At Price Middle School in Atlanta. Two shot — one of them is a 14 year old student shot in the head; the other, a teacher.
UPDATE: Suspect apprehended.
At Price Middle School in Atlanta. Two shot — one of them is a 14 year old student shot in the head; the other, a teacher.
UPDATE: Suspect apprehended.
Unfeeling Uncaring Judging Screaming (UUJS)
Lurking Touching Hurting Regretting (UTHR)
Lying Denying Confessing Lying (LDCL)
Smoking Dancing Laughing Fucking (SDLF)
Moping Whining Crying Leaping (MWCL)
Loving Buying Owing Impoverishing (LBOI)
Hating Marrying Abusing Divorcing (HMAD)
Running Swimming Boxing Fencing (RSBF)
Writing Drinking Drinking Drinking (WDDD)
Opening Sniffing Tasting Questioning (OSTQ)
Eating Sleeping Videogame Playing (ESVP)
1. America has a gun problem. Study after study after study has found that the spread of guns in the United States has led to more people being killed by guns. The old “more guns, less crime” theory has been conclusively debunked. The question now is how to limit the spread of guns, particularly by better mechanisms to prevent people who would commit murder and other gun crimes from getting them.
2. The National Rifle Association is not interested in real measures to address it. In today’s hearing, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre will say that we have to “be honest about what works,” but his organization has proven uninterested in any real reform beyond its own quixotic quest to put more guns in schools. The NRA refused to meet with the President to discuss his framework for gun violence prevention and has spent the days post-Newtown blaming everything other than guns for the deaths they cause. NRA members don’t share the organization’s absolutist positions.
UPDATE: Moments ago, in the hearing, LaPierre even came out against closing the loophole on background checks for guns bought online or at gun shows. Even 80% of NRA members support this measure, showing how far out of the mainstream LaPierre is.
3. There’s real evidence that gun regulation can work. Research comparing murder rates across states found that those with stricter gun regulation found that “[f]irearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation.” These regulations include the main measures being debated today — universal background checks, a strengthened assault weapons ban, and limits on high-capacity magazines. Strengthened background checks and oversight over gun dealers has in particular proven effective — one “study using crime gun trace data from 54 U.S. cities” found that “strong regulation and oversight of licensed gun dealers, regulation of gun sales by private sellers, and permit-to-purchase licensing systems (which require potential gun purchasers to apply for a license directly with a law enforcement agency, where they are typically photographed and fingerprinted) were each associated with significantly fewer guns that were diverted to criminals.”
4. This debate isn’t about the Second Amendment. Since the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling inD.C. v. Heller, banning the ownership of guns “in common use” has been legally impossible. That’s why none of the proposed regulations ban handguns or most shotguns and hunting rifles. Justice Scalia’s ruling specifically allows restrictions on “dangerous and unusual” weapons and stipulatesthat “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”
5. This is the best chance for Congressional action on guns since 1994. The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary has galvanized American public opinion on guns in a way unlike any other event in recent memory, with public opinion firmly behind new regulations — 90 percent of Americans, for example, support expanded background checks. And while House and Senate Republicans still appear firmly opposed to most of the proposed regulations, key Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Tom Coburn have indicated openness to action on background checks.
The lead police investigator into a nightclub fire that killed 234 people in southern Brazil says the music group playing at the time lit a flare designed for outdoor use that set the club's ceiling on fire.
Police inspector Marcelo Arigony said in a news conference Tuesday that "the flare was for outdoor use only and the people who lit them know that."
Now that Google Maps shows details about North Korea, people are starting to turn in their reviews of various gulags there.
Kirill Bartashevitch, 52, of St. Paul was arrested and charged with two counts of felony terroristic threats for allegedly threatening his daughter and wife with an assault rifle.
Police say Bartashevitch recently purchased the weapons because he was concerned that President Obama was planning to ban them.
The incident report states that on Sunday January 13th, Bartashevitch and his daughter got into an argument after the 15-year-old received two B’s instead of two A’s. The victim told a social worker that she swore at Bartashevitch and told him she “hated” him, causing him to snap.
Bartashevitch subsequently pointed one of his newly purchased rifles at his daughter, prompting his wife to stand in the line of fire. He pushed her down and then pointed the rifle at her as well.
So here's a columnist named Matthew Boyle. Writing at Dead Breitbart News, he finds it strangely curious that Obama has suddenly ramped up gun control efforts at the same time Media Matters starts writing about.
Read the article (the full thing is below) and see if you can tell what is missing:
The far left-wing, George Soros-backed Media Matters for America organization has been on a gun control binge in recent weeks, aligning its advocacy efforts with those of President Barack Obama’s push for restrictive new laws since his re-election.
In the less than three months since Obama’s re-election on November 6, 2012, the liberal advocacy group–that maintains a 501(c)3 tax exempt status–has written 186 posts tagged with the term “guns,” a Breitbart News search on the site shows.
To put that in comparison, it took Media Matters from March 23, 2012, until Election Day–almost seven and a half months–to write as many posts on gun control before the election.
Media Matters’ ramped up gun control advocacy comes even though the organization has come under scrutiny for arms carried by the bodyguard assigned to the organization’s leader, David Brock.
One reason why Media Matters may have juiced up its anti-gun push in recent weeks is because the president has as well. Media Matters has closely coordinated its messaging with that of the Obama White House, as The Daily Caller’s Vince Coglianese has reported before.
Obama largely avoided talking about guns ahead of his re-election. Save for a debate comment in which he said he’d support reinstatement of the 1994 assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, Obama didn’t say much about the Second Amendment or about firearms until after he was re-elected.
Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action noted after that debate comment that “[s]ome gun owners took Obama at his word four years ago, when he said he wouldn’t take their guns away” but after that debate comment Obama “finally let it slip… that he supports the most draconian form of gun control – a gun ban” after “years of paying lip service to the Second Amendment.”
As Obama has boosted his gun control efforts–alongside those of California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein–Media Matters has clearly joined in.
Yeah. It's weird, right?
It’s almost as if there was some kind of post-election precipitating event that caused an uptick in America’s sudden increased interest in restricting unlimited access to high powered weaponry with extended magazines which would allow a 2nd Amendment absolutist to shred the body of a seven year-old child with eleven shots in less time than it took to read this sentence.
The list is long, so I place it below the fold.
