Reason Morning Links: One Year Since Haiti Earthquake, Giffords Improving, Boehner Opposes New Gun Control

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(*Correction: Earlier version of this post said Huffington was "escorted off" the plane. That was incorrect.)

NEXT: The Lone Gunman Theory of Legislation

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  1. In Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders (socialist) has sent out a fund raising letter that blames the shootings on Palin-Beck-Limbaugh. I’ll see if I can find the link

      1. “In light of all of this violence ? both actual and threatened ? is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process? Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions? “

        1. It’s impossible to see all of this without believing that the people blaming the right–with no proof at all to support the claims–are hoping that the false story will get legs and trump any later attempts to correct. Problem is, just about everyone thinks it’s bullshit.

          1. If you just repeat a lie long enough, it becomes what every right person thinks.

            1. It’s the Democrats’ Riechstag Fire.

              1. Learn to spell.

                1. This was in answer to CoyoteBlue not John.

                  1. Don’t worry, it works both ways.

            2. Unless other people keep repeating the truth.

              I wonder what these guys have planned? This whole thing sounds an awful lot like the runup to the Iraq war, where they kept at trying to create at least an emotional link between Saddam and 9/11. And a lot of idiots believed he was involved. Are we going to invade Alaska? I mean, I guess they do have a lot of oil.

              1. No blood for snow!

        2. A Republican judge was killed.

          Can’t wait to vote against this jerk again.

          1. I can’t wait to move there and not vote for him. Or Leahy. Or whoever the other guy is.

            I was on a plane in July from BTV to DCA and both Leahy and the Rep were on the plane also. I almost was hoping for a firey crash, except I still have a lot of life left to live.

            1. You could have hoped for a crash in which everybody died except you. That would have been the more rational desire.

              1. I ain’t no Bruce Willis in Unbreakable!

            2. Or whoever the other guy is.

              Welch.

              Why would you possibly move here?

              1. It’s my home state and I like the old-timer dairy farmers and the New England “fuck off my lawn” attitude. You just move to DC for 20 years and tell me the rolling hills of VT don’t beckon.

                1. And the guns laws ain’t so bad, either. I’m gonna shop at Powderhorn in Williston…they opened up early one morning to sell me some mace. Nice guys.

                  1. The gun laws are nice. But besides that…

                    So you’re going to retire? Or work as a dairy farmer (trust me, its not a fun gig)? There is a reason us youngsters have spent years flooding out of the state as soon as we can.

                    1. Nosiree – I’m-a work up there. Plenty of internet bidness goin’ on. Already had an interview at Eating Well Media.

                      Anyways, pretty much all of my childhood friends have moved back. But they’re all liberal fuckheads (I still love em), so I need to counterbalance that.

                    2. I should tell you that I hated it when I lived there and wanted nothing more than to explore the greener pastures of large metropolitan areas (oxymoron intended). All I can say is “be careful what you wish for” is a true statement.

          2. A Republican judge was killed.

            A federal judge who was appointed by a Republican president was killed.

            Subtle but important difference as federal judges are not allowed to engage in partisan political activity.

            Sure, you can reasonably assume that prior to his appointment he had team R bona fides, but remember that Nixon appointee Lewis Powell was for years the moderate voice of SCOTUS.

        3. Does violence threatened really count as violence? I’m not asking rhetorically. I’ve always had a problem with categorizing verbal abuse as a type of domestic violence. While it sucks to be yelled at, sometimes bitch needs to shut up. Haha, I kid on the last part, but my point remains: should the absence of physical harm still count as violence if only the message sounds violent?

          1. I think threats count as violence –or are close enough–depending on specificity, imminence, and ability to carry out said threat.

          2. Verbal threats of violence are just that: threatened violence. Should push you up to condition orange, if anything: be prepared to defend yourself. They are not violence, any more than calling someone an asshole makes them magically into said body part.

            People used to learn this in about first grade: some rhyme about ‘sticks and stones,’ if I recall. Of course, in my opinion, the ‘mental harm; these delicate flowers suffer from being called names is also a crock of poo.

            1. Which is exactly why when a person puts a gun in your face and says “Your money or your life!” we all respond “Well, he hasn’t committed violence yet. Guess I’ll grab a soy latte!”

              1. But if he gets your money in those instances than he is robbing you of your property, to which we do have laws in place to prosecute said crimes. Or if he doesn’t get your money it’s attempted robbery, which we have laws in place to prosecute. The threat itself is not what is being prosecuted.

                While the Democrats and the Madcows/Olberdouches want to call for ending the violent rhetoric, I think we need to up the ante. I don’t think yelling, screaming, calling out politicians is a bad thing; and certainly using militaristic analogies and metaphors is nothing new. It’s always an attempt to curb speech. It just so happens that the people speaking the loudest right now also happen to be pro-gun rights.

          3. People who are of the impression that “threats”, and not actual threats that would meet the statutory elements of assault, but “Sarah’s Magic Picture” needs to drop a set of metaphorical testicles.

            Unless someone threatens you with specific bodily harm and appears intent on carrying out that harm or having it carried out on their behalf, then it’s violence.

            Everything else is just bullshit.

        4. If non-Republicans are unable to participate in the democratic process, how exactly did Giffords manage to get elected in the first place? I would imagine that any Democrat would have a hard time winning any election in that kind of environment.

          1. Enough with your logic.

          2. She’s just a DINO, man. Ask the Kos Kids.

    1. I blame Bush

      1. Well you’re joined by about eleventy million brainless Team Blue sycophants in that.

        You sure you want to keep such company?

      2. Actually he name checks Karl Rove, and
        ” the right-wing media echo chamber of Fox TV and talk radio (Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, etc.) are becoming increasingly effective in transmitting a reactionary world view to the tens of millions of Americans who watch or listen to them every day.”

        1. Does Bernie use one “N” for Glenn Beck, or was that just a typo on your end? If you’re going to demonize somebody, at least spell their name correctly.

