days—going to the back of the bus and generally acting subservient to whites, somehow the severity of the issue didn’t register with me until explained by man.  There was absolutely no bitterness in his explanation, just the tone of acceptance, which I couldn’t accept.

Deryl Dedman
Man told me he thought it would get better over the years but, obviously, he was wrong.  The three young punks, above, just returned Mississippi to the days of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American, who was murdered in 1955 because of reportedly flirting with a white woman.  Deryl Dedmon, who drove the truck that killed Anderson, 47, pleaded guilty to murder and hate crime, admitting everything to Judge Jeff Weill who sentenced him to two concurrent life terms.

The judge added, "Whatever excuse you offer, forget that. There is no excuse. The state of Mississippi condemns this despicable crime."  In another comment by Weill, “This craven act isn’t who we are.”  Dedmond responded, "I wish I could take it all back.  I was young and dumb, ignorant and full of hatred. I chose to go down the wrong path."  Later, he indicated that he had found God, which seems to happen when they are cornered like this, but, unfortunately, a little too late.

James Craig Anderson murder scene

James Craig Anderson was severely beaten and when that wasn’t enough, Dedmon ran over him with his truck and left him to die.  Hinds County DA Robert Schuler Smith says, they "went out with the intention to harm and, in this case, kill a black man."  They drove all the way from Brandon, Miss. to Jackson just to carry out their crime which shows the amount of planning and preparation these racists put into the act.  More grist for just how deep these feelings must run today.

The other two culprits were Dylan Butler, 20, and John Aaron Rice 19; the former has been charged with assault, the latter has pleaded not guilty.  Now here is what makes me wonder if Miss. will ever learn its lesson, taken from a CNN account below of the incident.

Shortly afterward, Dedmon allegedly boasted and laughed about the killing.  “I ran that nigger over.”

"He was not remorseful," DA Smith said. "He was laughing, laughing about the killing."

Federal investigators also have been digging for months into other possible crimes in the area committed by Dedmon and others that might show a pattern of racial violence.

Morris Dees, chief trial counsel for The Southern Poverty Law Center, said, “James Anderson lost his life for no other reason than the color of his skin.  Those responsible must be held accountable for their callous and deadly actions. We are filing this lawsuit today to ensure his family gets a measure of justice."

The remaining question is whether the state of Mississippi should be held accountable for allowing this young person to harbor this kind of racial hate?

Read more here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NRA pushed “stand your ground” law that may be responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death

The Florida law that is currently protecting watch captain George Zimmerman, termed “stand your ground,” was brought to the organization American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by the National Rifle Assn.  ALEC, a national organization that fosters legislation primarily anti-consumer, has promoted the concept to states nationwide resulting in several laws passed similar to Florida’s. 

It is one of the bills supported by ALEC disproportionately impacting communities of color, according to the Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch.  The question is whether it prompted Zimmerman to take vigilante justice into his own hands resulting in action that he was not authorized to carry out.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a front for back-room closed-door sessions between big business and state legislatures to draft legislation that benefits business.  The center for Media and Democracy has been fighting this organization for some time now, and I have done two past articles you can see here and here.  One of the major problems with ALEC is its secrecy in bringing biased legislation to states that is often passed as presented.

This law, also known as the “Castle Doctrine,” changes state criminal justice and civil law codes by giving legal immunity to a person who uses deadly force if they reasonably believe it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.  It also bars the deceased's family from bringing a civil suit.  Additional information suggests Zimmerman acted as he did because the teen was black.

Florida Senator Durell Peadon introduced the law with NRA lobbyist, Marion Hammer, reportedly staring down legislators as they voted, according to CMD.  Afterwards Hammer presented the bill to ALEC where the NRA “boasted” it was “well-received,” after which all corporations and state legislators on the Task Force unanimously approved the bill as an ALEC model.  At last count, 25 states had the “stand your ground law.”