Palin's contract with Fox News is up, and the news today is that Fox is not renewing.
Palin, who was paid a reported $1 million per year as a contributor to FOX since mid-January 2010 when FOX announced her signing, may not have made quite the splash her employers had hoped during this three-year period, and would, on occasion go weeks between appearances.
So, did the network get their money's worth?
A Smart Politics review of the more than 150 FOX broadcasts in which Sarah Palin appeared as a paid commentator from 2010 through 2012 finds that she spoke 189,221 words on air during this span, for an average pay rate of $15.85 per word.
The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest private youth organizations, is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, according to scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions.
If adopted by the organization’s board of directors, it would represent a profound change on an issue that has been highly controversial — one that even went to the US Supreme Court. The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.
Chick-fil-A restaurants' philanthropic WinShape Foundation no longer funds the most controversial and politically charged anti-same-sex-marriage groups and has not since 2011, according to Campus Pride, a leading national LGBT campus organization.
Campus Pride issued a statement Monday claiming that Chick-fil-A gave the organization's executive director, Shane Windmeyer, access to WinShape's 2011 "990" tax documents. He says they show that the nearly $6 million in outside grant funding "focuses on youth, education, marriage enrichment and local communities" and that in the list of the foundation's beneficiaries, "the most divisive, anti-LGBT groups are no longer listed." Among those groups were the Family Research Council, Eagle Forum and Exodus International.
Windmeyer acknowledged that WinShape continues to fund groups that don't condone same-sex marriage based on biblical beliefs but says these groups, such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, don't operate with the same hard-nosed political agenda the other groups are known for.
Spoiler Alert, as always
Before I begin, I thought I would share this cheeky tweet from yesterday — Hugh Bonneville (who plays Lord Grantham) to U.S. Downton Abbey viewers:
To the US tweeps who've managed to avoid spoilers about tonight's ep of #DowntonAbbey – hope you both enjoy it 😉
— Hugh Bonneville (@hughbon) January 28, 2013
Very funny. He's worried about us hating him. And with good reason.
This episode was a watershed moment, as we lost a major charactor. That's right — Mrs. Bird has decided to leave the employ of Isobel Crawley and move in with relatives in Manchester. Why? Because she refuses to work with Ethel, the Fallingest of the Fallen Women Who Have Ever Falled.
In last week's episode, Ethel decided to give bighead Baby William a better life, and turned custody of him over to the Bryants. As she walked away teary-eyed to go to some remote corner of the village and sing "I Dreamed A Dream", we wondered if we would see her again. Well, she's back. She is, after all, Isobel Crawley's pet project, and Isobel isn't about to let Ethel the Fallen out of her teeth until she is respectable, dammit. So she takes Ethel on as a cook, and Mrs. Bird is not pleased.
"I cannot work with a woman of her ilk", Mrs. Bird complains. "Everyone will think I was a woman of the night, too."
But Isobel Crawley was like, "Whatevs", and that was the end of it. So, bye bye Birdie.
Carson, who looks a lot like Sam the Eagle, also isn't sympathetic to the idea of Ethel being a cook to Isobel Crawley and forbids any of the downstairs staff (especially the footmen) from visiting the Isobel Crawley house. It would look bad, he says. But Ethel, it seems, is a very poor cook. We understand when she can't make Canard à la Rouennaise Au Gratin — that was too ambitious. But apparently, she can't even make tea without causing Isobel to blanche. Setting up for a future confrontation, Mrs. Patmore defies Carson and makes a visit at the Crawley house to help Ethel learn how to make food. We only see Mrs. Patmore from the back, but we assume she carried with her Mrs. Hughes' electric toaster.
What else is going on downstairs? Well, Daisy is having a bit of a power play over the new girl. Apparently, William 2.0 only has eyes for the new girl, so Daisy thinks that by bossing the new girl around, William 2.0 will lose interest. Mrs. Patmore sets Daisy straight by saying something harsh — along the lines of "He's never going to like you, Daisy, so you might as well be nice to the new girl." A bit tactless. Perhaps she should have done the Ouija Board thing again if she wants to send Daisy a message.
And the new guy, Jimmy (aka "James" when he's upstairs) is getting creeped out by Thomas. He even goes to Mrs. O'Brien with a complaint: "Mr. Barrow is tooching me soo much, I thaynk I've goot splinters up me bum" — a veiled reference to Thomas' wooden left hand. Or he says something like that. But Mrs. O'Brien, up to no good, urges Jimmy to accommodate Thomas, which means we're in for some more vaguely homoerotic clock-setting scenes.
Meanwhile, there is a glimmer of hope in the Slowest Moving Plot Line™, as Anna has found a witness who will swear that there was a pie on the shelf when she visited Mrs. Bates. Yeah, I don't know what that means either. I also don't understand why Bates has enemies in prison. His former cell-mate — yeah, I get that. But why do some of the guards have it in for Bates? You see, when it comes to this plot line, I have the same problem as Daily Show creator and writer Lizz Winstead:
— Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) January 28, 2013
Anyway, all I can say for sure is that things are looking better for Anna and Mr. Bates, which means we'll probably see him in bed with her before long — hairy back and all.
And that's about it for downstairs. Upstairs, of course, things got really bleak.
Lady Edith got an offer to write a weekly column in a newspaper about whatever she wanted. Unfortunately, the only thing she knows about is (a) whining wistfully and (b) being jilted at the altar by men twice her age. So you know the weekly newspaper column going to be a barnburner of journalistic excellence.
Lord Grantham advises her against it, which means of course that she should do it.
Matthew Crawley is worried about his er, um, "down there" and ability to have a child. Fortunately, there is a doctor in the house (two of them actually — more on that in a moment), and so he has a conversation about his er, um, fertility. Look, I know it is only the 1920s, but a man who spent time with salty soldiers during wartime, and a medical doctor, should have been able to get through that conversation better. What a bunch of nellies.
Anyway, it's no surprise that Matthew doesn't approach Dr. Clarkson about his er, um. Dr. Clarkson, after all, was the one who misdiagnosed the severity of Lavinia's illness. He was also the one who told Matthew he would never walk (much less er, um) again. So Matthew approaches Sir Phillip, another doctor invited by Lord Grantham to oversee the imminent birth of Tom and Sybil's child. Unfortunately, it turns out that we may have found a worse doctor than Dr. Clarkson.
