Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thom Hartmann on the Death Penalty

via Fuck Conservatives.

I don't think "murder" is too strong a word.

More on Jesse Ventura

Ok, we get it.  Jesse V. is unhappy because TSA gets to touch him in a manner he considers inappropriate.

Wonkette has it covered.
America’s second-most favorite whackadoodle ex-governor Jesse Ventura (whose crazy gave Minnesota such a hangover it then elected Tim Pawlenty) managed to gather enough bored reporters together to formallyannounce that he tragically lost his important lawsuit trying to get the government to quit letting TSA agents touch his nuts all the time. In revenge, he will now become a Mexican, in order to stick it to the fascist tyranny of Minnesota.

I'm just finding this a bit hard to believe.  After all, Jesse V made a living doing this:
 and this:
while wearing outfits like this:
Sorry, I can't muster much sympathy for ol' Jesse.

Jesse Ventura is Angry

He's angry all right, but is he right?

The Right Wing's Insurrectionist Mindset

Media Matters reports
The federal government has alleged that four Georgia militia members who are accused of plotting to kill federal employees modeled their plan on right-wing blogger Mike Vanderboegh's online novel Absolved, which depicts underground militia fighters who declare war on the federal government over gun control laws and same-sex marriage, leading to a second American revolution. Vanderboegh is not alone in promoting such insurrectionism: several right-wing media figures, including other gun rights bloggers, have suggested the possibility of political violence or revolution as a means of responding to progressive policies.
This was covered adequately by our own intrepid reporters, here and here, but the Media Matters folks went on to cite a few other offenders.

Bob Owens: "Go To Your Congressman's Office... If You're Willing To Do The Time For The Crime, Have A Swing At Him."

Kurt Hoffman Suggested It's A "Good Thing" That Politicians Who Support Gun Control Perceive "A Personal Threat To Their Own Lives."

Dick Morris: "Those Crazies In Montana Who Say, 'We're Going To Kill ATF Agents Because The U.N.'s Going To Take Over' -- Well, They're Beginning To Have A Case."

Beck: "You're Going To Have To Shoot Them In The Head."

Erick Erickson: "At What Point Do The People ... March Down To Their State Legislator's House, Pull Him Outside, And Beat Him To A Bloody Pulp?" 

There's more but you get the idea. Ever since the incredible Mr Adkisson wrote his Manifesto I've been convinced that the blabber-mouth right-wing talkers are partly responsible for what their less-intelligent followers do. These political commenters and righty bloggers are abusing the 1st Amendment. I'm not sure what the answer is, but these people are definitely part of the problem.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Is This Right Wing Racism?

Herman Cain has been promoting lies, including the most convincing kind of lies, the ones that have some grain, some detail, of truth in them.

Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States

August 2011


• Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and about four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion.[1] Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.[2]
• Forty percent of pregnancies among white women, 67% among blacks and 53% among Hispanics are unintended.[1] In 2008, 1.21 million abortions were performed, down from 1.31 million in 2000. However, between 2005 and 2008, the long-term decline in abortions stalled. From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.[2]
• Each year, two percent of women aged 15–44 have an abortion. Half have had at least one previous abortion.[2,3]
• At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, one in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four by age 30 and three in 10 by age 45.[4,5]

Cain’s False Attack on Planned Parenthood

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Herman Cain has offered an alternate version of history in claiming that Planned Parenthood’s founder wanted to prevent “black babies from being born.” We find no support for that old claim. Cain also states that the organization built 75 percent of its clinics in black communities, but there’s no evidence that was true then. And today, only 9 percent of U.S. abortion clinics are in neighborhoods where half or more of residents are black, according to the most recent statistics.
The GOP presidential candidate made these comments back in March, telling an audience at the conservative Heritage Foundation that “[w]hen Margaret Sanger — check my history — started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world.” He called it “planned genocide.”
In an interview on “Face the Nation” on Oct. 30, Cain did not back down from those allegations. Here’s his exchange with host Bob Schieffer:
Schieffer: … you said that it was not Planned Parenthood, it was really planned genocide because you said Planned Parenthood was trying to put all these centers into the black communities because they wanted to kill black babies –
Herman Cain: Yes.
Scheiffer: — before they were born. Do you still stand by that?
Cain: I still stand by that.
Schieffer: Do you have any proof that that was the objective of Planned Parenthood?
Cain: If people go back and look at the history and look at Margaret Sanger’s own words, that’s exactly where that came from. Look up the history. So if you go back and look up the history — secondly, look at where most of them were built; 75 percent of those facilities were built in the black community — and Margaret Sanger’s own words, she didn’t use the word “genocide,” but she did talk about preventing the increasing number of poor blacks in this country by preventing black babies from being born.
Cain isn’t the first to believe that birth control advocate Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) wanted to stop the birth of black babies. Just do an Internet search and see what happens. Sanger made more than her share of controversial comments. But the quote many point to as evidence that Sanger favored something akin to “genocide” of African Americans has been turned on its head.
Sanger, who was arrested several times in her efforts to bring birth control to women in the United States, set up her first clinic in Brooklyn in 1916. In the late 1930s, she sought to bring clinics to black women in the South, in an effort that was called the “Negro Project.” Sanger wrote in 1939 letters to colleague Clarence James Gamble that she believed the project needed a black physician and black minister to gain the trust of the community:
Sanger, 1939: The minister’s work is also important and he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.
Sanger says that a minister could debunk the notion, if it arose, that the clinics aimed to “exterminate the Negro population.” She didn’t say that she wanted to “exterminate” the black population. The Margaret Sanger Papers Project at New York University says that this quote has “gone viral on the Internet,” normally out of context, and it “doesn’t reflect the fact that Sanger recognized elements within the black community might mistakenly associate the Negro Project with racist sterilization campaigns in the Jim Crow south, unless clergy and other community leaders spread the word that the Project had a humanitarian aim.”
It goes on to characterize beliefs such as Cain’s as “extremist.” The project says: “No serious scholar and none of the dozens of black leaders who supported Sanger’s work have ever suggested that she tried to reduce the black population or set up black abortion mills, the implication in much of the extremist anti-choice material.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

Greg, Greetings from Ypres!

Since Greg has this bizarre idea that a gun would stop a well armed foe, here's a picture of Ypres in West Flanders Belgium during one of the Three battles that raged through the Town during the 14-18 War. Not only was heavy artillery used, but so was poison gas. The third Battle is also known as the Battle of Passchendaele.

The airborne attack on Fort Eben-Emael also demonstrates Greg's historical ignorance.

You can correct grammar, Greg, but you know little else.

Parallel Universes.

Part of the right’s dislike of the Elite (wow,if that isn’t a contradiction!) is their distrust of “experts”.

"Those people with all their qualifications who know all that stuff, they must be wrong! I know nothing, I must be right!"

We know about one of these people’s relationship with reality from his "military service". He was found to have not served since the units he claimed to serve in were nowhere near the theatres of combat. That probably explains why he missed the memo on the rest of reality. He’s off in his bizarre parallel universe which somehow intersects ours via the internet.