See Al JaZeera video below of Former federal prosecutor Michael Wildes discussing the NRA's power and the need for improved gun safety and control laws:

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, a devoted ALEC alum, signed a bill into law in his state in 2011 with the key elements of the Castle Doctrine included.  On March 3 of this year, 20-year-old college student Bo Morrison was shot and killed by a homeowner in Slinger, Wisconsin as the young man hid from police after attending an underage drinking party.  Because of the Castle Doctrine, no charges will be filed in the shooting. Like Trayvon Martin, Morrison was black.

Trayvon Martin

Former U.S. attorney Kendall Coffey says the “stand your ground” law is “a license to kill,” noting that the number of justifiable homicides in Florida has tripled since the law was passed in 2005.  CMD says, “The Castle Doctrine and its ‘stand your ground’ provisions give license for people to engage in vigilantism without liability.  As such, the ALEC bill can put the decision to take a life in the hands of a person whose fears are motivated by prejudice and racial bias.

To my knowledge and at this writing, the NRA has made no official comment about the Trayvon Martin death, nor has it commented on the “stand your ground” law in relation to whether George Zimmerman acted correctly in his shooting of the black teen ager.  I read somewhere recently a headline that said, “George Zimmerman is the NRA.”  If that statement is correct, the Florida incident could well be the catalyst to more gun control in the future.

Read more here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

How corrupt is your state?

The Center for Public Integrity has just completed its State Integrity Investigation and on the surface there is no state that stands out in the ratings.  Except maybe New Jersey, in part because of its improvement over past history of corruption in government.  NJ is number one, Georgia is last.  The investigation is the first of its kind to assess transparency, accountability and anti-corruption mechanisms in all 50 states.  Not one state earned an “A” rating and eight received an “F.”

The Center for Public Integrity says: "In every state, there's room to improve the ethics laws, the level of transparency on government proceedings, the disclosure of information, and — most importantly — the oversight of these laws.”  One of the major findings was that even when ethics laws are passed, they are tough to enforce and often don’t carry meaningful charges. 

Those states with histories of corruption often have the toughest laws that expose the scandals.  On the other hand, with fewer regulations in place, a state is likely not to identify these problems.  The research included 330 corruption risk indicators across 14 government categories including:

Access to information, campaign finance, executive accountability, legislative accountability, judicial accountability, budgeting, civil service management, procurement, internal auditing, lobbying disclosure, pension fund management, ethics enforcement, insurance commissions, and redistricting.

Georgia state flag

The five states with a “B” rating were New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, California and Florida in that order.  In the “Cs,” this group totaled nineteen with Mississippi first and Wisconsin last.  The “Ds” went to another 18 states, Minnesota first, Nevada last.  Eight getting an “F” rating with Michigan first and Georgia last.  Check your state here, which includes the actual score it received.   
SII singled out some states for blatant violations that justified mentioning: Tennessee
established its ethics commission six years ago, but has yet to issue a single ethics penalty.  Can’t know if it’s even working since complaints are kept secret; North Carolina legislator sponsored and voted on a bill to loosen regulations on billboard construction, even though he co-owned five billboards in the state; 650 Georgia govt. employees accepted illegal gifts from vendors.

As far as the measurements used by the Integrity Index, several methods are employed, one recently naming Chicago as the most corrupt city in the U.S. and New York as the most corrupt state.  And these are February numbers released by the University of IllinoisInstitute of Government and Public Affairs, based on public corruption conviction data from the Department of Justice.  Although New Jersey beat its bad rap, the windy City can’t seem to shake it off.

The State Integrity Index researched the 330 “Integrity Indicators” across 14 categories of state government covered above.  “Indicators assess what laws, if any, are on the books (‘in law’ indicator) and whether the laws are effective in practice (‘in practice’ indicators). In many states, the disconnect between scores on a state’s law and scores in practice suggest a serious “enforcement gap.”  The laws may be there but just aren’t followed.