Because what happens shortly thereafter is epic. As Sybil goes into labor, Dr. Clarkson argues that she is succumbing to Eclampsia. Sir Phillip insists that Sybil is fine and her labor is coming along normally. Dr. Clarkson says he knows the size of Sybil's cankles, and they shouldn't be that big, and Sybil needs to go to the hospital for a C-Section right away. But Sir Phllip insists that Sybil's labor is healthy and normal.
The family wavers about what to do, and it gets frustrating. Finally, Lord Grantham decides to follow the medical advice of Sir Phillip, which is to do nothing because Sybil is fine. The baby is born. It's a girl, and she will grow up to be Margaret Thatcher (spoiler alert). Sybil is fine, and she and Tom discuss where the baby should be baptized. Sybil drifts off to sleep and all is well. Until….
During the night, Sybil's neck and cankles have gone off-the-wall crazy, and she struggles to breathe. Both doctors huddle in a corner of her bedroom, exchanging shocked glances while the family stands at Sybil's bedside yelling "DO something". The doctors kind of look at each other ashamed, and look into their hands. Then Sir Phillip comments on the wall color: "Is that off-white or eggshell? You know, I can't tell the difference"
Tom pleads with the doctors to save his wife, to which Dr. Clarkson looks down at the rug and says "Uh, uh, that's a really nice pattern. Did you buy that in London?"
Both doctors are silently greatful that medical malpractice hasn't been invented yet.
Anyway, Sybil dies. And there's much sadness both upstairs and downstairs. Tears drop everywhere.
And by the way, five seconds of screen time showing the Dowager Countess walking in an aggrieved state, not saying a word, shows why Maggie Smith deserves every award she's won.
Sad as it all is, it's not too early for recrimination and bitchiness. Lady Mary chews out Matthew for an ill-timed conversation with the family lawyer about how the estate is being mismanaged, for example. But mostly, everyone is mad at Lord Grantham for his decision to bring in, and then take sides with, Sir Phillip rather than Dr. Clarkson. Cora turns Lord Grantham out from her bed — it's one thing to lose the family fortune due to his bad decision-making skills, but when family members start dropping off — well, she has to draw the line.
Even America's Sweetheart, Katie Couric, is pissed:
I want to kill Lord G. Not sure I could forgive him and that arrogant idiotic Dr!Ok it's official I need a hobby! #downtonabbey
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) January 28, 2013
So it looks like Lord Grantham is going to be in the doghouse for a while. And rightly so. Everything he believes and thinks is wrong. This probably means Bates is guilty as hell.
There was also an odd scene where Mary and Edith, the two surviving sisters, bond. But Mary, who is becoming a real pill, did in such a perfunctory way, as in "Well, we're sisters so let's just hug now because our other sister is dead"… or something like that.
And what about Tom and the baby? Will they stay at Downton? I can't imagine the family letting the baby go away. So will Tom hang around and be with his daughter? Or will he leave the baby at Downton while he goes off to fight the revolution?
I think he should hook up with Lady Edith and become a pair of journalist crimefighters. Or better yet, go into town and hook up with Ethel (and become lower-class cast-off crimefighters). Hope he likes redheads.
Congrats to the cast of Downton Abbey for winning Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series at the SAG Awards last night.
RT #DowntonAbbey – hope you both enjoy it 😉: To the US tweeps who’ve managed to avoid spoilers about tonight’s ep of
RT: I want to kill Lord G. Not sure I could forgive him and that arrogant idiotic Dr! Ok it’s official I need a hobby! #do …
Spoiler alert, as always.
Downton has become a strange little show, moving at a fast pace with short scenes, and yet not seeming to go anywhere. There's seems to be more foreshadowing than actual plot. But it's still fun to watch — don't ask me why.
So we had a scene where Mary was again frosty to Matthew. Hard to tell why. He's already acquiesced in helping to save Downton with his new inheritance. All he did was mention using the nursery for its intended purpose. Does Mary know something about her ability to bear fruit, that we don't?
There's also a subtle scene where Matthew hints that there might be some mismanagement in the running of the estate by his father-in-law. It can't be like the old days, he suggests, but then he quickly backs off so as not to be a pain. Why not, I wonder? Lord Crawley lost his own fortune (before the series started), then his wife's. Now he is frittering away Matthew's money by fully staffing Downton. Matthew should say something.
Then there's Tom. The struggle for Ireland's independence is heating up, and poor Tom in conflicted about which side of the fence he's on. I guess spending a few weeks in a tux shooting pool with Matthew makes one forget their political leanings. But worse than his internal conflict, he's wanted by the police, and flees from Ireland to Downton, leaving poor pregnant Sybil behind. That's quickly resolved (mostly off-camera) and the couple is reunited. At least he and Sybil make a cute couple and they are stuck at Downton, although their story line is, as always, a bit clunky.
Mrs. Crawley's quest to save Ethel, the fallen ex-maid, continues unabated.
And speaking of "unabated", someone has been preventing the mail from going to/from Daisy and prison. We learn more about the forces against Bates, and the attempts to hide drugs in his cell.
But getting back to Ethel, it looks like Baby Bighead will be left in the care of Grandpa Walrus Moustache (Sob, sniff, sob). There's an interesting dynamic surrounding Ethel — everyone talks about her as a "fallen" woman yet no woman on this show (save Mrs. Crawley's maid) is judgmental of her. She walks off at the end of her big dramatic scene, but I suspect we'll see her again.
On the cheerier side, I love it when a new invention comes to Downton, and someone remarks on it like it is a parasite. With this episode, it was a toaster.
And the downstairs gets a new character, the new footman for Carson. All the maids drool, but I think Thomas is planning on getting to him first. Ewww.
This morning, Twitter debuted a new app called Vine. It works just like Twitpic (an app that allows you to attach pictures to your tweets), except that Vine allows for six-second loopable movie clips to be attached to your tweet.
So far, the results are…. boring.
(1) A New Mexico bill introduced Wednesday would force rape victims to carry their pregnancies to term during their sexual assault trial or be charged with “tampering with evidence.”
If a woman ended her pregnancy after being raped, both she and her doctor would be charged with a third degree felony under HB 206:
Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.
In addition to burdening victims of sexual assault, the bill from State Rep. Carolyn Brown (R) also reveals some hypocrisy in the anti-abortion community. While anti-choice advocates maintain that a fetus should be afforded the full rights of personhood, charging abortion as “tampering with evidence” effectively turns the fetus into an object.
