Friday, January 16, 2015

Last Call For Dumb As An Iceberg

A CNN poll on global warming finds that after 7 years of asking the question, America's views on the subject haven't really changed much over the years.

Considering those numbers were 54%/20%/22%/4% in May 2007, it seems like we're stuck in a long-term rut of ignorance.  It explains why Republicans are quick to refer to global warming as "the Left's religion" so often.

First of all, Bobby Jindal is a man with a biology degree and should know better, but he chooses not to.  Second, comparing belief in science to religious faith just serves to piss liberals off (ever the point of 90% of what Republicans do or say.)  Third, it puts religion on par with science in a way that equates them in validity, as modern Christian conservatives can be very good at dismissing other "religions" quite handily in order to feel more superior about their own beliefs.

So yes, it's a calculated strike, and an effective one.  We're effectively destroying science education in this country, and education in general.  A stupid, ignorant populace that can't think for thmeselves is easy to control.

Very easy.  You just need a cable news network.

Open Carry, Openly Hostile

Dear open carry advocates:

Get better open carry advocates, because these folks in Texas are the exact reason everyone thinks you're colossal assholes.

Open Carry Tarrant County's leader, Kory Watkins, posted video of one hostile visit to state Rep. Poncho Nevarez's (D) office to YouTube and Facebook. In the video, Nevarez tells the activists that he won't be voting in favor of HB195, to which they respond "you won't be here very long, bro" and "you need to find a new job, bro."

"As far as I'm concerned, you are a tyrant to the Constitution of the United States of America," one activist says.

Nevarez then tells the activists that they're no longer welcome and asks them to leave.

"I'm asking you to leave my state, 'cause you don't take your oath seriously," one activist responds. "Read the Constitution."

As Nevarez tries to close the door to his office behind them, an activist lodges his foot in the door frame to keep it open.

"What are you gonna do?
" he challenges Nevarez.

Now, to be fair, another open carry group at the "Let's go stomp around our state capitol with our guns" rally kind of thought being openly hostile to lawmakers was, you know, a bad idea.  It got so bad that Texas lawmakers voted today to install panic buttons in their offices.

Following Open Carry Tarrant County's visit to the Capitol, the state House passed a rule change that allows its lawmakers to eject members of the public from their offices "at their discretion," according to the Chronicle. The rule change also allows House members to install panic buttons in their offices to alert the Department of Public Safety to disruptions.

Two points I'd like to make.

One, imagine a group of people went to your place of business, openly carrying and displaying rifles, told you that you "won't be here very long" and to "find a new job", called you a tyrant, and when you tried to de-escalate the confrontation by leaving, they put their foot in the door and asked you, while armed, "What are you gonna do?"  How is that in any way even remotely appropriate?  You know what attempting to change political policy through open displays of threatening behavior is known as?  Terrorism.

Would you as an open carry advocate go to your child's school, armed, to confront one of your children's teachers because you disagreed with them?  How about your own place of work?  Would you go to your boss's office, again, openly carrying, and when they tried to close their office door to get away from you, you put your foot in the door and say "What are you gonna do?"

Then why is it acceptable to do this to politicians, even if you don't like them?

Two, if this was a group of Latino or black men, openly carrying, in a government office, how many of them would be gunned down by police?  They'd be slaughtered before anyone could even ask to look for open carry permits of any type.  Not only would it not be tolerated, every single one of those open carry advocated would be dead or in jail within hours.  It would be a bloodbath.

Police in this country murder black and brown people weekly for the mere suggestion that they might be carrying an object that looks like it could be a weapon.  There is no way you'll ever convince me that open carry advocates would ever stand up for a group of armed black men walking around their neighborhood for any reason. period, point blank.

So no, open carry people?  Take your nonsense elsewhere.  It's 100% about you being a bully, and reveling in white privilege, a privilege that you would never allow anyone who looked like me to have without risking my life.

No thanks.

Secret Service Shakeup

The closet full of other shoes have dropped on the US Secret Service after last October's firing of Director Julia Pierson, and it looks like after a thorough personnel review that heads are rolling across the board on the agency's top positions.

The Secret Service has decided to remove four of its most senior officials while a fifth has decided to retire, the biggest management shake-up at the troubled agency since its director resigned in October after a string of security lapses, according to people familiar with internal discussions. 
The departures would gut much of the Secret Service’s upper management, which has been criticized by lawmakers and administration officials in recent months for fostering a culture of distrust between agency leaders and its rank-and-file, and for making poor decisions that helped erode quality. 
Acting Director Joseph P. Clancy on Tuesday informed the four assistant directors who oversee the Secret Service’s core missions of protection, investigations, technology and public affairs that they must leave their posts within 30 days
If they do not resign or retire, they can report for a new assignment with the Secret Service’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, according to people familiar with the discussions. 
The assistant director in charge of training, who also headed President Obama’s protective detail, announced in recent weeks that he would retire.

“Change is necessary to gain a fresh perspective on how we conduct business,” Clancy said in a statement to The Post. “I am certain any of our senior executives will be productive and valued assets either in other positions at the Secret Service or the department.”

I understand that the Secret Service has arguably the toughest job in America.  I also understand that that the repeated failures by the agency are unacceptable.  So yes, the agency's assistant directors getting the boot after Director Pierson was forced out makes perfect sense.

Luckily the President hasn't been harmed, and 98% of the time the USSS came through.  It has to be 100% however.

I'm hoping now that the agency will be able to get back to work.  That is if the Republicans don't use this as an excuse to make more cuts.


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