These people who claim to "love America" advocate policies that have crippled the country through their ignorance (I think this phenomenon is worse in the States). Maybe these policies do work in their universe, but they are detrimental to this one

This goes to my theory of parallel universes, which physicists have begun to suggest is more a likelihood than not. This isn't just a mad theory I have, but may be accepted scientific fact that parallel universes exist. These universes influence each other.

I think we should work on bridging the gap between reality and the better parallel universe where the solutions to these problems exist. We also need to block the influences from the negative parallel universe where these people exist. Let them destroy their world!

It makes my brain hurt to think that these people are out there.

Even worse that they manage to influence our universe from theirs.

There must be some bizarre explanation which could be provided if we had a better understanding of quantum physics as to how this influencing of our universe from a bizarre parallel universe works. I hope that someone will soon claim a Nobel Prize for working out how to block the right wing parallel universe from interfering with reality.

No Guns Allowed Signs for Wisconsin Businesses

via Democurmudgeon

If your looking for a no guns sign for your home or business, you can download a nice one at City of Madison's website.

I thought this comment provided a few other suggestions to get your signs:

And if you'd like to help organize and ask businesses to post signs, contact the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice in Madison or Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, Veterans for Peace Chapter 102, or Peace Action Wisconsin, all in Milwaukee. They all have signs available in quantity.

The Latest from the Brady Campaign


The Benefits of the Canadian Gun Registry

I recently became a gun owner for the first time in my early 40s. I proudly own .22 and .30-06 rifles for target shooting and hunting. My experience with Canadian firearms licensing and gun-registration systems has been entirely positive and has left me strongly in favour of the long-gun registry the Harper Conservatives, as promised, are moving to dismantle.

The mind-boggling initial costs of the registry are indefensible, but its cancellation doesn't earn the people of Canada a refund. Its ongoing costs seem quite reasonable, given the scale and importance of the task. The argument it contains incomplete or inaccurate information should lead us to improve it, not delete it. No information is much worse than partial information. Requiring us to register our gun doesn't criminalize gun owners: It draws the line between law-abiding gun owners and criminals.
That makes sense to me. How about you?

Please leave a comment.

Jon Stewart on Black Republicans

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bad Guns!
Good Job by the Feds!
Another Good Job by the Obama Administration!

From and the AP:

Merchant of Death guilty over trying to sell arms to terrorists

New York City federal jury convicts notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout

updated 11/3/2011 3:23:27 AM ET
A notorious Russian arms dealer accused of evading authorities for years while fueling violence in war zones around the globe was convicted Wednesday in swift fashion in a U.S. courtroom on charges he conspired to sell weaponry to South American terrorists.
Viktor Bout, known as the Merchant of Death, looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as a jury forewoman read guilty verdicts on each of four conspiracy counts — a conviction that could result in a life sentence. Jurors had deliberated only six hours over two days in federal court in Manhattan.
The outcome was immediately applauded by those who labored to bring Bout to justice before he was finally snared in an elaborate Drug Enforcement Administration sting in Thailand in 2008 and — over the objections of Russia — extradited last year to the United States.
"The guy was without a doubt one of the most dangerous of his kind on the face of the earth, and it's reassuring to know he'll be locked up behind bars where he belongs," said Michael Braun a former DEA official involved in the investigation. "If he had been allowed to carry on, he would have gone right back doing his dirty business."
The evidence proved that Bout, 44, was someone "ready to sell a weapons arsenal that would be the envy of some small countries," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Read the original indictment against Bout (.PDF)
Before Bout left court, he hugged one of his attorneys. The defense team said there would be an appeal.
"He's resolute," defense lawyer Kenneth Kaplan said of his client. "He's a strong man. He accepts the verdict and is hopeful."
For nearly two decades, the former Soviet military officer built a worldwide air cargo operation, amassing a fleet of more than 60 transport planes, hundreds of companies and a fortune reportedly in excess of $6 billion — exploits that were the main inspiration for the Nicholas Cage film "Lord of War."
Story: 'Merchant of Death' pleads not guilty in N.Y. court His aircraft flew from Afghanistan to Angola, carrying everything from raw minerals to gladiolas, drilling equipment to frozen fish. But the network's specialty, according to authorities, was black market arms — assault rifles, ammunition, anti-aircraft missiles, helicopter gunships and a full range of sophisticated weapons systems, almost always sourced from Russian stocks or from Eastern European factories.
In the months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, U.S., British and United Nations authorities heard growing reports that Bout's planes and maintenance operations, then headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, were aiding the Taliban while it sheltered al-Qaida militants in Afghanistan. Bout later denied that he worked with the Taliban or al-Qaida — and denied ever participating in black market arms deals.
Read U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's full statement on verdict (.PDF)
'We have the same enemy': America In 2008, while under economic sanctions and a U.N. travel ban, Bout was approached in Moscow by a close associate about supplying weapons on the black market to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
Bout was told that the group wanted to use drug-trafficking proceeds to pay for surface-to-air missiles and other weapons, making it clear it wanted to attack helicopter pilots and other Americans in Colombia, prosecutors said.
Neither man knew at the time that the two FARC officials they were dealing with were undercover informants working for the DEA, said the associate, South African businessman Andrew Smulian, who took the witness stand for the government as part of a plea deal.
At first, Bout dismissed the idea of a deal, Smulian testified.
"He said he didn't deal with drug dealers," Smulian said.
Smulian testified that Bout overcame his doubts and agreed that for a down payment of $20 million he would arrange for cargo planes to air-drop 100 tons of weapons into Colombia. Bout finalized the phony deal with the two DEA informants in a bugged hotel room in Bangkok in March 2008.
Jurors heard an informant on one tape saying: "We want to knock down those American sons of bitches."
"Kill them, and kick them out of my country," the informant says. "They don't care where they go anymore. They go here, they go there. They go wherever they want. Why?"
Bout is quoted as saying on the tapes: "Yes, yes, yes. They act as if ... as if it was their home."
One of the informants, Guatemala-born Carlos Sagastume, testified at trial that during the conversation Bout was writing on a sheet of paper a list of weapons he could provide and remarked, "And we have the same enemy."
Asked on the witness stand what that meant, the informant responded, "He was referring to the Americans."
Lawyers for Bout had offered what the government dismissively referred to as the "planes defense," claiming their client had no intention of selling any weapons but acted as though he would so he could unload two old cargo planes for $5 million.
In closing arguments, the defense sought to convince the jury the DEA had framed a legitimate businessman by building its case on recorded conversations that were open to interpretation and never resulted in the exchange of any arms or money.
U.S. authorities "don't have anything," defense attorney Albert Dayan said. "All they have is speculation, innuendo and conjecture."
Prosecutor Brendan McGuire countered there was ample proof that Bout "did everything he could to show he could be the one-stop shop for FARC."
Sentencing was set for Feb. 8.
Braun reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Larry Neumeister in New York contributed to this report.