          1. That was cut and paste. Yup: “Glen Beck”

    2. http://www.weeklystandard.com/…..33487.html

      There you go. What a scumbag.

      1. No shame from Komrade Sanders.

        1. b. 9/8/41. Father time will catch up with that geezer before the voters of VT. Hopefully they get stuck w/ single-payer at the state level so they can’t escape the cost of apathy.

          1. Jeezus – he’s my parents’ age and he looks 20 years older!

    3. While Bernie gets props for being a spade when called a spade, he’s a complete fucking moron and seems to have suffered from dementia for years.

      He’s like that crazy grandparent that still uses the word nigger.

      1. Would that grandparent be black, 31 and living in the ghetto?

  2. http://www.salon.com/news/jare…..ia_and_why

    Quite early in the news cycle, the media more or less diagnosed Jared Loughner as paranoid schizophrenic. Do you think that’s accurate?

    He’s a textbook case. Most psychiatrists will tell you they need to examine a patient before diagnosing him, but this guy has all of the symptoms. He has the right age of onset. He has a deteriorating social course, as they say in the [DSM], social and occupational dysfunction. He has delusions, and they’re pretty strange. It’s common for schizophrenics to think people are trying to control their mind, but thinking the government is trying to control your grammar — I’ve never heard that before. The real tip-off is the markedly disorganized speech, which you see in the rambling videos. This is the kind of disorganized speech that you virtually never get in any other condition. It’s what we call pathognomonic of schizophrenia. That is, when you hear that symptom, it’s “schizophrenia until proven otherwise.” He’s also got the affective flattening of emotion, which you see in that mug shot.

    .
    .
    .

    We’ve heard a lot of debate about how heated political rhetoric might have led to this. What do you think about that?

    I think it’s a red herring. We have seen these kinds of things in periods with relative peace in the political environment, we’ve seen it in turbulent times. I think it’s unrelated, frankly.

    The only reason we’re talking about this today is that he killed six people rather than one person and that one of the people he shot is a congresswoman. These are not uncommon events. People like this man, with likely untreated schizophrenia, are responsible for about 10 percent of the homicides in the United States. That means about 1,600 homicides a year.

    1. Schizophrenics are responsible for 10% of the homocides each year? Good god man.

      1. Well don’t forget that there’s a lot of confirmation bias after people kill. They’re not diagnosed or treated for schizophrenia until after they kill. Sure, now that he’s killed somebody, it’s clear that he’s mentally ill.

        If we tried to identify them beforehand, how many false positives and false negatives would there be?

        1. Isn’t that what we used to do?

          1. We never did it effectively.
            I’m not one bit comfortable with locking people up and dosing them with drugs they don’t want to take when they haven’t committed a crime.

            That includes the lady preaching to pigeons in the park and the homeless guy screaming at God outside the liquor store.

            1. Definitely

            2. Agreed. But there were allegedly death threats made by Loughner against local radio jocks and bloggers, and reported to John Law. Surely, that might warrant a closer look.

    2. The real tip-off is the markedly disorganized speech, which you see in the rambling videos.

      So all these years Joe Biden has really just been hiding his paranoid schizophrenia.

      1. +1

        However, Joe has delusions of grandeur, not paranoia. So Joe is not likely to shoot up the Senate.

        1. Too bad, we might start to see some improvement. However, Joe most likely “would have been swayed by the political rhetoric of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. He was always a little off, and it turned out the right-wing talking points finally convinced him and he snapped.”

      2. The real tip-off is the markedly disorganized speech, which you see in the rambling videos.

        Yes. “Word Salad.”

    3. “but thinking the government is trying to control your grammar — I’ve never heard that before.”

      They’re called public schools.

    4. Shit, I’m no shrink, but I thought the same thing once the reports of his writings and the Mother Jones interview came in.

      Age of onset, paranoid delusions, word salad. Hard to find a more perfect case.

      Makes it all the sadder that people are still pushing the “Sarah Palin did it” meme.

  3. Doctor says Giffords’ “prognosis for survival is 100 percent.”

    Its telling that this leaves me conflicted. On one hand, its great that she survived (for her family and friends). On the other hand…she’s a politician and somehow I can see her campaigning against gun ownership and free speech. Granted, others would do that in her place regardless, but people are sometimes more swayed by the sympathetic person who has endured it.

    Goddamnit, for once I’d like to treat lunatics/terrorists like lunatics/terrorists and not some symptom of an imaginary disease sweeping across America.

    1. It will depend on her. There are certainly a lot of people who are going to want to exploit her and her injuries to slander the other side. She could actually do a lot of good. IF she came out and said that this guy was nothing but a lone nuts and his actions had nothing to do with politics, it would go a long way to ending this nonsense. Or, she could go the other way and spend the rest of her career as MSNBC’s favorite Congressman speaking about being a victim of Republican extremism.

      Since she is a politician, the latter is a pretty good bet.

    2. Isn’t she a blue dog? I thought she was pro-gun and pro-strong border.

      If it means anything, her husband is, of course, military.

      1. Hopefully they won’t pathetically exploit her like poor Jim Brady.

      2. I thought I saw that the NRA had graded her a D+. Other than that, she is a blue dog, assuming they allow jews in their club.

        1. GOA has Giffords as a D. Better than the F- two other Arizona reps received, but still a D.

        2. Jews, NRA? Didn’t Moses once run the place?

    3. There’s no guarantee she’ll be able to speak or think complex thoughts, just that she’ll survive.

      1. Certainly no barrier to being either a member of Congress or a spokesperson for gun control.

        1. I imagine she’ll carry the next election by a wide margin.

  4. My God, Haiti’s depressing.

    I almost felt bad I didn’t send a nickel…then I continue to read about how none of the money (OK, very little) makes it to actual relief and “the people” and believe I’ve done the right thing sending my charitable contributions elsewhere.

    It is a heartbreaking thing to see, but sending money there as the equivalent of setting it on fire…

    ๐Ÿ™

    1. Most charity money for big publicized events ends up wasted. The best thing to do is find a worthwhile organization that’s not corrupt and donate to them instead.