(2) This New Mexico bill isn't the first time so-called pro-life supporters have dropped the fetal personhood crusade when it was convenient.
When sued for malpractice, a Catholic hospital group decides that fetuses don’t have any rights if that would cost them money: (via)
But when it came to mounting a defense in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health’s lawyers effectively turned the Church directives on their head. Catholic organizations have for decades fought to change federal and state laws that fail to protect “unborn persons,” and Catholic Health’s lawyers in this case had the chance to set precedent bolstering anti-abortion legal arguments. Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.
This is a sad case where a woman pregnant with twins died suddenly, and no emergency c-section was performed to attempt to save the twins. Apparently unborn persons are only persons if they’re being treated in a non-Catholic hospital.
So… I guess you know about the Sandy Hook school shooting conspiracy theories — the ones that opine that the government was behind the shootings and that the shoortings were staged by actors.
Glenn Beck wants you to know that those conspiracy theories are bunk. AND he wants you to know who is BEHIND those conspiracy theories: the government.
That's right. The government created those conspiracy theories to distract you from other things like… uh, well, let Glenn explain:
A lot of people might miss this, but I think this is kind of a big deal:
The U.S. military is ending its policy of excluding women from combat and will open combat jobs and direct combat units to female troops, CNN has learned. Multiple officials confirm to CNN that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will make the announcement tomorrow and notify Congress of the planned change in policy.
“We will eliminate the policy of ‘no women in units that are tasked with direct combat,’” a senior defense official says.
But the officials caution that “not every position will open all at once on Thursday.” Once the policy is changed, the Department of Defense will enter what is being called an “assessment phase,” in which each branch of service will examine all of its jobs and units not currently integrated and then produce a timetable in which it can integrate them.
I would have had no problem with Hillary in 2008. And for a long time, I had hoped she would run in 2016.
But her illness lately had me wondering if she was up to the job, not to mention the campaign.
Today she testified about the Benghazi incident, and although I only heard some of it, I can say one thing: she's ready for 2016.
So here it is…. Michelle Obama responding with an eyeroll to something Boehner says to Obama:
How RUDE, screams the always-victimized rightwing chattering class.
However, according to the expert professional lip-reader team at Entertainment Tonite, chain-smoker John Boehner asks professed ex-smoker President Obama if he ‘had a chance to catch a smoke’… and then adds ‘hah, sooooomebody wouldn’t let you’.
Under those circumstances, Anne Laurie defends the eyeroll:
As the female half of a long-term couple, let me assure you that Couple Etiquette under such conditions not only allows but requires an eyeroll on the part of the spouse. Failing to do so would indicate that one was deliberately ignoring Boehner’s roughly joke-shaped jape, and that would be rude, which our First Lady never is.
HOUSTON – Multiple people have been shot at a Harris County college, Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constables said.
Investigators said the shooting happened at Lone Star College's North Harris campus, 2700 West W. W. Thorne Drive near Aldine Westfield shortly after noon.
Officials have not said exactly how many people have been shot or the extent of their injuries. Memorial Hermann Hospital said Life Flight was being sent to the college to pick up at least one patient.
Deputy constables said they have at least one person detained, but have not said if that person is a suspected shooter.
Went to NYC with the girl, and saw some good shows, but missed several things. The Patriots losing for one, which I could have missed anywhere.
And the inauguration. Inauguration speeches, particularly those for a second term, often become historical (or, at least, a line or two does). And Obama is a good orator, so I thought maybe there was something lofty and ideal to come about from his speech.
But I didn't see it, and haven't read much about it. Apparently, he gave a shout-out to homosexual people, likening it to the civil rights issue of our time. Which it is, but saying so NOW isn't quite as bold as saying so four years ago. Still, kudos and all.
No, the BIG controversy from the inauguration was that Beyonce lip-synced the National Anthem. And she admitted to it.
Shock. Horror. Dogs mating with cats.
Now, it's true that James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson, who also performed, sang live. But here's the thing: the National Anthem is hard vocally, it was freezing hella-cold, and Beyonce was singing with the Marine Band with whom she didn't have any practice time. Oh, yeah, and it's not like this is the first time someone lip-synched at an inauguration.
So "controversy"? No. Leave Beyonce alone.
RT: The only tyranny I see is gunutz saying they’ll overrule democratically enacted laws and arrest, impeach or shoot any …
Conservative logic: abortion kills unborn, which is bad, but guns kill born, which is freedom.
I wanted to badly to do an extensive take-down of this latest screed from The World's Dumbest Blogger™, but I'm mindful of Rachel's admonition about feeding the trolls. So my take-down will be less extensive.
Basically, Aaron Walker Worthing, tackles Godwin's Law, which states that anyone who invokes Hitler in an online argument loses that argument merely by showing desparation.
Walker, having invoked Hitler several times in arguing against gun control, and without any bit of self-aware irony, does not think that applies to HIM. After all, when he invokes Hitler, he argues, it's actually an apt historical comparison.
It's really not. For one thing, Obama isn't a dictator, and the gun control measures he has proposed are going through a democratic system, just like every other law on the books. Secondly, and for the last time, Hitler did not engage in gun control except to the extent that he denied Jews the right to own guns as he made guns more available.
Walker then add the factless assertions that Kristallnacht was, in part, a measure to confiscate guns. (It wasn't, which is why his entire post is link-free).
He then launches on a theory which, at best, boils down to this:
The framers of the Constitution wrote the Second Amendment to avoid another Holocaust, even though they couldn't have possibly imagined a Holocaust.
Ah. Makes sense mif you don't think about it.
But where he enters into nut crazy land is where he attempts to argue that the Second Amendment (at one time an "individual right") is now a "right of rebellion". The framers, he argues, wanted the people to be armed so that they could overthrow a dictator and a tyrannical government.
The obvious problem (obvious to anyone with a brain, i.e., not Walker) is that, if that is the case, why does the Second Amendment state that its purpose is for "the security of a free State"? Why is the militia regulated by Congress, and not the "people"? The Second Amendment is there so that people can protect their government, not overthrow it.
But Walker doesn't even acknowledge that language. It gets in the way. He pretends it doesn't exist, placing him to the right of Scalia, i.e., wingnut territory.