Texas Violates Civil Rights (Allegedly)

The violation of federal civil rights bit is at the end.  Because they think executions are a good form of revenge disguised as Justice in Texas - whether the person is guilty or not.  Ah, those pesky details of guilt and innocence, they just aren't allowed to get in the way, are they, in Texas?
From and the AP:Judge denies DNA tests before Texas execution
updated 1 hour 7 minutes ago

A judge has denied a Texas death row inmate's request for testing of DNA evidence his attorneys say could prove his innocence, less than a week before the man is set to be executed.
Hank Skinner, 49, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday for the 1993 deaths of his girlfriend and her two sons. Skinner's attorneys had asked for testing of DNA evidence that was not tested before his 1995 trial.
But Judge Steven R. Emmert denied Skinner's request in a brief order issued Wednesday and made public Thursday. The order did not explain the judge's decision.
Skinner's attorneys say they plan to appeal the decision to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
"The stakes in this case are too high to allow Mr. Skinner to be executed before he has a fair chance to make his case that the trial court made a grave mistake in denying his request for DNA testing," said Robert Owen, an attorney for Skinner.
A spokesman for the Texas Attorney General's Office, which is handling appeals in the case for prosecutors, said his office was reviewing whether it would have any comment on the judge's ruling.
Prosecutors have called the DNA testing request merely an attempt by Skinner to delay his execution.
Skinner was sentenced to death for the 1993 deaths of his girlfriend, 40-year-old Twila Busby, and her sons Elwin "Scooter" Caler, 22, and Randy Busby, 20. The victims were strangled, beaten or stabbed on New Year's Eve at their home in Pampa in the Texas Panhandle.
Skinner also has filed a federal lawsuit claiming Texas violated his civil rights by withholding access to the evidence. That lawsuit is pending.

Busting the Myth Gun Control Laws Don't Reduce Homicide Rates

YES - Gun Control DOES reduce gun violence, particularly homicide.
From here, the Long FAQ on Liberalism.:
Myth: Gun control laws won't reduce the gun homicide rate.

Fact: The murder rate almost always falls after the enforcement of gun control laws.


There are numerous examples of gun control laws that have reduced the murder rate -- both domestically and internationally.


Contrary to what the gun lobby would have you believe, there is abundant evidence that enforcing gun control laws reduces the gun homicide rate.

One of the most remarkable examples was a 1992-93 Kansas City experiment by the National Institute of Justice. There, police officers in a large section of the inner city agreed to work overtime to remove illegal guns from the streets. During these overtime shifts, they were given no other responsibilities but to search for and confiscate illegal weapons. This heightened enforcement (of existing gun laws) lasted 29 weeks. The study compared the crime rate during this period to the prior 29 weeks; it also compared the "target area" with a "comparison area" which experienced no changes in its normal police duties. The population of the target area was almost entirely nonwhite and had a crime rate 20 times the national average.

The results were dramatic. Seizures of illegal guns in the target area climbed 65 percent above normal, while they actually declined somewhat in the comparison area. Meanwhile, gun crimes declined 49 percent in the target area. Drive-by shootings fell from 7 to 1 in the time periods compared. The rates for other types of crime did not change, but -- most significantly -- there appeared to be no spillover of crime from the target area into surrounding areas. (For more details of this study, see Appendix A below.)

There are other examples of stricter gun control passing into law, their success depending on how fully they were enforced:
  • The Massachusetts 1974 Bartley-Fox Amendment, which prescribed a 1-year sentence for unlicensed public carrying of firearms, decreased gun assaults, gun robberies, and gun homicides during the 2-year period in which it was evaluated. (1)
  • Several State mandatory add-ons to felony sentences for use of a gun have reduced gun homicides, but whether they have discouraged gun use in robberies and assaults is not clear. (2)
  • The decrease of gun homicides in Washington D.C. following passage of the 1976 D.C. Firearms Control Act appears to have been maintained until the mid-1980's when, according to a recent study, the rise of crack markets was accompanied by a substantial increase in gun homicides. (For more details, see Appendix B below.) (3)
  • The 1968 Federal Gun Control Act, which prohibited Federally licensed gun dealers from selling guns to certain designated "dangerous" categories of people, failed to reduce firearm injuries or deaths, apparently because of lax enforcement. (4)
  • The Brady Law, which requires a background check on gun-buyers to screen out criminals, went into effect nationwide in 1994. It prevented 40,000 felons from buying guns in that year alone, and saw a 3.56 percent drop in handgun homocides, a 3.16 percent drop in aggravated assaults and robberies, and a 6.84 percent drop in the number of those crimes committed with a firearm. (5)
  • Both the general homicide and gun-homicide rate declined in Canada after 1978, which may have been due to the passage of C-51, a law which considerably tightened restrictions on guns. (See Appendix C below.)
  • And of course there is Europe, which has far stricter gun control laws than the U.S., and a far lower murder rate as well.
An interstate comparison of the United States is also quite revealing. All states, some localities, and the federal government have laws concerning weapons, including their sale, possession, manufacturing, importation and use. Examples include bans on machine guns, carrying concealed weapons or sales to felons. Violations of these laws are called "weapons offenses," and they make up about 2 percent of all arrests nationwide. They do not include crimes like armed robbery, armed assault, etc.

It turns out there is a quite strong correlation between the murder rate and the weapons offense arrest rate.
State murder rates (per 100,000 population) and weapons offense arrest
rates (per 100,000 population), 1993. (t = tie) (6)

                         Weapons          Weapons
                Murder   Offense  Murder  Offense
State           Rate     Rate     Rank    Rank 
Louisiana       20.3     142      1       4
Mississippi     13.5     135      2       8
New York        13.3     102      3      20
California      13.1     135      4       9
Maryland        12.7     104      5      19
Texas           11.9     139      6       7
Alabama         11.6      67      7      34
Georgia         11.4     149      8       3
Illinois        11.4      75      9      30(t)
North Carolina  11.3     132     10      10
Missouri        11.3     199     11       1
Nevada          10.4     141     12       5
South Carolina  10.3      77     13      29
Arkansas        10.2     126     14      13
Tennessee       10.2     131     15      11
Michigan         9.8     107     16      16(t)
Alaska           9.0     107     17      16(t)
Florida          8.9      68     18      33
Arizona          8.6     114     19      15
Oklahoma         8.4      91     20      24
Virginia         8.3     129     21      12
New Mexico       8.0      71     22      32
Indiana          7.5      59     23      38
West Virginia    6.9      77     24      28
Pennsylvania     6.8      49     25      40
Kentucky         6.6     106     26      18
Kansas           6.4      94     27      22(t)
Connecticut      6.3     116     28      14
Ohio             6.0      97     29      21
Colorado         5.8     140     30       6
New Jersey       5.3      94     31      22(t)
Washington       5.2      75     32      30(t)
Delaware         5.0      30     33      44(t)
Oregon           4.6      81     34      26
Wisconsin        4.4     165     35       2
Massachusetts    3.9      35     36      42
Nebraska         3.9      78     37      27
Rhode Island     3.9      60     38      36(t)
Hawaii           3.8      60     39      36(t)
Vermont          3.6       1     40      50
Wyoming          3.4      31     41      43
Minnesota        3.4      61     42      35
South Dakota     3.4      41     43      41
Utah             3.1      85     44      25
Montana          3.0      12     45      49
Idaho            2.9      52     46      39
Iowa             2.3      30     47      44(t)
New Hampshire    2.0      16     48      48 
North Dakota     1.7      25     49      46
Maine            1.6      23     50      47
Correlation              .67            .71
to crime (7)
The correlation between crime and weapons offense arrests is .67 for the raw statistics and .71 for the state rankings. These are both quite strong and highly significant correlations.