      And somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Haiti pretty much a shithole before the earthquake? I seem to recall back in the late 80s it was a poverty-stricken slum of a country.

      1. I donated for the Indian Ocean tsunami but experienced the same concern before donating. I ended up giving money to Mercy Corps, which seemed to be decent about getting funds, resources, services to the people who need them.

        1. Pull up their 990 and see how much they spend on directors and fundraising vs actual aid. The 990 helps guide all my charitable donations.

          1. I think I went to a site that evaluated the dollars taken in and the dollars paid on behalf of the people in need. I had never even heard of the organization prior to doing that.

          2. I really like to look at executive pay. There is one charity I support that has slightly higher fundraising numbers than I like but the CEO makes something like 70k and there is only 1 other paid employee. I will put up with a few more dollars spent on fundraising in that case. Because the program money is really going to the program, not to pay salaries.

    2. After the colossal clusterfuck that was the tsunami relief a couple of years ago, I declined to throw money at Haiti. The heavy involvement of professional concern trolls from the political and celebrity community only made my decision easier.

      At this point, my charitable contributions all go locally. I suppose I should find some international outfit that isn’t a tranzi front and help there, but I’ve found plenty of good causes here at home.

      1. I’m in the same boat. There is enough misery and suffering where I live, I don’t need to go looking overseas to find people in need of my miniscule largesse.

        When trying to buy off your conscience, Buy American!

        1. ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. I refuse to give money unless I physically put it in the hand I decided to give to. I give time, and time as close to those who need something as possible.

    4. I thought I was reading an article about the World Trade Center site at first… :/
      “Reconstruction work has barely begun…”
      “…tiny and notoriously corrupt elite…”

      OK, the cholera epidemic kind of gave it away.

  5. She put the use of the BlackBerry ahead of the safety of the entire plane,” he fumed.

    Sounds like someone is putting their use of anger ahead of the safety of the next member of Congress to be shot.

    1. Oh, snap!

  6. The Huffington Blackberry story actually touches on a real area of concern for libertarians: the existence of rules and laws which are routinely violated but which are not repealed or changed, leading, in the worst cases, to rule of men rather than rule of law, as violators can be selected arbitrarily for prosecution.

    If it’s truly not necessary for passenger safety to restrict the use of cell phones or computers during takeoff and landing, then the rules should be changed. If people routinely drive 65mph in a 55mph zone with no untoward effects, then the speed limit should be raised.

    Instead, for reasons that are not at all clear to me, we persist in leaving the rules and laws in place while violating them regularly.

    1. Yes. You should only pass laws that are both necessary and which you actually have some reasonable hope of enforcing. When you pass a pointless law that most people can ignore, you make criminals out of everyone and allow public officials to be petty tyrants and people to lose respect for the law in general.

    2. It also breeds contempt for the law in general.

    3. I agree. And Huffington’s certainly an asshole, but there is zero evidence that using a Blackberry during takeoff somehow endangers the flight.

    4. I admit I’m divided on this story. On the one side, as you say, there is clearly little to no danger in using electronic devices during takeoff/landing. In fact, I usually keep my MP3 player on and listen to it during takeoff with no problem whatsoever (I’ve also never been caught listening).

      However, as someone who really can’t stand HuffPo I am pretty upset that Arianna seemed to have been given preferential treatment, even if the procedures are stupid to begin with.

      1. All you need to do is prove to a government agency that a commercial MP3 player can’t induce a fault in the avionics the could result in the loss of the aircraft.

        Probability of loss of aircraft must be less than one in a billion.

        Please show your work.

        1. Is there any reason to believe it could? Are these airliners systems that fragile that they are susceptible to being thrown out of the sky by the kid in 23D listening to his iPod nano? How much of an electromagentic field can that tiny little device possibly throw out anyhow? And aren’t all the avionics shielded?

          1. In my opinion, the issue is solely related to peforming a formal verification (inspection, analysis, and/or test) that can prove to the appropriate numbers of nines of confidence that no device carried onto the aircraft by a private individual could ever induce a fault in the avionics that could result in the loss of the aircraft.

          2. Most of this started when cell phones starting becoming prevalent, and I can understand how the radio signal of a cell phone could potentially interfere with the radio signal in and out of the various instruments on a plane.

            But what happened is that the airlines and the DOT just decided that all electronics were bad – for whatever reason – and banned them all.

            Complaining about Kindles is the funniest one yet – but I’ve seen flight attendants get really pissy about them. The ONLY time the thing is actually on is when a button is pushed. The “off” switch is actually just a control lock that disables all of the other buttons.

          3. I think banning all electronics during take off and landing just makes it easier for the flight attendants. Having them looking at each device to see if its OK would be a problem. How would a flight attendant know the difference between a 3G Kindle and a non 3G Kindle?

            I hate this because I love my Kindle and having to shut down when you are at the best part of a book is a pain.

      2. Eh, I’ve been on planes where the flight attendant didn’t stop people who were on their phones. The person who comes off the worst in this is the busybody who is huffing and puffing and having c onniption fit over it. FFS, get over it, it’s not going to crash the goddamn plan. If it were, then there would be Al-Queda plots of people secretly making phone calls from their seats.

        What’s idiotic is when flight attendants tell people to turn off their noise canceling headphones. One of the major early uses of noise canceling headphones was for pilots in the cockpit. Seems pretty apparent to me that it wouldn’t interfere with the electronics.

        1. Consumer electronics versus certified airborne equipment.

          Someone proved the pilot’s earmuffs were OK.

          Who knows where yours came from ๐Ÿ˜‰

          1. Generally they have a stamp that says, “This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subjected to the following two conditions 1) this device may not cause harmful interference and 2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.”

            1. The problem with consumer electronics is that no one can prove that the device is in conformity to its design specifications when it is brought on to the aircraft.