Walker insists that the right to rebellion exists in the Constitution. Like the Whiskey Rebels of 1791 (two years agter the Constitution came into operation), Walker believes the people have the collective right to change or challenge the government through extraconstitutional means.
Someone needs to tell him that the Whiskey Rebels lost, thus resolving the issue.
No, on second thought, don't feed the troll. They don't eat facts anyway.
From the Jackson Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi:
Gov. Phil Bryant and House Speaker Philip Gunn said they would block any federal measures limiting the right to bear and possess arms from being enforced in Mississippi. … State Rep. Chris Brown, R-Aberdeen, said he is drafting legislation to say that firearms manufactured in Mississippi would fall under state law and wouldn’t be subjected to federal regulations.
Earlier in the day, Bryant made his intentions known in a letter posted online. Bryant wrote that Mississippi lawmakers should be read to block any Obama executive actions that infringe on the right to bear arms. Once the list of Obama’s executive actions were announced, Bryant held a press conference in the capitol to say they don’t all bother him. “He isn’t opposed to background checks and enforcing laws already on the books, but he doesn’t believe in limiting the type of guns or ammunition a person can possess,” according to the Clarion-Ledger.
Yup. Once again, like with desegregation, Southern states are going to refuse to follow federal law. Looks like we got ourselves a rebellion.
I guess I was worried for nothing.
First, we learned that Bachmann is refusing to pay five staffers unless they sign a nondisclosure agreement that prohibits them them from talking to any reporters or police about any "unethical, immoral, or criminal activity" they may have witnessed during the campaign. And it seems they did witness some, um, questionable activities—including stealing an email list from a home-schooling group.
Then, because leaking that story did not motivate Bachmann to open the checkbook and just pay her damn staff, her especially bitter former field coordinator, Peter Waldron, started dishing the dirt about how Bachmann was basically mind-controlled by her debate coach, whose "Rasputin-like" relationship was so powerful, he even forbade her own husband from sleeping in the same room with her on the trail. Which, as we all know, must have been just devastating for poor Marcus.
In today's episode of why you should probably not refuse to pay staffers who know an awful lot of juicy things about you and your potentially illegal campaign activities:
A top adviser in Michele Bachmann's 2012 White House bid has filed a complaint with federal election officials alleging campaign finance violations involving her presidential campaign and the independent political action committee she leads. […]
Waldron, formerly Bachmann's national field coordinator, is accusing the campaign of improperly dipping into money from MichelePAC to pay longtime fundraising consultant Guy Short for presidential campaign work he performed in the critical final weeks ahead of Iowa's caucuses last year.
Waldron also alleges that the campaign concealed payments to Iowa state campaign chairman Kent Sorenson, a state senator who abruptly left the Bachmann camp to join then-U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's insurgent campaign.
Call me Bachmann-crazy, but I don't think Waldron is going to shut up until he gets a check in his hands.
Founders suppressed 2 rebellions: Shay’s and Whiskey. No such thing as a “right to rebellion”. Just a “Red Dawn” wet dream. #nowayNRA
If there is a “right to rebellion”, then McVeigh’s conviction was unconstitutional. Only wingnuts think there is such a right. #nowayNRA
RT: Even conservative icons Ronald Reagan & Justice Scalia have recognized the need for commonsense protections fro …
Yes, Ted Nugent.
Yes, Tom Selleck.
Yes, Oliver North.
Yes, R. Lee Ermey (from "Full Metal Jacket")
Yes, Roy Innis (I know this guy; total dick)
Yes, Larry "Wide Stance" Craig.
Yes, Grover Norquist.
And then there's this:
She live in…. Newtown, Connecticut?
Wonder what her neighbors think. Wonder if she has kids in school there. I couldn't find any public statements from her… let's hope she's at least "conflicted".
Only a moron llikethinks that the right to self-defense is the equivalent of having the right to overthrow the government.
With his gun control proposals now public, it's clear that the President isn't letting this go. He's revved up his campaign machine (the one he used to get him elected) and ramped up social media. Check out this well-made web page.
This is an actual graphic from the Wall Street Journal showing the devastating effect of Obama's Post-Fiscal Cliff Socialism on the downtrodden. My, they look so sad:
How come they don't write country songs about the married couple with four children who have $180,000 in investment deductions? You know, like that "Christmas Shoes" song?
He's giving his statement now (and invoking Reagan, heh), but here is a list provided by the White House of the 23 executive actions President Obama plans to take to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre:
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.
These are the things that Obama can do, and plans to do, without Congressional approval. Some argue that he should be impeached for this, although it's not clear on what grounds. Groan.
One should always be careful when mocking a lawsuit. Several years ago, late-night comics joined the rest of the nation in mocking a woman who sued for McDonald's for "hot coffee". On its face, the suit sounded ridiculous, but in reality, it was not.
So with that caveat in mind, I turn your attention to this:
Retired Ohio teacher Maria Waltherr-Willard is suing her school district, claiming it discriminated against her because of her disability — a debilitating phobia of young children.
Waltherr-Willard, 61, claims in her lawsuit against the Mariemont school district that for 35 years, she taught Spanish and French to high school students in the system. But when she helped fight the district's decision to cut French class in favor of an online course, officials retaliated by reassigning her to younger students at a middle school in 2009, ignoring her hypertension, specific phobia and general anxiety disorder, Waltherr-Willard says, according to Cincinnati.com.
She claims that district officials were previously sympathetic and aware of her medically diagnosed pedophobia.
While the public and a number of commentators have taken to ridicule the teacher and her lawsuit, Dr. Caleb Adler, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati, says it's a serious phobia, as the illness causes Walterr-Willard to experience stress, anxiety, chest pains, vomiting, nightmares and high blood pressure when she's near young children.
I don't doubt that pedophobia is a serious phobia. And I am sympathetic to her allegations (if they hold up) that the school district retaliated against her. I mean, they shouldn't retalitate against her because she stood up and tried to preserve a French course.
Does it make sense that someone with fear of children would choose teaching as a profession? And should any employer be obligated to hire and maintain employment for someone who can't do their job because of a disability? Does a firemen with a fear of fire have a legitimate claim against the city who hires him?
Something isn't quite right here.
It goes like this: "We need guns so that we can resist the government when it becomes tyrannical. And when does the government become tyrannical? When it comes to take our guns away."