Of course, there is an obvious criticism to the above chart. It could simply prove that murderers have a penchant for handling their weapons illegally -- something we already knew.

However, this chart also shows that there is value to gun control laws, since the behavior and weaponry they regulate are correlated with higher murder rates. It also suggests that enforcing these laws more strictly would reduce the murder rate.

To see why, consider drunk driving laws. It doesn't matter whether drunk driving is legal or not - it is the behavior itself which is correlated with higher traffic fatalities. At first the U.S. did not regulate drunk drivers, and the result was a tragically high fatality rate. But eventually the nation passed DUI laws, and each time it has strengthened them, traffic fatalities have fallen. If we were to compare the states' statistics on DUI arrests and traffic fatalities, we would expect to find the states with the most DUI's experiencing the most fatalities. This would call for stricter passage and enforcement of DUI laws.

(As an aside, it would be illogical for a drunk driving lobby to argue that they have the right to drive drunk as long as they don't hurt anyone. We would surely think it strange for them to argue that police should crack down only on the drunk drivers who cause accidents, and that "law-abiding" drunk drivers should not be "persecuted" with DUI convictions.)

Of course, the opposite argument is also possible: more arrests could be a symptom of greater commitment to law enforcement. In that case, the higher fatality rate is occurring in spite of, not because of, greater law enforcement efforts.

To disprove this reverse causal arrow, a few preliminary observations are necessary. First, law enforcement can be divided into two categories: effective and antagonistic. Banning free speech would be an example of antagonistic law enforcement; the more a state tried to enforce it, the more people would rebel against it. That's only to a certain point, however; when Gestapo-like enforcement becomes too brutal, people eventually comply. Compare this to effective law enforcement -- for example, writing tickets for speeders. If the speed limit is 50, but everyone is driving 70, the police face a massive crackdown job. They are going to have to work overtime writing tickets until finally a reputation is established, and drivers learn to slow down. But once everyone is driving 50 again, then law enforcement can be reduced; only a fraction of the police are necessary to catch the occasional speeder. Notice that in the compliance phase of antagonistic enforcement, lots of police are necessary; in the compliance phase of effective enforcement, few police are necessary.

What defines the difference between effective and antagonistic law enforcement? It ultimately boils down to people's attitudes towards a specific law. People believe that free speech is a cherished right, but they do not believe the same thing about the ability to drive 70 miles an hour. Indeed, most people can see the need for lower speed limits, especially in crowded cities.

Now, a gun advocate may claim that gun control laws are antagonistic, and the reason why more weapons arrests are tied to higher murder rates is because we are still in the rebellious stage, not the police state/compliance stage. However, murder is not free speech; people do not have a right to commit murder, much less be antagonized by its unlawfulness. Furthermore, murder does not fit the definition of an antagonistic law; almost everyone sees the need to curtail it, and therefore agrees with it.

That, gun control advocates claim, would make gun control laws effective law enforcement. And the experiences of Kansas City, Washington D.C. and Europe show that gun control laws do not result in rebellion, but lower murder rates. Most of the nation, however, is still in the pre-crackdown phase, much like the stage where most drivers are breaking the speed limit or driving drunk. The states with the most egregious violators are making the most arrests, but no states are seriously cracking down on weapons offenses.

It is more reasonable to conclude that enforcing gun control laws will reduce behavior that is tied to higher murder rates.

Self-policing and Crime at the Occupy Protests

This addresses the problems with homeless and drug addicts, others, who are NOT PART of the protests mingling with protesters. Some of the more pertinent sections are near the end.  Cross posted from Penigma.
From assault arrest highlights security concerns at 'Occupy' protests
NEW YORK -- Highlighting growing security concerns at “Occupy” protests around the country, a 26-year-old man has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a woman at the encampment near Wall Street where the movement was born.
Tonye Iketubosin, a Brooklyn resident, was arrested late Tuesday and remained in custody Wednesday while the incident was investigated, police said. He had been working in the encampment's kitchen.
The Wall Street Journal reported that police were investigating an alleged attack by Iketubosin on an 18-year-old woman from Massachusetts. The woman told police she accepted his offer to let her sleep in his tent while he went to work at the kitchen early Saturday, but later returned and raped her, the newspaper quoted an unidentified law enforcement official as saying. Charges were pending.
Iketubosin allegedly groped a 17-year-old woman days before that incident, on Oct. 24. He has been charged with third-degree sexual abuse in that case, the newspaper reported.
Brendan Burke, 41, of Brooklyn, who helped start the “Occupy Wall Street” security team, said there had been three or four assaults since the protest began on Sept. 17 committed by two men.
In such cases, he said, protesters “go straight to the police.”
Burke said the security team, which consists of up to ten members and has help from outside groups to help keep the site safe, has non-violent measures for handling aggressors, including encircling them and shouting them down. A community watch group, akin to neighborhood watch, also monitors the site overnight, he said.
“People forget this is the middle of the street,” Burke said. “All walks of life are in here, so it’s not like a bunch of crazy people are in this park. But there is an element in this park that is eating free food, living in tents and being subsidized by the movement. It’s one of the weak parts of the movement, but it’s changing. … It’s just a thing everyone’s working out as we go along.”
He said the protesters attempt to integrate such interlopers into the movement when possible.
“We have also a track record of including troubled kids into the fray of working groups …  and  becoming part of the movement,” he said.
Protesters find allies in ranks of the wealthy
Security issues have bubbled up at some “Occupy” sites around the country in recent weeks.
“Occupy Boston” is looking at measures to deal with taking troublemakers out of the camp, protester Ravi Mishra, 25, said Tuesday. There have been no reports of sexual assault, though they have had to deal with people who are rowdy, drunk or have substance abuse problems, he said.
Some people who were not really a part of the movement have shown up and gotten “up to no good,” Mishra said.
“We’re doing our best to navigate, you know, both sides of the line,” he said. “On the one hand, we want to make sure that we’re not being exclusive by any means, on the other hand, we do understand that there is ... a degree of realism that we have to take with these issues.”
Old guard back in the trenches at "Occupy" protests
“Occupy Dallas” also has had a few security issues arise with people coming to the camp who were not associated with the movement, protester Michael Prestonise wrote in an email.
“Our position is one that might run counter to the continued accusations of our movement primarily consisting of hippies and freeloaders,” he said. “We actively work with the police to enforce the law.”
Prestonise said the protesters had dealt with theft by announcing stolen items at “general assemblies” and conducted their own investigations in some cases. A fire watch team also coordinates security and organizes shifts to maintain an all-night safety patrol, he said.
Both Occupy Boston and Wall Street have tents for women only. Burke said the camp is safe, but people should not think it’s a crime-free zone.
“There’s a myth about this … that it’s not every day America,” Burke said. “We’re just Americans doing our constitutional right. It doesn’t mean that there is a magic spell that will protect you from crime.”