              The configuration of airborne system is tightly controlled and the airline must have a process for keeping the avionics in conformity with their design specifications (aka they have a maintenance plan that is approved by the regulatory authorities).

              Who knows what you may have done to that device after you acquired it ๐Ÿ˜‰

              1. If I have a modified electronic device that will take out the avionics, what does it matter if the plane is at 10,000 feet or 5,000 feet. Sure I may convert my iPod into an EMP generator, but if I fry the avionics with it, we’re fucked no matter how high up you are.

                Revealed preference indicates there’s no real threat. Of the groups people that typically try to take down a plane, there is no known case of a plot involving one guy using a bunch of electronic devices or cell phones at the same time.

                Also, the rule against cell phones in flight is not universal. In other countries and on private planes, people can use cell phones.

                1. Standard failure mode effects analysis.

                  A system failure during cruise may have minimal consequences to continued safe flight of the aircraft.

                  The same failure on short approach to a runway obscured by fog could lead to loss of aircraft.

                  10,000 MSL is a magic number of which I do not know the origin.

                  By the way, you took my comment farther than necessary. You simply cannot perform an analysis of the failure modes of a device of unknown origin or modification.

            2. So that’s why jailbreaking voids my warranty from Apple!

        2. I suspect that “discontinue use of electronic devices” has as much to do with removing any possible source of passenger distraction and cabin noise during takeoff. Basically, since they can’t force you to pay attention to the safety lecture/video they are trying to solve this issue another way. Probably also they want everyone alert during takeoff in case of on-ground collision, etc.

          1. Federal regulations prohibit the use of all portable electronic devices (this includes battery operated shavers) below 10,000 ft above sea level unless the airline can determine that the use of these devices cannot affect the safe operation of the aircraft.

            The airlines cannot or will not make this determination.

            That’s the whole story. It has absolutely nothing to do with “passenger distractions” or making life easier for the cabin crew.

    5. In both cases, its a matter of social tolerance. The 55mph speed limit is obviously nebulous because sometimes 57 is no more inherently dangerous than 54. Other times, 50 is too fast. Speeding tickets should be done away with. Reckless driving should be the charge with speeding as the evidence. A judge or jury of peers can then decide whether or not that was the case based on conditions. Talking on the phone, however, should be an airline specific rule because there is very little chance that a phone or wifi could interfere with the navigation (which operates on completely different frequencies). Not a criminal thing, but a “we kick you out if you violate our rules thing”.

      1. But then how would cities make money if they couldn’t use bull-shit revenue raisers like speeding tickets?

    6. Not in her defense.

      You have to ask yourself how an AWAC can carry enough equipment to hear a mouse fart at 500 clicks and not go down, but my ipod is going to down a 747. Plus the few people I know who fly private planes or charter use phones all the time.

      Huntington does seem like a self absorbed, self important, snotty bitch. That alone warrants ridicule.

      1. You have to ask yourself how an AWAC can carry enough equipment to hear a mouse fart at 500 clicks and not go down, but my ipod is going to down a 747.

        This.

      2. As an aside, the cell companies don’t really want people to use their phone in the air either. Simply because of handoff liability. At 550 miles per hour you are hitting a different tower every 20 to 40 seconds. Handoff overhead gets crazy at that rate and service would suffer. (not to mention 6 miles even unencumbered is tought for some masts to reach)

      3. Because the equipment on the AWAC has been tested and certified to not interfere, and has proper shielding installed if necessary to prevent interference.

        1. And an ipod isn’t or is capable of producing an rf signature great enough to cause a problem?

          Seriously? That’s about as likely as me winning a Nobel prize.

          1. about as likely as me winning a Nobel prize

            Hey – crazier things have happened

        2. Here’s another question, if the threat is so great why is there not some means of RF detection on-board? It’s relatively simple. I’m going to bet the fields caused by other airplanes on the tarmac produce RF fields larger, stronger, and more capable of interfering with a single plane than any ipod.

  7. Some asshole on Morning Joe this morning was saying that the level of defensiveness on the part of Republicans regarding the Tucson shooting was extremely telling.

    That’s like beating the shit out of someone overe and over again and then pointing out that they were chastising them for trying to cover up.

    1. That’s like beating the shit out of someone overe and over again and then chastising them for trying to cover up.

      Sentence fixed.

    2. And, of course, that person would see a lack of defensiveness as implicit acceptance of blame.

    3. It’s like charging someone with a crime, and then implying that they must be guilty because they got a lawyer.

      1. Hey, if they drown, they’re innocent.

      2. I watch the cop shows on TV. This is true! Only the guilty lawyer up. (Unless the writers are feeling lazy and need a free red herring.)

  8. Arianna Huffington escorted off plane for refusing to stop using her cell phone.

    Meh. More like she was allowed to get off the plane first because she’s Ariana Huffington.

    And if you read the article, it sounds to me like the guy who was whining and screaming about her not shutting off her Blackberry was a total douchebag about it. “she needlessly imperiled the safety of other travelers by selfishly ignoring the rules.” Meh.

    I remain completely unconvinced that leaving a Blackberry or cell phone turned on, or even using it, while an airplane takes off or lands presents any real danger to the airplane or anyone on it.

    I have done a hell of a lot of air travel for business, and many times after landing, have discovered I inadvertently forgot to turn off my cell phone or Blackberry – or both. And never has it caused any kind of issue whatsoever.

    My understanding is that the only reason for the rule is so that the passengers won’t be distracted and more likely to pay attention to what the flight attendants are saying and telling them to do. But it’s sold to the public as absolutely necessary because it will “interfere with the aircraft’s electronics.” Which I still think is pure bullshit.

    1. It is pure bullshit, but the little people still have to stop using their smartphones or risk actually getting kicked off a plane (and probably being labeled some kind of terrorist) if a flight attendant decides to make a big deal about it. The guy was an ass but I have no problem complaining about this kind of unfair treatment. And what Draco said above.