Circular reasoning (also known as paradoxical thinking or circular logic), is a logical fallacy in which "the reasoner begins with what he or she is trying to end up with". The individual components of a circular argument will sometimes be logically valid because if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true, and will not lack relevance. Circular logic cannot prove a conclusion because, if the conclusion is doubted, the premise which leads to it will also be doubted. Begging the question is a form of circular reasoning.
WHY is Obama an "elistist hypocrite"? Because HIS daughters go to school with armed guards protecting them, and YOUR kids can't. Watch:
Yes… how DARE Obama act like he's something special, like he holds a position of importance, like his kids are obvious and unique targets for terrorists and, uh, gun nuts and therefore require special protection. Who does Obama think he is???? President?!?
This ad shows that the NRA is either full of crazy people, or they intentionally cater to crazy people, because their argument simply falls flat as a piece of logic. This is meant to fan the flames of Obama-hatred — it has nothing to do with protecting children.
UPDATE: An NRA spokesperson told reporters this morning, "Whoever thinks the ad is about President Obama's daughters are missing the point completely." Of course, it was the NRA that released an ad about President Obama's daughters.
The spot also throws in a line about Obama wanting the wealthy "paying their fair share" in taxes. Why? I don't know; I've misplaced my crazy-to-English decoder ring.
On the morning of December 14, Gene Rosen, a retired psychologist in Newtown Connecticut, had just finished feeding his cat when he noticed six elementary school students sitting in a semi-circle at the end of his driveway. A school bus driver was with the students, telling them everything would be okay. It was just past 9:30 a.m., and the students had fled from the school after Adam Lanza had shot his way into the school and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults.
Rosen let the children inside his house, and gave them toys to play with, while he tried to contact their parents.
In the days following the Newtown shootings, Rosen gave several interviews, mostly talking about the bravery of the children.
Turns out that was a mistake, because conspiracy investigators believe there is some inconsistency in what Rosen has said. Conclusion: he must be part of the conspiracy to fake the Newtown shootings:
“I don’t know what to do,” Gene Rosen told Salon.com. “I’m getting hang-up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘How much am I being paid?'”
[H]is inbox is filled with emails like this one:
How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the ‘shooting’. What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov’t sponsored hoax anyway?
.These people are seriously sick.
A great Daily Show segment from last night, when John Oliver learns that CNN has closed down its investigative journalism department. Where does one of its investigative journalists go? To HBO's The Newsroom. Will McAvoy makes an appearance.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Investigating Investigative Journalism|
In 2009, Kodak announced that it would stop producing its iconic Kodachrome film after nearly 75 years in production.
Famed photographer Steve McCurry (the man who photographed the Afghan Girl for National Geographic — on Kodachrome!) asked to be given the last roll of Kodachrome off the assembly line. Kodak agreed. Then National Geographic followed McCurry as he shot those last 36 exposures.
While the issue of gun control remains divisive, there are clear areas of agreement when it comes to a number of gun policy proposals. Fully 85% of Americans favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, with comparable support from Republicans, Democrats and independents. Similarly, 80% support laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns, with broad support across party lines.
But this bipartisan consensus breaks down when it comes to other proposals. Two-thirds of Americans (67%) favor creating a federal database to track gun sales, but there is a wide partisan divide between Democrats (84%) and Republicans (49%). A smaller majority of the public (55%) favors a ban on assault-style weapons; Democrats (69%) also are far more likely than Republicans (44%) to support this. Similar partisan divides exist when it comes to banning high-capacity ammunition clips or the sale of ammunition online.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 9-13 among 1,502 adults also tested two specific school-safety proposals, with widely different results. By a two-to-one margin (64%-32%), most favor putting armed security guards and police in more schools. But when it comes to more teachers and school officials having guns, most are opposed (40% favor vs. 57% oppose). The latter option is particularly divisive across party lines: 56% of Republicans would like to see more teachers and school officials armed, compared with just 23% of Democrats.
There are a lot more graphs and information at Pew. A good read.
Will Congress have the courage to be just as common-sensical?
… but I can't prove it.
Anyway, they've exhumed Natalie Wood and amended her death certificate:
Questions about bruises on the body of actress Natalie Wood, whose body was found floating off Catalina Island in 1981, led the Los Angeles County coroner's office to change the cause of death from "accidental drowning" to "drowning and other undetermined factors."
"With the presence of fresh bruises in the upper extremities in the right forearm/left wrist area and a small scratch in the anterior neck, this examiner is unable to exclude non-accidental mechanism causing these injuries," wrote Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, the chief medical examiner.
"The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water. Since there are unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation, it is opined by this medical examiner that the manner of death should be left as undetermined."
Justice Clarence Thomas did something at a Supreme Court argument today for the first time in nearly seven years — he spoke. Thomas hasn't asked a question in court since February 22, 2006.
Unfortunately, it's not clear what he said. A joke of some sort.
UPDATE: Relevant portion of transcript….
Spoiler alert, as always.
It's strange why some stories pop up, and are resolved the following week, while other stories seem to linger on interminably.
In fact, some plots don't even last a week. They planted something in Bates' prison bed — this could be a turn of events that effects the whole rest of the season, you think. Nope. Bates outwitted the guards (who, for some reason, don't bother to inspect Bates himself). Oh, well. That was a semi-exciting three minutes.
Mrs. Hughes has a possible illness — nope, she's fine. It was kind of like when the cook, Mrs. Petitfore (or whatever) had eye trouble. An illness — bam! it's fine.
On the other hand, Bates being in prison — well, that story line is going to last forever it seems.
The interesting story about Grantham family down-sizing was swept off our plate this week, too. I thought that was too juicy to let go, but it's gone. It would have been interesting to see the family squeeze into increasingly smaller homes over the years, each time having fewer and fewer servants, turning the show into a post-Victorian Survivor (what servant must be let go this week?). Julian Fellowes could have dragged that one out forever. But nope. The family's continued stay at the Abbey seems a certaintly now.
But I guess the big news is that, for the third time in a row, we've failed to see a Grantham girl get married. Ironically, we saw more of Edith's wedding than we did of Mary or Sybil… and Edith ended up not getting married! The episode as a whole made me feel like we were watching the backstory to Edith becoming a villian — just as a young Bruce Wayne witnessing his parents' murder compelled him to become Batman, perhaps Lady Edith's jilting at the altar will turn her into… oh, who knows? Mopegirl, no doubt.