Arizona state flag
A classic case that received nationwide attention was when Arizona’s legislators admitted to violating the state’s financial disclosure policy after failing to report trips paid for by the Fiesta Bowl. Neither the Senate nor the House Ethics committee followed with an investigation.  One of the major offenders was State Senator Russell Pearce, who was later recalled in an election that was the first of its kind in the U.S.  He is running again for the state Senate.

Video of Fiesta Bowl scandal

The Center for Public Integrity’s State Integrity Investigation looks at one side of the corruption issue that evaluates your state’s standing in passing and enforcing laws that apply to how the state operates.  However, there is a sinister movement going on across the country today sponsored by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that could literally destroy states citizens’ rights.  More on this and ALEC’s connection to the NRA later.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Study says Florida shooter could have shot Trayvor Martin simply because the watch captain was armed

The new study done by James Brockmole of the University of Notre Dame and psychologist Jessica Witt at Perdue University asks the question: “Could the watch captain have been fooled into thinking the youth was armed in part because he himself was holding a gun?”  According to The Washington Post, undergraduates at Notre Dame and Perdue were prone to think others were holding a weapon if they were holding a toy gun themselves.

The study was done long before the shooting but Brockmole says it is possible that George Zimmerman’s (the watch captain) perception might “…have been skewed by being armed.  Brockmole also admits that race may have been a factor (Zimmerman is Hispanic), and “Past research suggests that people can be more likely to perceive a poorly seen object as a gun if it’s held by a black person than by a white person, experts say.”

The study will be published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, and Brockmole states, it is “…not intended to support gun control, but it suggests that people should know that when they hold a gun “that might change how you’re going to interpret what’s around you.”  Zimmerman was protected by a 2005 Florida law—“Stand Your Ground”—that allows him to respond with deadly force if he thinks he is threatened.

Legal analysts say the law is one reason why Zimmerman has not been arrested.  With no additional eye witnesses, they have to take the watch captain’s word.  About half the states in the U.S. have this law, which is now being questioned by law enforcement and lawmakers.  Before the above law, a self-defense claim would not have been possible since Zimmerman would have been required to just back off.  Something everyone agrees he could have done in this case.

But then back in 2011, another study was done by David Hemenway who is Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center and the Youth Violence Prevention Center titled: Guns in the home provide greater health risk than benefit.  Right up front I will tell you that Hemenway is considered “anti-guns” by the National Rifle Assn. (NRA).  This is primarily homebound research and does not really deal with the issue of when the gun leaves the home.

Hemenway says, “When it comes to violence, nearly every figure suggests that increased presence of guns correlates with higher levels of injury and death.”  He cites homicide rates that are 14 times higher than those in most other industrialized nations for those between 15 and 24 years of age in the U.S.  Areas throughout the country with high gun ownership have more problems.  For every accidental death, 10 more go to the emergency room.

Murder crime scene

Other findings include, “In the case of battered women, lethal assaults were 2.7 times more likely to occur if a gun was present in the house; no protective effect of the gun was found.”  And in the case of George Zimmerman in the Fla. Shooting, Hemenway says, “Unlike deaths or woundings, where the definitions are clear and one needs to only count the bodies, what constitutes a self-defense gun use and whether it was successful may depend on who is telling the story."

The study’s author does say that “Results suggest that self-defense gun use may be the best method for preventing property loss."  Further he states, “using a gun in self-defense is extremely rare (most instances involve using a gun to defend against animals): studies place defensive gun use at about one percent in home invasions and 0.1 percent in sexual assaults. Moreover, police reports suggest a lot of these uses involved inappropriate use of the gun.”

Irresponsible gun owners

In summary, “Hemenway notes that a number of surveys have found that a gun kept at home is far more likely to be used in violence, an accident, or a suicide attempt than self defense.”  He also talks about poorly trained gun owners that probably won’t do a good job of protection in self defense, surmising “there's little doubt that a gun at home is generally a negative risk factor.”