For Serh8te and Anyone Else Who Doesn't Know This Stuff

These were the most recent data I could find but to be fair, I only searched for about 0.23 seconds...this time.

From the National Institute of Justice:

Gun Violence

How Prevalent is Gun Violence in America?

Trends in weapons used in homicides

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

In 2005, 11,346 persons were killed by firearm violence and 477,040 persons were victims of a crime committed with a firearm.

Most murders in the United States are committed with firearms, especially handguns.

In 2006, firearms were used in 68 percent of murders, 42 percent of robbery offenses and 22 percent of aggravated assaults nationwide. (Weapons data are not collected for forcible rapes. See table 19  "Violent Crime," from Crime in the United States, 2006.)
Homicides committed with firearms peaked in 1993 at 17,075, after which the figure steadily fell, leveling off in 1999 at 10,117. Gun-related homicides have increased slightly each year since 2002.
Consistently, there are unique qualities in handguns which tend to make them the weapons of choice, particularly in impulse decisions - as in suicides, for example, and also these characteristics appeal more to certain demographics, but in all categories, guns are used more than any other kind of weapon.  Decreasing guns and more strict regulation of guns tends to reduce these crimes rather than have the number remain static or increase with a different weapon replacing firearms.

Herman Cain Wants an Elecrified Fence to Kill Would-be Illegal Immigrants

President Obama has been tougher on immigration, as reflected in the expenditure of resources to patrol our borders and in deportations of criminal illegal immigrants.  But as is always the case, one should be careful what you wish for.  Illegal immigrants are one of the biggest ways that the right terrifies its base into support.  Unfortunately, they don't seem fully to realize what happens when they are gone.

From, I'm posting this here because what the right believes about illegal immigrants is too often inacurate myth:

Crackdown on illegal immigrants left crops rotting in Georgia fields, ag chief tells US lawmakers

Published: Tuesday, October 04, 2011, 6:00 PM     Updated: Tuesday, October 04, 2011, 6:00 PM
alabama crops unpicked.jpgView full sizeJeremy Gonzalez picks tomatoes on a farm in Steele, Ala., Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. Much of the crop is rotting as many of the migrant workers who normally work these fields have moved to other states to find work after Alabama's immigration law took affect last week. The same problems are occurring in Georgia, its agriculture commissioner reported to US lawmakers on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 201. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
ATLANTA — A farm labor shortage that left crops rotting in the fields after Georgia passed a law cracking down on illegal immigration shows the need for a retooled or expanded guest worker program for migrant laborers, Georgia's agriculture commissioner told a panel of Washington lawmakers Tuesday.
Commissioner Gary Black testified at a Senate subcommittee hearing on immigration enforcement and farm labor that an informal survey showed farmers of onions, watermelons and other handpicked crops lacked more than 11,000 workers during their spring and summer harvest. Farmers say that's because the Georgia immigration law scared off many migrant workers. Similar complaints are being heard in Alabama with its tough new law.
Financial incentives aimed at getting unemployed Georgians and even criminals on probation to take their place picking crops were marginally successful, Black said, because the new workers were too slow and often quit because of the strenuous labor involved.
"A robust agricultural guest worker program, properly designed, will not displace American workers," Black said in remarks prepared for the hearing. "As my testimony shows, in Georgia, even with current high unemployment rates, it is difficult for farmers to fill their labor needs."
Black said it's still unclear how much the labor shortage will ultimately cost farmers. But one group says growers have already lost tens of millions of dollars.
Charles Hall, director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, released figures from an upcoming industry-funded study Tuesday that says farmers lost at least $74.9 million in unpicked crops harvested by hand last spring and summer because they didn't have enough labor. The farmers said they lacked 40 percent of the total work force they needed.
The numbers come from self-reported surveys completed by 189 farmers of onions, watermelons, bell peppers, cucumbers, squash, blueberries and blackberries, said John McKissick, director of the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, which is compiling the report.
It's a snapshot of just a small fraction of Georgia's farmers overall. The surveyed farmers hold just short of half the state's overall acreage for those seven crops.
And the seven crops examined in the study accounted for just 5 percent of Georgia's $11.3 billion in farm products from 2009, according to the agribusiness center's last annual report.
The growers association reported other figures estimating even broader economic losses, based on the $74.9 million figure, but McKissick said those numbers were not scientifically derived.

For Tommy and Democommie on Bush versus Obama Spending -

Rove, unlike Tommy, limits HIS claim to discretionary spending. Tommy even more incorrectly is calling identifies a larger segment.  Keep that in mind as you read the following, from here.
The Truth-O-Meter Says:

The Obama administration "raised discretionary spending by 24 percent from President George W. Bush's last full-year budget and will run up more debt by October than Bush did in eight years."

Karl Rove on Sunday, January 10th, 2010 in the Washington Post

Rove claims Obama has already run up more debt than Bush did in eight years

You gotta love a good war of words between past and present presidential advisers.

The first volley in this latest "he-said, he-said" dust-up came from Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W. Bush, who was one of the political experts asked by the Washington Post for their opinions about how the Democratic Party should handle the midterm elections. Rove's two cents was more criticism than advice.

The Obama administration "raised discretionary spending by 24 percent from President George W. Bush's last full-year budget and will run up more debt by October than Bush did in eight years."

President Barack Obama's top strategist, David Axelrod, fired back with a op-ed piece in the Washington Post in which he called Rove's comments shameless in light of the fact that, "the day the Bush administration took over from President Bill Clinton in 2001, America enjoyed a $236 billion budget surplus -- with a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion. When the Bush administration left office, it handed President Obama a $1.3 trillion deficit -- and projected shortfalls of $8 trillion for the next decade." We broke that claim down here.

In this item, we'll focus on Rove's claim.

The first part of his claim is that Obama raised discretionary spending -- federal money that Congress can adjust every year -- by 24 percent from Bush's last full-year budget.

According to the White House Office of Management and Budget's historical tables, discretionary spending will go from roughly $1.13 trillion in the 2008 fiscal year (Bush's last full year budget) to $1.41 trillion in 2010. That's a roughly 24 percent increase, so Rove has the number right.

End of story? Not quite.

Brian Riedl, lead budget analyst for the conservative Heritage Foundation, said that number can be misleading because emergency and war spending can inflate the number. He prefers to judge discretionary spending based on the budget resolutions that pass each year. By that measure, he said, discretionary spending would increase by 14 percent during the period Rove is using.

Now let's take a look at the second part of Rove's equation, the claim that Obama will run up more debt by October than Bush did in eight years. First, a quick reminder about deficits and debt: deficits refer to how much money the government spends against revenues in a year; the national debt is the cumulative amount the government owes over time.