      1. Using a cell phone during take-off probably won’t cause any problems.

        But “probably won’t” means “some chance that it will”. So what is that probability that it will cause an accident? One in a hundred? One in a thousand? One in a million? One in a billion?

        There is a very rigorous process required to certify computer systems (like the flight displays and the autopilot) for use in an aircraft. The certification process requires the supplier to prove that the odds that a single failure can result in the loss of an aircraft are less than one in a billion.

        And there is no pratcial way to analyze or test the effects of consumer electronics might or might not have on the certified equipment. So the regulatory requirements are to turn off all consumer electronics during critical phases of flight (i.e., take-off and landing).

        1. “There is no (practical) way to analyze or test the effects…”
          This sounds wrong.

        2. yes there is, what frequencies do consumer electronics operate at?

        3. Why are electronics so senstive only during takeoff and landing? If there really was ANY CHANCE WHATSOEVER of interference with the piloting of the airplane due to cellphones, laptops, or other electronics, then they would be outlawed the entire flight.

          It’s exactly as BSR said: they put those rules in place so that you pay attention during taxiing and landing, but sell them as being detrimental to safety.

          On another note, why is Blackberry wholly different from cell phone?

          1. It’s exactly as BSR said: they put those rules in place so that you pay attention during taxiing and landing, but sell them as being detrimental to safety.

            Bullshit. That may be an added benefit. But that is not what drives the FARs and advisory circulars that govern the certification of aircraft and the operational approval of airlines.

          2. On another note, why is Blackberry wholly different from cell phone?

            Because of RIM’s patent portfolio.

          3. because a Blackberry is for important business-type people. But what do I know? I’m just a part of the unwashed masses loving the freedom of a rooted droid.

        4. Umm, all consumer grade radios have to pass an affirmative test that they transmit within a given band, and do not throw static. Read your iPod/mp3/computer manual sometime.

          1. All you need to do is prove to a government agency that a commercial MP3 player can’t induce a fault in the avionics the could result in the loss of the aircraft.

            Probability of loss of aircraft must be less than one in a billion.

            Please show your work.

            1. Why should one have to prove that unless there is some shred of anything indicating there is any reason to believe an iPod COULD cause such interference?

              See above.

              1. Advisory Circular No: 91-21.1B

                This advisory circular (AC) provides aircraft operators with information and guidance for assistance in compliance to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91, section 91.21. Section 91.21 was established because of the potential for portable electronic devices (PED) to interfere with aircraft communications and navigation equipment. It prohibits the operation of PEDs aboard U.S.-registered civil aircraft while operating under instrument flight rules (IFR). This rule permits use of specified PEDs and other devices that the operator of the aircraft has determined will not interfere with the safe operation of that aircraft. The recommendations contained herein are one means, but not the only means, of complying with section 91.21 requirements, pertaining to the operation of PEDs.

                The FAA punts and says you can use your iPod if the airline can determine it won’t effect the avionics.

                The airlines don’t have the capability to make that determination.

                The kicker is that pretty much every airline flight is scheduled as IFR even if there is a clear blue sky.

    2. I inadvertently forgot to turn off my cell phone or Blackberry – or both. And never has it caused any kind of issue whatsoever.

      Ha, gotcha! Now you’re on the watch list.

    3. She was in the first row. Typically the people in the first row get off the plane first.

  9. A year after devastating earthquake, Haiti is still bleak.

    Haiti was rather bleak a year before the quake, as well.

    1. It’s our fault, we haven’t sent them enough money.

    2. If you look at the island on google earth or fly over it you can see the clear difference between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. One side looks like mars and the other like a jungle.

      1. I’ve seen this. In a way, it reminds me of North / South Korea at night. I wonder if any refugees from Haiti ever pass refugees from Cuba going the other way.

    3. Heh… that was my immediate reaction, too. (Also, five years before, and ten years before, etc…)

  10. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) announced plans Tuesday to introduce legislation prohibiting people from carrying guns within 1,000 feet of members of Congress.

    Fucking Boehner. If only that law had been in place, this whole tragedy would have been stopped dead in its tracks, a thousand feet from the crazy person’s target.

    1. King should consider making a law like this for our troops, especially when they’re overseas.

    2. Obviously their servants would be exempt.

    3. Does that include LEOs and private protection? Because I’d like that bill passed for pure irony value.

      “Sorry, Mr. President, your detail will have to surrender their weapons. There’s a congressman in the White House.”

      1. In ancient Japan the peasants had to fall on their faces as the monarch passed.

    4. How is this even possible? If a CongressAss goes for a walk, is he going to create felons every time he crosses the street?

      How many stores that sell guns are going to have to move or go out of business? What if the CongressAss’s home office is within a 1000 feet of a gun store, or a WalMart. Too fucking bad, I guess.

      Sarah Palin should inaugurate her 2010 crosshairs map with this guy’s district. He badly needs a primary defeat.

      1. Or a bullet to the head.

        Too soon?

      2. How is this even possible? If a CongressAss goes for a walk, is he going to create felons every time he crosses the street?

        I thought about this, too. Just another example of the “three felonies” creep.

        All this is is more grounds for discretionary prosecutions, the bastards.

      3. How is this even possible? If a CongressAss goes for a walk, is he going to create felons every time he crosses the street?

        This is a feature of the legislation in question, not a bug.

        Illegal gun possession convictions for everybody!

    5. Congressperson:
      Level: 12
      Health: 300
      Damage: 35-60, Sonic
      Special Abilities: “For the Children!” (warcry), Aura of Tyranny, 1000ft.

      Aura of Tyranny: The Congressperson’s signature ability. The Congressperson’s desire for unchecked power is so strong, it creates a Constitutional dead zone extending in a massive sphere around the Congressperson. Within this sphere, all civil liberties cease to operate, including speech, the right to bear arms, the right to a speedy trial, and so on. In rare cases, Congresspersons have even been seen using this ability to maneuver large numbers of troops into private homes to quarter them there.