It was actually a bad week for female gingers whose name begins with "E". Former housemaid Ethel is now a woman of ill-repute, and apparently we're going to have to worry — again — about where her huge-headed baby ends up. My money's on Mrs. Crawley.
And with Daisy felling for William 2.0, one gets the feeling that we've been here before, amIright?
This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For
By Paul Shawcross
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
After all, how fringe do you have to be to criticize Justice Scalia's views on gun control?
Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said Sunday that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was wrong to assume that the government had the right to place limits on the Second Amendment. "He was not speaking from a constitutional perspective," Pratt said.
"The amendment does provide it's own degree of scrutiny: It says, 'shall not be infringed,'" Pratt said on "Fox News Sunday" after host Chris Wallace read a quote from a 2008 case in which Scalia wrote that the Second Amendment was not "unlimited."
"And we know that at least one justice, Mr. Thomas, takes that point of view. This is not something where the government is supposed to be free to tell we the people, the government's boss, how much — how far we can go with the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is there to constrain the government."
There's a lot of terribly bad information now bouncing around the right-wing, fact-free, pro-gun bubble.
There's the "Hitler passed gun control" myth — which is completely wrong and beside the point. One component of the Hitler-gun myth is that, if only the Jews had been armed, they would have staived off the Holocaust. Well, that's a nive unable-to-be-proved-or-disproved proposition, the kind of the thing the insular echo chamber likes to tell itself ad neauseum. However, it's probably not very likely. The Germans had tanks and planes, which would have, in time, probably won the day against Jewish resistance. Take the Warsaw Ghetto, where Jews did arm themselves against the Nazis. Only about 20 Germans were killed, while some 13,000 Jews were massacred. The remaining 50,000 who survived were promptly sent off to concentration camps.
But let me address another stupid argument floating around wingnut-o-sphere: one articulated by the World's Dumbest Blogger™, Aaron "Worthing" — that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to preserve the right of Americans to overthrow a tyrannical goverment.
That's right — he (and others) think the point of the Second Amendment was to destroy government. OUR government. In his mind, the Constitution is a suicide pact.
Is there any historical evidence for this? None. Which is why Worthing makes facts up, you know, as a "joke". Written as a tongue-in-cheek piece, he imagines that he has discovered an early draft of the Second Amendment:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That means that just having finished throwing off British rule and being concerned that this new government might also become tyrannical, and believing also in the moral but not legal right of rebellion as explained in the Declaration of Independence, we aren’t giving up our guns, stupid.
It's a nice theory, but unfortunately, it is only a theory which can only be supported by making up "joke" facts.
The problem, of course, is that this argument begs the question: who gets to decide when the government is being tyrannical such that a rebellion, led by the well-regulated militia, is necessary?
Is it Aaron Worthing? James Yeager? Timothy McVeigh?
What did the Framers have in mind?
Fortunately, we don't have to guess, or make things up. We just have to refer to the Constitution itself.
I direct everyone's attention to Article 1, Section 8. It states:
Congress shall have the Power…
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
So, if Aaron's thesis is true, Congress has the power to train and call forth the militia… to overthrow the federal government, of which Congress itself is an integral part.
Does this make sense to anyone?
Of course not.
But that's an inconvenient fact for Worthing.
Why does the hardcore right want to assert this fact? Because it lets them keep their hardcore, military-grade assault weapons.
For weeks, the left and responsible gun owners have asked: "Why does one need a military-grade assault rifle for hunting, or even for self-defense?"
Lacking an answer, the gun nuts have to explain why they really want those guns: to overthrow their government. But they can't say that without sounding crazy, so they make up the fiction that the founding fathers wanted the American people to be able to overthrow their government. Let's see how they make this argument.
Worthing, a supposed history major, claims that the United States had just won a war against a tyrannical Britain, and the Second Amendment was thrown in there to address the concern that "this new government might also become tyrannical".
That's what we have the Second Amendment. So that citizens can get all Rambo'ed up against Uncle Sam.
Nice try, but the explanation doesn't hold water, and avoids inconvenient facts.
Yes, the Constitution was written after the end of our war with the British, but there's not much to suggest that "concern over a tyrannical government" was at the forefront of the framers' minds. The Revolutionary War ended in 1783. The Constitution was drafted in 1787. And a lot happened in between.
The controlling document before the Constiution was the Articles of Confederation, which was thought to be woefully inadequate. Why? Because (among other things) it failed to establish a mechanism for a centralized military force or militia. This, as it turned out, was a rather difficult problem, as brought to light by Shay's Rebellion.
Shays' Rebellion was an armed uprising that took place in central and western Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787. Caused by economic depression, an aggressive tax and debt collection, and tight state fiscal policy, the goal of Shay's Rebellion was to overthrow state government. It was the very thing that Worthing claims the Second Amendment was meant to protect.
It was under this setting, and not the British, that the Constitution was written. And as originally written, there was no Bill of Rights, and no Second Amendment. The Bill of Rights was therefore added on to protect individual rights against the federal government. It was not intended to replace the newly-centralized powers of the federal government, i.e., it was not intended to overwrite Article I, Section 8, and give "the people" or even "the states" the right to mount insurrection against the federal government.
The militia powers enshrined in the new constitution were soon put to use by President George Washington (i.e., the government). After the passage by the United States Congress of the Whiskey Act, protest against the taxes it imposed began in western Pennsylvania. The protests escalated and Washington led federal and state militia to put down what is now known as the Whiskey Rebellion.
So basically, before the Constitution, you had an internal rebellion that, under the Articles of Confederation, was tough for the federal government to put down. And then, after the Constitution, you had an internal rebellion which the federal government was empowered to put down. What was the difference between Shay's Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion? The Constitution and the Second Amendment.
Worthing and his like-minded liars would have you believe that the Constitution was set up to make Shay's Rebellion possible, and the Whiskey Rebellion impossible. But history shows us that it was the reverse.
UPDATE: Not to mention the preamble to the Constitution, which reads:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
How does taking arms up against the country fit in those categories? It doesn't.
So I'll say it again: The Constitution provides for the militia to be controlled by the federal government, for the purposes of, among other things, suppressing rebellion and insurrection.
Whatever the Second Amendment says, it does not reserve power for the people to form their own militias and engage in insurrection and rebellion.
Yes, there really are Newtown truthers.