Rove talked about the national debt. During Bush's term, from the end of 2001 until the end of 2008, the debt held by the public rose $2.5 trillion (to $5.8 trillion). According to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office in August last year, the public debt rose to $7.6 trillion in 2009 and is expected to rise to nearly $8.8 trillion by the end of the 2010 fiscal year.

So debt rose by $2.5 trillion during the Bush years from 2001 through 2008; and it is expected to rise $3 trillion in the two years under Obama. But Rove's equation assumes Obama is responsible for all of the debt accumulated in 2009 and 2010. And that's where things get messy.

Obama took office in January 2009. But the federal budget works on a fiscal year from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 of each year. So a third of the 2009 fiscal year had passed before Obama even took office.

So the spending for 2009 was largely determined by a Congress controlled by Democrats and a Republican president. The omnibus spending bill was held over and signed by Obama, who added $20 billion in discretionary spending. But that's hardly a blip in the scheme of things.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Obama administration inherited a deficit of more than $1.2 trillion the day it walked in the door.

So the debate then becomes how much of 2009 spending ought to be credited to Bush and how much to Obama.

For example, who takes the $133 billion hit for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) spent in 2009? It was signed by Bush, but Reidl thinks Obama ought to shoulder some of that. Much of TARP's losses are due to auto company bailouts and the home loan program initiated by Obama. And who gets credit for funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the $400 billion in reduced tax revenue because individual income and corporate profits have dropped due to the economic downturn?

Yes, the Obama administration tacked on an additional $115 billion in stimulus spending in 2009. And much more will be spent on the stimulus in 2010.

"It's true they've provided more money under this administration, but it's hard to say it's a Democratic policy," said Jim Horney, director of federal fiscal policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal economic think tank. "Increasing the debt is overwhelmingly the result of the recession and responding to it. To Bush's credit, they actually did what needed to be done. Debt went up a lot, but most of the reason for that is the recession and dealing with it."

Axelrod argues that Obama also inherited Bush tax cuts and Medicare prescription drug expenses, which add about $200 billion a year to annual deficits (Axelrod called them "unwelcome gifts that keep on giving"). Riedl argues that kind of complaint may be valid in a president's first year, but by a president's second year, he needs to take ownership of programs he has inherited. If, for example, Obama thinks the prescription drug benefits in Medicare are unaffordable, he should try to repeal them, Riedl said. If he thinks the Bush tax cuts were wrong, try to roll them back.

Any way you slice the numbers, spending is on the rise. Our biggest problem with Rove's statement is that he credits all of the debt accumulated in 2009 and 2010 to Obama, and even conservative budget analysts agree that it's fair to assign at least some of the 2009 increase to Bush. And so we rate Rove's comment Half True.

Sheriff Chuck of Spartanburg SC

My comment:

I agree the sheriff makes a good impression, but just underneath the surface it’s bogus.
The tired old refrain that gun control laws will only affect the law abiding is misleading . Gun control laws the way I describe them would have a direct impact on the ability of the bad guys to get guns in the first place.

Once that’s accomplished it won’t matter if the criminals refuse to obey the laws.

But there’s another aspect to this argument. It implies that we gun control folks are so stupid that we think passing good laws will cause criminals to obey them. We’re not and we don’t. So, I’d say the joke’s on you guys who keep returning to that tired old refrain, snickering to each other about how dumb your adversaries are.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Military Suicides and How the NRA has Helped

on a report issued by the Center for a New American Security, which recommends that Congress repeal a provision in last year's National Defense Authorization Act that bars military commanders from talking with troops about troops' personally owned firearms -- a factor in nearly half of soldier suicides last year. Report authors Margaret Harrell and Nancy Berglass put it this way:

"Congress should rescind the NDAA 2011 restriction on discussing personally owned weapons so that unit leaders can suggest to service members exhibiting high-risk behavior, acting erratically or struggling with depression that they use gunlocks or store their guns temporarily at the unit armory," they wrote. "Given this change in law, unit leaders should engage both at-risk service members and their family members, and encourage them to obtain gunlocks or to store privately owned weapons out of the household."

"Multiple studies indicate that preventing easy access to lethal means, such as firearms, is an effective form of suicide prevention," authors Harrell and Berglass wrote.
The situation is absolutely dramatic.

U.S. Army suicides have climbed steadily since 2004. The Army reported a record-high number of suicides in July 2011 with the deaths of 33 active and reserve component service members reported as suicides.

Suicides in the Marine Corps increased steadily from 2006 to 2009, dipping slightly in 2010. It is impossible, given the paucity of current data, to determine the suicide rate among veterans with any accuracy. However, the VA estimates that a veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes."
In typical fashion, the conscience-less NRA, fought for this bill restricting military commanders from having personal guns registered or even discussion personal gun ownership with their troops. The result: people died.

What's your opinion? Do the gun-rights folks seem to lose sight of the big picture in their zeal for opposing gun restrictions? Shouldn't commanders of distraught troops be free to intervene in any and every way possible to help those under their command? Is the NRA's obsession with never ever allowing data to be compiled about who owns what weapons a bit exaggerated?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The Differences Between Canada and the US

Quotes from a wonderful article in The First Perspective about the Canadian Gun Registry.
“The American right to bear arms is not part of our Canadian values, up here we’ve chosen peace, order and good government,” she [Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Ont.)] said. “They’ve chosen life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and the right to bear arms."

'Listen, I’m a gun owner and the fact is that the underpinning of the entire message of the Conservatives is "Once we know where the guns are, they’re going to come and take your guns away," which is not at all part of the Canadian psyche or possibility,' says Liberal MP Justin Trudeau.

'The arrival of, not just American right-wing politics like this, but the polarization that comes with it, really worries me,' says Liberal MP Justin Trudeau on the Conservatives' spin on ending the long-gun registry.

Super Con Artist Comes Back from the Dead

Over the last couple years I was wondering where she was while Bush and Cheney were appearing in the news. I can't believe how softly Jon Stewart treated her.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The NRA's "Three Percenters"

Dog Gone posted the story here.

Go. Read.

To the left is an artist's rendition of two of the conspirators plotting to exterminate the populations of Washington, DC, Atlanta, New Orleans, and maybe Jacksonville.  To the far left, is (Emory) Dan Roberts, age 67--codename: Cobra.  Seated beside him is the ringleader--Frederick Thomas, age 73.  They are holding their hands cupped to their ears because this elite team of gunloons are, well, a bit hard of hearing.

These elite Commando/Gunloons are members of the super, super, secret, combat team, no-girls-allowed, special, short-bus brigade of the "The Covert Group"are Ray "Chewbacca" Adams, 65, and Samuel Crump, 68.

This team of America's Finest Warriors are adherents of fellow Super-Aryan Mike Vanderboegh whose combat exploits and derring-do is legendary, particularly among the mobility scooter set collecting disability checks crowd.

These are the cream-of-the-crop, elite "three-percenters."  These are the final bulwark between us and Kenyan socialism-Sharia Law-Designated Hitter-Blacks in Our Restrooms.