      Tactics: While weak individually, the Congressperson’s Aura ability makes it deadly to approach them and engage in melee or even most ranged combat when they are surrounded by henchmen. It is advisable to use a weapon with a range of over 1000ft. to take down the Congressperson before engaging the surrounding mobs.

  11. Antigay Activist Blames Bird Death on DADT Repeal

    http://www.advocate.com/News/D…..DT_Repeal/

    “Antigay activist Cindy Jacobs of Generals International said over the weekend that the recent rash of bird deaths occurred because the law barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military was repealed.

    She said that when a nation makes a change against God’s principles, “nature itself will begin to talk to us ? for instance, violent storms, flooding … the blackbirds fell to the ground in Beebe, Ark. Well the governor of Arkansas’s name is Beebe. And also, there was something put out of Arkansas called ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ by a former governor, this was proposed, Bill Clinton. As so, could there be a connection between this passage [Hosea 4] and now that we’ve had the repeal of the don’t ask, don’t tell, where people now legally in the United States have broken restraints with the Scripture because the Scripture says in Romans 1 that homosexuality is not allowed.”

    1. She sounds like a paranoid schizophrenic. They’d better make sure she doesn’t get any guns. And keep her away from any elected officials.

    2. “She said that when a nation makes a change against God’s principles, “nature itself will begin to talk to us ? for instance, violent storms, flooding ..”

      Hey, I hear the IPCC has some openings.

    3. She said that when a nation makes a change against God’s principles, “nature itself will begin to talk to us ? for instance, violent storms, flooding …

      … trees releasing deadly neurotoxins. Holy shit! It’s (the) Happening!!

      1. My Daddy showed me that game.

        Read my blog.

          1. NO, READ IT DADDY! LOVE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  12. More Guns, Less Crime-Debate

    John Lott and others

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfor…..ef=opinion

    1. The picture is the perfect Rorschach test for figuring out a person’s stance on gun control.

      What induces vomit first, the gun or the backskin?

    2. High-capacity magazines are far more valuable to criminals than to those seeking protection

      Cite, please, jackwagon.

      What, law-abiding citizen protecting himself and his family from a midnight home invader has no interest in not having to stop and reload as often?

      1. I read an article a couple weeks ago about a jewelry store owner in Houston who had a 2 minute long shootout with 3 robbers. He suffered some injuries but was able to put down all 3 of the bad guys. I’m pretty sure a high capacity magazine would have been more valuable to the owner than the criminals in that situation considering he was outnumbered and could have been jumped by one of the thugs while reloading.

      2. I’ve got 59 rounds with one rotation waiting for a home intruder. After that I have either 8 or 13 rounds. The first key to any engagement is superior forces and fire power.

        I’m just following the doctrine of my local civilian SWAT Team!!

        1. But, but, but… they’re TRAINED professionals. How many dogs have you shot honing your skills?

          1. Is your question directed to me?

        2. I’ve got 59 rounds with one rotation waiting for a home intruder.

          Now I feel undergunned. I only have 28 rounds before I need to reload.

          Of course, assuming the encounter happens at night, the first one through the door will be greeted by a large, fast, strong, and sure to be pissed off dog. Since the dog is black and the house will be dark, I’ll only need to engage the ones after that.

          1. Of course, assuming the encounter happens at night, the first one through the door will be greeted by a large, fast, strong, and sure to be pissed off dog. Since the dog is black

            THAT’S RACIST!!!!!

          2. 59 is two 30’s leaving one out.

    3. almost one-quarter of American teens have some form of mental illness

      Cite still needed.

      This is easy to say when everything from acne to being annoyed is categorized as some kind of “mental illness.” Teenagers are, as a class, not quite right in the head, from the perspective of adults who have managed to develop beyond that stage.

      1. And why does it matter that “teenagers” have these issues – this guy was 22 years old.

      2. Its a good thing they can’t buy guns now, then, isn’t it?

      3. It’s called being a stupid fucking teenager. Isn’t that what that period in life is for? To explore your mental illness and stupidity.

      4. More than half of Americans belief that a magical wizard who lives in the sky and is invisible controls every facet of our lives. So I’d put the percentage of people with mental illness at at least that rate, if not higher.

  13. is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process?

    Considering that every single public official mentioned or quoted in the news (up to and including Rep Giffords) seems to be a Democrat, I’ll just go ahead and say, “Yes, you blathering commie nitwit.”

    1. Umm, didn’t Giffords just win an election as a Democrat? Jeebus. Bidenism is apparently transmitable.

  14. It’s real, they’ve flown it:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01…..;ref=world

    Why are we canceling the F-22 again?

    1. I don’t know what kind of engines it has but I’m sure it’s covered in lead paint and the control panel knobs are a choking hazard…

      1. It has a dropside cockpit.

        Also, it has no munitions. It circles above targets and offgases its payload of VOCs.

    2. Who cares? Like China would risk blowing up their entire economy by starting a war with the US. Who is going to buy all their cheap shit, and what would they do with all those billions (trillions?) in now worthless government bonds? If you’re afraid of China, you probably still sleep with the light on so the bogey man doesn’t get you.

    3. It’s not very stealthy if the whole world knows about it.

    4. From what I’ve read it is far from stealth. The few articles about containing engineer opinions say the clearly visible seams and lack of certain features means it is most likely just as easy to see as any other small jet.

    5. Before you get your tits in a flutter, remember that this is a country that can’t make a disposable cigarette lighter that’s worth a fuck.

      Look up “crap” in the thesaurus and the first synonym is “Made in China”.

      1. Exactly. Building one plane to show off at an air show is a lot different than building a feet of planes and deploying them. It is the difference between what they do at a hot rod shop and what they do at Toyota. Building a single prototype by hand using the best experts available is easy compared to manufacturing and maintaining that prototype in large numbers using average employees.

        The Soviets were the masters of producing the one off air plane that on paper looked like it was surperior to its western counterparts. But the reality in the field never matched the hype.