And I agree with the article’s author, John Timmer, that, regardless of which side you are on, these are interesting findings that should be looked at for their usefulness in trying to help solve the gun issues.  The other side—which I will no doubt quickly hear from—must at least consider these studies in order to make an intelligent rebuttal.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Arizona government…the epitome of how not to run a state

If you think your state has problems, just look at the charade of participants, below, that make up the Republican governor’s office and GOP controlled legislature in my home state of Arizona.  This is a great state and doesn’t deserve the ridicule it receives from the antics of these wingnuts.  It is both laughable and tragic, but makes some of the best non-fiction reading in politics today. 

Jan Brewer finger wagging

The epitome of epitomes, Arizona Gov. Jan brewer wagging her finger in the face of President Obama just minutes after he had deplaned in Mesa, Arizona.  Within days a local music teacher, Leonard Clark, filed papers with Sec. of State Ken Bennett to recall Brewer.  In his words: “The whole finger wagging incident crystallized it.  She is embarrassing our state.”  A lot of Arizonans agree.  See the “Brewer Doesn’t Speak for Me” site. 

The Daily Beast concurs with Harry Reid (below) that this airport tarmac incident was “emblematic of the Arizona GOP’s increasing extremism, and it may be turning off voters.  But that’s not all.  The state GOP created a T-shirt with the encounter image on it with the phrase under it “Just one more year!”  Aside from being tacky, it is in complete bad taste, extending the disrespect pseudo Gov. Brewer showed the President, but indicative of Republican taste in Arizona.

Arizona will be forever known in the sports world as the place where one of the most prestigious annual college sports events, the Fiesta Bowl, was almost brought to its knees by a corrupt chief executive.  This wasn’t an underling to blame; it’s the top guy, the one who can be credited for much of the bowl’s success.  John Junker was caught with his hand in the political donation cookie jar. 

Junker was charged with reimbursing staff members with bowl money for making contributions to local and state candidates who helped the bowl to obtain financial subsidies.  This is illegal.  Gary Husk, bowl lobbyist and Junker associate, is also being investigated.  Current and former Fiesta Bowl employees have alleged that Husk was involved in the scheme with Junker.  The Fiesta Bowl has since recovered from the fiasco under new management.

National Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid say the GOP is now controlled by extremists like Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  The Gov. is linked with other zealots like former Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce, who was the sponsor of the state’s anti-immigration bill, and who was recalled from his Senate seat, the first time ever. 

He is joined by Kris Kobach, current Kansas Sec. of State and fierce anti-immigration critic, who actually wrote the Arizona law SB-1070 with the American Legislative Exchange Counsil (ALEC).  Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCain, failed 2008 presidential candidate, says nobody pays any attention to Reid, whom he characterized as not “totally rational.”  This from a man who chose Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

Russell Pearce with J.T. Ready

So what does former State Sen. Russell Pearce do when they boot him out of the Senate?  He goes on talk radio, of course.  Pearce is known for his hateful and racist ways, having befriended fellow racist J.T. Ready, who is also a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi.  Stephen Lemons of The Phoenix New Times described Pearce’s show as xenophobic, self-adulation, and delusional in the host’s “radio cafeteria of hate.”  Lemons actually tuned into one of the shows.

Expecting the worst and getting it, it was Pearce at his best ranting and raving over illegal immigration, completely demonizing Latinos.  His phone guest was former Congressman Tom Tancredo from Colorado who described the struggle against immigration as “a matter of the survival of Western Civilization.”  Lemons commented on the two as engaging “in an aural love-fest better left for a room at a Best Western.”  Pearce plans to run again for the Senate in November.

Sheriff "Joe" Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the baddest in the West, has a volunteer posse that he constantly raves over.  Some carry guns, and can even make arrest under the supervision of a regular deputy, but can also be former criminals themselves.  A local TV station, KPHO, investigated the posse and found arrests for assault, drug possession, domestic violence, sex crimes against children, disorderly conduct, impersonating an officer and more.  Most are still on the posse.