Let's meet them:

Frederick Thomas:  Meeting with an undercover FBI agent, Thomas allegedly explained that his “covert group” wasplanning to carry out the actions of the main characters from the book “Absolved,” written by right-wing blogger and former militia man Mike Vanderboegh. He allegedly said he considered himself expendable because of his age.
(Emory) Dan Roberts: As TPM previously reported, Roberts sued a number of local officials and a newspaper in federal court in relation to a 2004 “Southern Heritage” event he organized at a middle school that featured the Confederate flag. According to the lawsuit, he “co-sponsored and assisted in flag rallies organized by the Southern Rights Association [hereafter SRA]. He is widely known in the area as a flag supporter.”
Ray  Adams: A retired Department of Agriculture employee, Adams lives in “a single story shelter constructed of wood plants and a metal roof.” The rear of the shelter, according to an FBI affidavit, “is a travel trailer used for its kitchen facilities and storage.” It’s located on 17.21 acres.
Samuel J. Crump:   Crump, pictured above in a photo posted on MySpace and Facebook, lived in a mobile that sat on .27 acres. The Centers for Disease Control told the FBI he worked as a contractor for the agency doing “maintenance type services.”
Ladies and Gents, I give you the NRA's finest. Their elite.

South Carolina Gun Insanity

The following two stories appeared in the same day's news.

10-year-old pulls gun on woman who joked about taking his Halloween candy away.

Pretty wild, huh?

Please leave a comment.

Shameful Shit

At the very end of the video Phyllis explains what's being undermined by the US decision to withdraw funding from UNESCO.

The Latest Gallup Poll

(click to make bigger)

This is the Gallup Poll everyone is making such a big deal about.

Sebastian said, "that Gallup poll is bad news for gun control advocates, and everyone knows it."

What's that supposed to mean? The Gallup folks themselves gave a more-than-adequate explanation.

the latest increase in self-reported gun ownership could reflect a change in Americans' comfort with publicly stating that they have a gun as much as it reflects a real uptick in gun ownership.

My first thought was what's the big deal. Those look like minor fluctuations.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Halloween in New Orleans - 2 Dead Many Wounded

Violence marred Halloween night in New Orleans, with two men killed and more than a dozen others wounded in five separate shootings, including incidents on Bourbon Street in the city's famous French Quarter and on nearby Canal Street.
In another story, the mayor had this to say.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu at a press conference Tuesday said a "culture of violence" that involves young black men with illegal guns has plagued the city and must be stopped.
Isn't that a riot, "black men with illegal guns?"

Those "black men with illegal guns" are like the users of heroin. But at least in the ill-advised War on Drugs we have enough integrity to admit it's not the end user who's the problem. It's the dealers and the suppliers.

It's the same thing with the gun problem. The criminals who use guns badly should be stopped, just like their heroin-injecting cousins, but the focus needs to be on the source of the guns. Failing to do that would be like blaming the street junkie fo the billion-dollar drug business that continues unabated.

Gun availability to unfit people is the problem, and it's a preventable one.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Jon Stewart Finishes Off Herman Cain and Rick Perry

More Right Wing Anti-Government Gun Nuts, Trying for a Mass Killing...

Remember what I just wrote about right wing authoritarian movements and their politics? Want to bet these old farts are white, badly educated (the ungrammatical use of language suggests that), and big on the issues of the conservative culture wars?   Anti-gays, anti-abortion, anti-Muslim, anti-feminist, etc.? Maybe anti-Mormon.  I'm sure THEY believe they are patriots, not jackass domestic terrorists. 

FBI: Four militia members plotted to attack buildings, release poison

'I'd say the first ones that need to die is the ones in the government buildings'

By Pete Williams Justice correspondent
NBC News
updated 11/1/2011 8:17:29 PM ET
Four Georgia men in their 60s and 70s were arrested Tuesday, accused of being members of a right-wing militia group that plotted to attack federal office buildings and to disperse a deadly biological poison in Atlanta.
Their alleged plot was revealed to the FBI by a confidential informant last spring, and members of the group have been meeting since May with someone they thought was a black-market weapons dealer but who turned out to be an undercover federal agent, according to court documents.
No attacks were ever attempted. Federal officials say the men were disrupted before they could act on the plot.
The documents say the men, Frederick Thomas, 73, of Cleveland, Ga.; Dan Roberts, 67, Ray Adams, 65, and Samuel Crump, 68, all of Toccoa, called themselves "the covert group" and began in March to talk about staging attacks against federal targets including the IRS.
A confidential informant secretly recorded some of the meetings for the FBI.
"I'd say the first ones that need to die is the ones in the government buildings," Adams was overheard saying in an April 16 meeting, according to the FBI.
"When it comes down to it, I can kill somebody," he allegedly said.
Read court documents on ricin allegations (.PDF)
They allegedly obtained a silencer from the undercover agent and plotted to buy explosives. Crump claimed he could produce ricin, a deadly biological agent, and talked about dispersing it from a car driving on an interstate highway, according to court documents.
"Ya get on the trunk of Atlanta, you get up on the north side, ya get on 41, ya throw it out there right on 285, ya go up 41 or 75, go up 75 to get away from it. Keep the heater on, that way keeps the pressure out. Don't roll your window down," he told the informant, according to court documents.
According to federal investigators, Crump had worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta in the past doing "maintenance-type services" for a contractor, and Adams used to work for a U.S. Department of Agriculture agency called the Agricultural Research Service as a lab technician.
"While many are focused on the threat posed by international violent extremists, this case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens without our own borders who threaten our safety and security," said the U.S. attorney in Atlanta, Sally Quillian Yates, in a written statement.
Right wing extremists.

Want to bet they are also Right wing authoritarian gun lunatics and that every one of them owns one or more firearms?Iwonder howmany of these guys belong or have belonged inthe past to the NRA.

Want to bet they think they understand and support the Constitution, that they know the thoughts of the Founding Fathers?  And a good chance THEY think they are good god-fearing followers of some conservative religion?

Georgia, one of the original 13 colonies; what a shame they don't know better.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Are the Police Directing Indigent and Drug Users to Zuccotti Park, in an Attempt to Sabotage Occupy Wall Street Protests?

Transcript of a Keith Olbermann interview with Ryan Devereaux:
DEVEREAUX: Well, it’s a story that’s been floating around the park for weeks now. This is something that people have been talking about. A lot of the folks that are involved in the security operations at the park have been saying that — when they encounter, you know, sort of transient, homeless type of people there in the park — they are hearing reports that the police have been encouraging them to head down to Zuccotti, to “Take it to Zuccotti.”
It’s very upsetting. Particularly, when you consider that some of the people that are arriving to the park have severe psychiatric problems or drug-addiction problems. Why isn’t — if the NYPD is, indeed, suggesting that they go somewhere — why don’t they suggest them to go somewhere that has the resources and the professionals with the capability to handle the particular problems that they have.
OLBERMANN: Any answers occur to you to that rhetorical question?
DEVEREAUX: I mean I — it looks very bad.
OLBERMANN: Sabotage would be — provocateur is essentially — involuntary provocateurs or, in another context, human shields, if you will. That’s the same mentality to it, anyway.
DEVEREAUX: That’s — that’s definitely the sense among the protesters, this is a concerted effort at sabotage. Whether or not we will find concrete evidence that that’s the case, we’ll have to wait and see.
OLBERMANN: Ryan Devereaux, reporter for Democracy Now who’s been at Occupy Wall Street since before the beginning. Great thanks, again, for coming in.