But in the crazy world of Sandy Hook conspiracy theories, this one may be the worst yet. (Maybe you’ve already heard some of the others, like the one about fantasy ties between the gunman’s family and the LIBOR banking scandal and a related theory about the Aurora shooting and the “Dark Knight Rises.”) Most of the theories are really pieces of a larger meta-theory: that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, perhaps by the Obama administration, designed to stir demand for gun control.
In the latest angle, theorists think they have found “absolute proof” of a conspiracy to defraud the American people. “You reported in December that this little girl had been killed,” a reader emailed Salon in response to a story. “She has been found, and photographed with President Obama.”
The girl in question is Emilie Parker, a 6-year-old who was shot multiple times and killed at Sandy Hook. But for conspiracy theorists, the tears her family shed at her funeral, the moving eulogy from Utah’s governor, and the entire shooting spree are fake. Welcome to the world where Sandy Hook didn’t really happen.
There are dozens of websites, blog posts and YouTube videos extolling the Emilie Parker hoax theory. If you Google her name, the very first result is a post mocking her father for crying at a press conference after the shooting. One popular video, which already has 134,000 views, was made by the producers of a popular 9/11 Truther film. “Just as the movie ‘Operation Terror’ shows the 9/11 attacks were a made-for-TV event, so too were the mass shootings … There can be no doubt that Sandy Hook was a staged event,” the narrator intones. He goes on to say that the adults who participated in the media coverage of the shootings “should be prosecuted as accessories after the fact in a mass murder” — i.e., the parents whose children were murdered in the massacre should be thrown in prison.
The crux of the theory is a photograph of Parker’s sister sitting on President Obama’s lap when he visited with the victims’ families. The girl is wearing the same dress Emilie wore in a pre-shooting photograph of the family shared with media, so she must be Emilie, alive and well. “BAM! I cannot believe how idiot these people are [sic]… That’s her,” one YouTuber exclaims as he watches the two images superimposed on each other. (Apparently missed by these crack investigators is the possibility that the sister wore Emilie’s dress and that they look alike because they are sisters, after all.)
The supporting details to the hoax theory explanation are reminiscent of the arcana of any well-developed conspiracy theory. What about the car? What about the rifle? Why does someone off camera allegedly tell Parker’s father to “read the Card” (as in a cue card) before he goes on CNN? Why is he laughing? Who is the guy running into the woods? Why is there police audio referring to multiple shooters? Why does one boy who survived the shooting tell Dr. Oz it was like “a drill”? Why was the principal quoted by a local paper after she died? Why do some of the parents look like some of the victims of the Aurora shooting — are they “all actors”? All of these questions have simple explanations, but in each case, the theorists have sided more with less likely, but more nefarious possibilities.
One man has taken it upon himself to catalog all of the theories at SandyHookHoax.com. By way of credentials, creator Jay Johnson explains: “I am the only person in the world to solve LOST,” he writes (yes, the TV show).
In an email exchange with Salon, Johnson said he initially “wanted to help the kids express their feelings and memorialize the victims … But then I saw how the local paper interviewed the principal after she was dead, and I realized it was 99% odds another psychological operation that was going on,” he explained.
Noting that he started the website on “12/21/12” he explained, “since I am the New Age Messiah, with my Look Your Heart in the Mirror™ as the new revelation from the Goddess Tefnut, aka Ma’at, of Egypt, I thought the date was significant.”
But the hoax theory has even earned the backing for some presumably more credible sources. James Tracy, a tenured professor of communications at Florida Atlantic University, sparked controversy this week after he wrote a blog post suggesting the parents were “crisis actors.” “While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place — at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described,” he wrote.
Websites owned by Alex Jones, the conspiracy theory pundit who helped start the 9/11 Truther movement and has millions of readers, are a virtual one-stop shop for Sandy Hook “false flag” miscellanea. So far, mainstream conservative figures haven’t hopped on board, though Gun Owners of American head Larry Pratt told Jones this summer that he thought there was a good chance the Aurora massacre was perpetrated by government agents.
Then there’s just the downright bizarre subgenre of theories. One posting on the community forum of Jones’ website connects Sandy Hook and Emilie Parker to Satanism, postulating that the school was a “recruiting center” for the Church of Satan. There’s even a low-budget slasher flick called “Sandy Hook Lingerie Party Massacre” — could that be connected?
Whether there is a connection or not, we can count on the Internet’s conspiracy theorists to find one, even if it means denying the legitimacy of the mourning families’ grief.
The people creating this insidious conspiracy need help, but they might be so evil that they are beyond all help and hope. The number of videos promoting this sick lie are growing every day, and they are mostly from people who hate our president.
(1) Keith Ratliff, who insisted everyone has the right to an assault weapon under the Second Amendment, who hosted a popular YouTube channel devoted to guns, including videos like “Top Three Weapons to Survive the Apocalypse”, met his end violently on January 3, single shot in the head in his office, where he stored his many guns and rifles. Police are treating it as a homicide, although nothing was stolen.
(2) Then there's another YouTube celeb, James Yeager, the guy who said he was going to “start shooting people” if President Obama signed an executive order on guns. I wrote about him last week. What's up with him? From 14news.com:
CAMDEN, TN (WSMV) –
A Middle Tennessee firearms trainer who made an ominous comment about killing people in a YouTube video that gained national attention this week has had his handgun carry permit suspended Friday by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
James Yeager, 42, had his permit suspended based on a “material likelihood of risk of harm to the public,” the department said in a statement.
Col. Tracy Trott of the Tennessee Department of Safety said it didn’t take him long to reach a decision after viewing the comments on the Internet.
“I watched it twice to make sure I was hearing what I thought I heard,” Trott said.
“It sounded like it was a veiled threat against the whole public. I believed him. He had a conviction in his voice, and the way he looked into the camera, I believe he’s capable of a violent act,” Trott said.
Yeager told Channel 4 News he is aware of the suspension, and his attorney will handle his statements going forward.
And he tries, for a second time, to walk back his threats, this time with an attorney:
RT: There’s nothing wrong with America that a White House Petition can’t trivialize.
Constitution not a suicide pactdisarming the ppl so they can’t rebel spits on everything the founders lived and died for
RT: The one thing Ted Nugent has in common with Rosa Parks is that they both have an equal chance of getting in the Rock and Rol …
RT: Also, citing Martin Luther King, Jr. on the awesomeness of guns is like citing FDR on how great polio is.