        1. Russian consumers looked at the back of TVs to see what day it was manufactured on before buying. If it was from the beginning of the month, then they would buy. Never touch anything that was made at the end of the month during the rush to meet quota.

          1. Kind of like Dodges built on Friday!

        2. The Soviets didn’t have western firms building massive factories there where they could learn (read: steal) western production methods and technology.

          They’re far, far ahead of where we thought they were with stealth aircraft and you have to admit the DF-21 ASBM is SCARY.

          1. Uh, actually, TEA, they did. The Soviet Lada VAZ-2101 auto was a Fiat-124, the Dnieper motorcycle was a BMW clone. In both cases the USSR bought the rights, factory, etc from the west.

      2. They u say to say the same thing about stuff made in Korea and Japan. Toyotas used to be a punch line but they ended up killing Detroit.

        Asians seem to learn how to copy and make good stuff very quickly, God help us if China does since they want to challenege us for superpower status unlike Japan and South Korea.

      3. They used to say the same thing about things made in Japan and South Korea, remember.

        1. But now things made in Japan and South Korea were really assembled in China first and the other label is stuck on to jack up the price.

    6. “Why are we canceling the F-22 again?”
      Because the sky ain’t falling.

  15. When Obamacare begins insanity screenings, I want Peter King to be first in line. That guy is fucked up.

  16. This does not make me want to hire more people.

    “Discrimination continues to be a substantial problem for too many job seekers and workers,” Berrien said. “We must continue to build our capacity to enforce the laws and ensure that workplaces are free of unlawful bias.”

  17. Haiti- this morning the BBC news had a little “One Year On” segment. The consensus of opinion seemed to be that Haiti should be more like China; a strong central government which can seize land and award it to their favored friends would streamline the process. More government! More socialism!

    1. Funny how nobody mentions Zimbabwe as an example of strong central government and seizing land.

    2. Waitwaitwait, Haiti needs a stronger government? Haiti, land of never-ending coups? Haiti, land of Papa Doc and Baby Doc?

      I could see maybe a less-corrupt government, or a more competent government, or a government that wasn’t a front for stealing aid money, but a stronger government?

  18. How is this even possible?

    In the mind of Peter King, Congress is omnipotent. All things are possible; it merely requires the appropriate magical incantation.

    1. Those folks need a laugh now and then like anyone else.

  19. A year after before devastating earthquake, Haiti is still bleak.

    FTFY

  20. A year after devastating earthquake, Haiti is still bleak.

    Uhhh, a year decade century before the earthquake, Haiti was bleak.

    1. It’s because they were shunned because of their historic black uprising. It’s purely racist and has nothing to do with resource management, economics, and politics.

      I love that argument.

  21. Nearly broke my car radio this morning. NPR had some 30 second “coming soon” spot on chromium-6, mentioning cancer and the lawyer chick and that it had been “detected” in 20 different water supplies. No mention of the fact that the town that got the movie made about it has NO statistical cancer cluster. No mention that that town had Cr 6 levels in the 10-100 ppm range, and the new detections are in the 10 ppb range. Its like news no longer requires facts.
    /rant

    1. Hexavalent chromium. Chromium-6 would mean an isotope of chromium with six nucleons, which is impossible.

      1. Right. Using their terminology. The dash was a mistake.

        1. I heard it too. Brett L’s summary was accurate. My reaction matched his. They also ran this story on another show just a week or so after the “no cancer cluster” study came out. Seems a study of nationwide water supplies was released right after the no-cancer finding by coincidence.

          I had the same reaction both times – why weren’t you able to remember a story from a week ago that shows that hexavalent chromium may not be dangerous in the water supply at these concentrations? Particularly when I heard that story on your radio program?

      2. Chromium-6 would mean an isotope of chromium with six nucleons, which is impossible.

        If you dream it, you can be it. Open your mind, Spoonman, man.

        1. The key is realizing that there is no Spoonman.

        2. Chromium(VI) would be correct.

  22. So now Sarah Palin is the victim! She isn’y lying in the hospital with a bullet in her brain, or dead like that poor little girl. Why is it always about Sarah? Her eliminationist rhetoric and gun imagery lead to this tragedy and she still refuses to admit her guilt. Now she is claiming “blood libel”! She doesn’t even know what that means. Congresswoman Giffords is Jewish NOT Sarah Palin!

      1. I think the Jewish comment bumps it to C-

    1. Speaking of “eliminationist rhetoric”, haven’t heard much from Sandi lately.

      1. She was here yesterday telling us that she’s not into water sports. I must admit I felt a notable tinge of disappointment.

    2. this rhetoric Her bullet imagery Jewish libel”! know it means. Her bullet Sarah She she is doesn’t Sarah gun Now guilt. that “blood victim! it this little victim! hospital guilt. imagery the NOT that Sarah? lying still libel”! about tragedy still Why what is the dead NOT Sarah always to Sarah and is imagery NOT the bullet doesn’t libel”! Sarah gun imagery Palin! even Jewish admit libel”! victim! is She

      1. Jared? Is that you Jared? Are you speaking to us from your jail cell?

        1. Nah he’s doing a troll-hash.

          1. Read my blog.

            1. LOOOOOOOVE.

              MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…

    3. To be fair, Giffords doesn’t have a bullet in her brain either, as it was a “through and through” wound.

    4. First you said “Why is it always about Sarah? “. Then you went and made all about Sarah by saying “Her eliminationist rhetoric and gun imagery lead to this tragedy and she still refuses to admit her guilt.” Its your side that keeps making everything all about Sarah. She’d been a none story for a long time and liberals would keep making everything all about Sarah.

    5. Maybe if you hadn’t insisted that Goody Sarah had bewitched your herd with her ensorcelled picture, she wouldn’t entered into the dynamic.

  23. Slimy Illinois Politicians Pass Tax Increase in the Dead of the Night Before Their Majority Shrinks.
    The cravenous thievery of politicians, it seems, knows no bounds.