Douglas Clark is a posse member as well as constable who rolled a county vehicle at 91 mph in a 45 mph zone, used his siren while not on a call, and used the red/blue lights installed on his personal vehicle to look for his wife’s lost item on the road.  He also detained a driver and passenger at gunpoint who had backed into his car when he was off duty.  The posse does not receive a salary but is covered under county insurance.

There’s more, much, much, more on Arizona that I will cover at a later date to keep you laughing and wondering.  I am also interested in the shenanigans going on in your particular state so please use the “comments” to tell me about it.  Sorry, but no anonymous entries, just use an online name.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More…gun sense and nonsense

Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas
Since my last post on this subject I have been banned by the liberal blog Daily Kos for my views on gun rights fanatics, and vilified by a number of the blog’s pathetic commenters who ban together to oust anyone who writes about gun control.  And they even brag about this.  Normally I would reply to comments as I do on this blog, but early on it was obvious to me that the scourge of gun nuts on DK did not deserve a reply. 

You can see what I am talking about here in one of my earlier Daily Kos articles on gun control re. challenging the 2nd Amendment.  Just scroll down to the comments and you will see the idle chatter of a gang of misfits, much like the conversations I remember from my elementary school days.  Distressing if your IQ is in the triple digits.  Normal these days when you challenge gun rights fanatics.  But now on to more gun sense and nonsense.

ARIZONA/CALIFORNIA/NEW MEXICO/TEXAS: The multiple rifle reporting rule that covers these four border states was upheld by U.S. Judge Rosemary Collyer saying it was “sufficiently narrowly tailored” to be rational enough in applying only to the states involved.  The gun industry claims it will only ‘burden” law-abiding retailers and not curb drug cartel sales.  The NRA filed the appeal.  Dealers must report multiple sales of semiautomatic rifles to the same person within 5 days.

The semiautomatic weapons, specifically assault rifles, should be re-banned in this country now, and, anyway, who the hell would need more than one even if they remain legal?

MEXICO: Mexican President Felipe Calderon is convinced that the United States is the major source of guns that end up in the hands of the drug cartels.  He blames it on weak American gun laws that are a fact throughout this country recently.  He also claims that in the U.S. criminals in states with strong gun laws go to states with weak laws, like Arizona, for their weapons. 

The Brady Campaign says that these weak gun law states, also including Utah and Florida, “export” crime guns to other states at a rate of nine times higher than states with stronger laws.  So the problem isn’t just across the Mexican border, the same situation exists right here in the U.S.  Brady feels that trafficking within and outside the country can only be curbed with stronger federal gun laws.

FLORIDA: The NRA backed bill, HB155, barring health care providers from asking about or talking to patients and their families about guns, was passed and signed into law in 2011.  The measure was later overturned by a federal judge because it violated doctors’ free speech rights as well as other things.  A new bill has been introduced in the Florida House, no doubt a product of the NRA, to revise the language in HB155 to gain passage. 

The hilarity of this whole issue is that the NRA will go to any length to pass legislation that will make it easier for their member gun nuts to carry their weapons any place they choose, even to the hospital’s emergency room.

ARIZONA: It’s about time this state surfaced, since its mission is “no gun control, nowhere, nohow.”  Arizona has copied “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but it has nothing to do with gay rights.  Disgraced state Sen. Russell Pearce started the trend for lawmakers to bring their guns on the Senate floor until he was ousted in a recall election.  New Senate President Steve Pierce doesn’t necessarily welcome weapons on the floor; rather, he just doesn’t want to know they are there.

Of course the NRA was there, lobbying for the new guns on campus bill, but there were no reports if these political suck-ups were armed.  This all happened only three days after the three students died in the Ohio school shooting.

Charlton Heston ranting NRA gun propaganda

MICHIGAN: Michigan has decided to boost its state’s revenue by encouraging youngsters under the age of ten to shoot a gun.  Another purpose for the young shooters program, says the state, is to teach kids how to hunt when they are young.  There is no age limit for hunting in Michigan, although some restriction apply.  The kids have to be supervised by a licensed adult, operating within arm’s length.  There was no mention of educational requirements other than mentoring.