How Evil Are You - Redux? How Much Do YOU Question Authority? Enough?

We've been writing here off and on about the effects of hate speech and incitements to violence.  That most of us do NOT question authority enough was evidenced by the recreation of many of the aspects of the 1961Milgram experiments.  In  2009:

We haven't changed: 2011.

When you factor in that there is a predisposition on the right to authoritariansim, this takes on an even darker significance.  It is the lens through which we should be viewing right wing smear media.

Right-wing authoritarianism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) is a personality and ideological variable studied in political, social, and personality psychology. It is defined by three attitudinal and behavioral clusters which correlate together:[1][2]

Authoritarian submission — a high degree of submissiveness to the authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in the society in which one lives.
Authoritarian aggression — a general aggressiveness directed against deviants, outgroups, and other people that are perceived to be targets according to established authorities.
Conventionalism — a high degree of adherence to the traditions and social norms that are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities, and a belief that others in one's society should also be required to adhere to these norms.[3]

The terminology of authoritarianism, right-wing authoritarianism, and authoritarian personality tend to be used interchangeably by psychologists, though inclusion of the term "personality" may indicate a psychodynamic interpretation consistent with the original formulation of the theory.
So, is it fair, accurate, objective to  assert Right Wing Authoritarianism applies broadly to members of the political and cultural right -- but not the left? Yes!

The 'Altemyer' referred to here is Canadian researcher Robert Altemeyer, who did the original extensive research that resulted in what we now call Right Wing Authoritarianism.

from Right Wing Authoritariansim and Conservative Identity Politics:
What About Leftwing Authoritarianism?
Altemeyer went looking for it.  He didn't find it.  He didn't find anyone who scored over 50% on the LWA scale he developed, which was a direct reflection of the RWA scale. In contrast, he has found numerous people scoring close 100% on the RWA scale.  He concluded that LWAs are "as rare as hen's teeth." He did, of course, find authoritarianism among people on the left in the Soviet Union, as noted above.  But this was due to their social conformity to the existing authorities in their society.  And that's what RWA is.
 So ask yourself who is an authority figure on the right?  NRA? Fox News? Rush Limbaugh? Keep asking.  Because every name that occurred to me was dangerously loose, even flagrantly aversive, to accurate facts while being poisonously slavish to ideology.

Still don't get the occupation movement?

Crackheads Aren't Coming to Get You?

No, 'crackheads' aren't coming to get you
No, thousands of "crackheads" aren't going to start flooding America's streets Tuesday.
That's just one of several myths that have surrounded the U.S. Sentencing Commission's vote in June to make federal sentence reductions retroactive for current prisoners convicted of crack possession or use.
What happens Tuesday is that some eligible federal prisoners who have petitioned for reduced sentences under rules Congress passed last year can begin being released. Those rules sought to address a disparity that meant crack offenders were given the same mandatory five-year minimum sentence as were offenders in possession of 100 times as much powder cocaine.
Since the so-called 100:1 ratio was imposed in 1986 — shortly after the cocaine-related death of college basketball star Len Bias — it has come to be widely regarded as racially discriminatory. That's because the great majority of those convicted of crack possession are African-American — about 84 percent, according to Justice Department statistics. By contrast, African-Africans make up only about 30 percent of those convicted of possession of powder cocaine.
In June, the Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to redress what it called the "fundamental unfairness" of the old law by allowing prisoners convicted before it was changed to seek to reduce their sentences to be in line.
The new policy applies only to those convicted in federal court — the tens of thousands of crack cocaine convicts in state prisons aren't affected. And it effectively applies only to those federal prisoners convicted after 2007, when the Sentencing Commission similarly allowed federal crack prisoners to seek retroactive reductions after a different adjustment of the guidelines.
That's a narrow subsection, comprising prisoners convicted in federal court of crack possession since the last adjustment. The commission projects it covers about 12,000 inmates in 116 federal prisons across the country.
Not all of those 12,000 prisoners will have their sentences reduced. For one thing, there's no way to know how many will actually seek reductions, particularly those who are near the ends of their sentences anyway.
And the reduction isn't automatic; prisoners must go before federal judges, allowing for potentially dangerous or violent offenders to be screened out. When the courts went through the same process three years ago, they rejected more than a third of petitioners.
The average reduction is projected to be about three years. Even with that reduction, the average sentence will still be about 10 years; that means many of those who win sentence reductions will still have several more years to serve.
U.S. Sentencing Commission statement on new guidelines (.pdf)
All told, projections are that between 1,000 and 2,000 prisoners across the country will be eligible for immediate release when the policy takes effect Tuesday.
History does tell us that at least some of them will re-offend. But if the 2008 release is any indication, it won't be because they were let out early.

Source: U.S. Sentencing Commission, May 2011
Federal statistics show no difference in recidivism between crack defendants who were released early under a 2007 program and those who finished their sentences.
In May, the Sentencing Commission published its analysis of what happened to the approximately 16,000 prisoners who went free when their sentences were reduced after the earlier policy went into effect in March 2008. It compared their outcomes against those of a similar number of crack cocaine offenders who completed their sentences.
Over the two-year period, 30 percent of the early releases were arrested again for a new crime, the statistics show.
And what about the control group? More of them — 33 percent — were arrested again.
It's tempting to say the statistics show that early release makes crack offenders less likely to re-offend, but in fact the difference is within the statistical margin of error. What it does show is that there's no appreciable difference in recidivism between the two groups. (See chart above.)
Read the entire U.S. Sentencing Commission analysis (.pdf)
(Regardless of whether they are released early or not, crack offenders are about half as likely to be arrested again as are federal criminal offenders overall, 59 percent of whom the Justice Department says are re-arrested within two years of release.)
More reality check: The new policy doesn't, in fact, wipe out the disparity in cocaine sentencing. It's the result of a compromise as Congress debated the new sentencing guidelines last year. True, the crack possession-to-powder possession isn't a whopping 100:1 anymore. But it's still 18:1 — meaning you can have 18 times more powder cocaine than crack in your possession and still wind up with the same minimum sentence.
There's one last misperception, perhaps the biggest of them of all. It's the persistent belief that the 1986 law disproportionally cracking down on crack was passed because Len Bias died after a night of crack-fueled celebration over his having been picked second in the NBA draft. His death came at the peak of the 1980s concern over crack and its role in drug gang violence that drove homicide rates into the hundreds a year in several major cities.
But Len Bias did not die from smoking crack cocaine.
At their annual seminar on sentencing, federal prosecutors reported last year: "Ironically, Len Bias's death was later shown to have been from a powder cocaine overdose — not a crack cocaine overdose as initially believed."
The paper is titled "Still Haunted by Len Bias." (.pdf)