I am going to go out on a limb here and hypothesize that the NRA is firmly behind this program in order to make sure that future membership rolls have adequate candidates.  Reminds me of the tobacco industry’s current concentration on luring young people to smoke.  That also kills people.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sarah Palin the racist…according to a dedicated group of African Americans

Sarah Palin racism caricature

Stephen Colbert dismissed Sarah Palin as not worth our time following the January 2011, Tucson massacre that left 6 dead and 19 injured including Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords from Arizona.  Palin had posted Giffords’ district on her PAC website with rifle scope crosshairs and the caption “Don’t Retreat!  Reload!”  Palin’s reaction was to blame the media.  I mention this to illustrate what a loose cannon this imbecile posing as a human being is.

It is still hard to understand how John McCain could have picked her as a running mate.  He still doesn’t have a clue.

The site takes Palin to task likening her to a “corrupt evangelist” with connections to the Tea Party.  There you go.  That’s all the TPers need; a huge tent to showcase all the wackos that make up this group of fanatics.  ThyBlackMan is an organization formed to”…unite black men, not to separate and divide.”  And that’s where we lose Sarah Palin.  It is clearly her intent to leave this country a much worse place than she found it in 2008.

There is no doubt that racism is still too prevalent in America, based on several recent incidents that have occurred.  One, during the NCAA March Madness tournaments between Kansas State University and Southern Mississippi.  Based on Mississippi’s history, many would say this is typical, but the state has cleaned up its act in recent years.  And even though this latest episode wasn’t addressed at blacks, it still reeks of racism.

Racism has many faces

Apparently Mississippians have redirected their bigotry to Hispanics because in a derogatory chant the So. Mississippi band yelled “where’s your green card” to a Latino Kansas State player.  The latter team won the game by 6 points.  The school apologized but the damage was already done, captured on nationwide TV.

Then TBM talks of how Palin continues to misinform the media about “Obamacare” seeking to resurrect old prejudices from 2008.  She was in her prime on the Sean Hannity Show with a bizarre claim that former Harvard professor Derrick Bell’s call for greater diversity on the Ivy League campus was racist. 

She completely ignored the work Bell had done at Harvard on race relations, directing her appeal to extreme right wing conservatives by leading them to believe that in Obama’s connection to Bell, he was guilty of racism.  “The ignorance is baffling” says TBM, particularly for those who are unable to understand her true intentions.

Rick Santorum on racism in the video below:

And in another incident that is leaning toward racism, a 17-year-old African American in Florida, Trayvon Martin, was shot by a self-appointed white Community Watch Captain with a gun.  28-year-old George Zimmerman thought Martin looked “suspicious” and called police.  They told him not to follow the kid but he did, and confronted him with his gun.  When Martin attempted to defend himself, Zimmerman, who outweighed him by 100 pounds, shot him.  Zimmerman claimed self defense.

The Christian Post asked the question: Since Zimmerman was not administered a Breathalyzer or toxicology screen, even though it is the protocol for shootings, is it possible that he was drunk?  “Rod Wheeler, a law enforcement expert, told ABC News that Zimmerman sounded intoxicated in the 911 calls.  "When I listened to the 911 tape, the first thing that came to my mind is 'this guy sounds intoxicated.' Notice how he's slurring his words.”

Sarah Palin, with notes

ThyBlackMan comments that the Palin type of tactics have been used successfully by the GOP for years, claiming that the Republican Party has a “resentment of America’s changing demographics and the African American president currently occupying the Oval Office. 

If they think what’s happened so far is bad, what the hell will the GOP do this November when the Hispanics exert their new-found voting power in the upcoming election?

MR. PRESIDENT: If you look frail, if you talk frail, and if you walk frail, you must be frail...

      ...too frail to lead this country for another four years. I know, we all know, what you are afraid of; the lunatic who could win the ...