    If you live in Illinois, call your congresscritter and demand a repeal.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..45466.html

    1. My recommendation: just leave and move to a sane state.

      1. I would love to. However, it’s easy for some to move, but not others. Especially some relatives without the same mobility. We have to take a stand sometime.

        Obligatory: The state would be immeasurably better off without Chicago.

    2. Good news for Saint louis.

      1. wow…cats and dogs living together…

        1. lil’ light on the cliches…

          1. JEEBUS H CHRIST! I start handing out clich?s as a benevolent service to others and now all the sudden people have a RIGHT to my clich?s? POPPYCOCK! What is next? Banning salt? Arresting people who want to eat chocolate eggs with toys inside? Cancel my subscription. For a magazine called Reason…

            I’m melting…what a world…
            there HAPPY?!?!?!?!one!111

    3. there’s a serious recall afoot for Quinn. and they need volunteers to get signatures.

      1. Send out the info. I’ll pass it along to everyone I meet.

  24. That”Imagine No Liberals” tee-shirt should have a bullet hole in the smiley face’s forehead.

  25. [Rep. Pete King] said elected officials are not necessarily more important than constituents, but by protecting them in this way, they would feel safer in meeting federal officials at public events.

    *Excellent* rationalization, Pete. Why do people vote for this guy?

  26. She doesn’t even know what that means.

    Actually, I don’t either. But it sounds scary.

    There oughtta be a laaaaaaaaw!

  27. Simpsons Porn Pardoy

    Link SFW, links off of it are N

  28. Another thing those sinister Chinese have that we don’t: fancy trains.

    http://www.popsci.com/technolo…..eed-record

    1. Those trains move hella fast when they’re empty.

    2. I strongly encourage the Chinese and all of America’s competitors to build high speed rail systems. Leave us in the dust.

      Please.

    3. Trains make perfect sense for a country like China with a super-big, super-dense population. Too dense and too big to ever own cars like we do. It would be a disaster for them.

      Here? high speed rail is just a government boondoggle that makes zero sense and will waste the taxpayer’s money. Privatize the profitable northeast corridor and shut down the rest.

  29. Meanwhile Iran has unveiled a new and deadly boat plane boat thing.

    It’s fast, however, and it could be employed in the Iranian Navy’s favorite game: harassing everyone else with a vessel afloat in the Persian Gulf. For that it might be ideal, darting quickly and menacingly around other larger naval vessels it has no intention of or capability for attacking.

    http://www.popsci.com/technolo…..ey-existed

    1. I can’t wait until GI Joe deploys their hovercraft to counteract this new threatening Cobra vehicle.

  30. darting quickly and menacingly around other larger naval vessels it has no intention of or capability for attacking.

    That sounds like the Whale Wars Bat Boat.

    “Go left! No, left! No, wait, I meant RIGHT!”

    *crunching sound*

    1. You got a link to that? I remember hearing something about it.

  31. “We have no evidence that the shooter, Jared Loughner, was motivated by anything but the crazy voices in his own mind. But…”
    -George Stephanopoulos

    “This person, I get that he’s mentally ill, but…”
    -E. Steven Collins

    “It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman’s act directly to Republicans or Tea Party members. But
    -N.Y. Times editorial

    “Do you see a connection between using gun imagery and violence? Not in this case, because nothing has been proved, but…”
    -Andrea Mitchell

    1. Me and Sir-Mix-A-Lot just loves us some big ole buts.

      Rhetoric 101: ignore everything in a sentence preceeding the word but…

    2. I don’t want to exploit a terrible tragedy to push an unrelated, self-serving agenda like the GOP did with 9/11 and the Iraq War, but

  32. While you can find an example to prove this point, it begs the question of whether it’s sound public policy to allow anyone who is not prohibited by our weak gun laws to carry firearms anywhere they choose. It is not clear that permissive right-to-carry laws haven’t increased violence.
    -from MNG’s link above

    Wow. How can you argue with this?

    I have no idea what I’m talking about, but guns are scary.

    1. What’s genius is that this sentence works equally well either way:

      It is not clear that permissive right-to-carry laws haven’t increased violence.

      No reason to repeal them, then, is there?

    2. What’s genius is that this sentence works equally well either way:

      It is not clear that permissive right-to-carry laws haven’t increased violence.

      No reason to repeal them, then, is there?

    3. We do know that FL has revoked fewer than 0.5% of their CCW permits and are approaching the 25th year of issuing such permits. Holding a CCW is a good indication of a person without violent or felonious habits.

  33. You got a link to that?

    I don’t have a link, but their super high tech little guerrilla boat got crunched by a Japanese whaler as they were doing their “pesky mosquito” routine.

  34. A year after devastating earthquake, Haiti is still bleak.

    A year after? Haiti’s had the bleak thing down pat for centuries before the earthquake!

  35. CO2 sequestration fail

    “Cenovus has injected more than 13 million tonnes of the gas underground. The project has become a global hotspot for research into carbon capture and storage, a technology that many consider one of the best hopes for keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

    By 2005, Cameron Kerr had begun noticing problems in a pair of ponds which had formed at the bottom of the quarry. They developed algae blooms, clots of foam and several colours of scum ? red, yellow and silver-blue. Sometimes, the ponds bubbled. Small animals ? cats, rabbits, goats ? were regularly found dead a few metres away.”

    Paul Lafleur of Petro-Find Geochem found carbon dioxide concentrations in the soil last summer that averaged about 23,000 parts per million ? several times those typically found in field soils. Concentrations peaked at 110,607 parts per million”

    Fucking do-gooders.

    1. exactly why fracking should be stopped.

      1. You’re like the ultimate troll script kiddie. Its cute. Unfortunately, the article wasn’t about fracking. It was about long-term underground carbon sequestration to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. There was no oil/gas harvest. Thanks for playing, though.

    2. CO2 injection wells can also be used to squeeze oil out of almost-depleted wells. If such a commercial operation had caused these effects, the appropriate comment would be, “Fucking corporate rapists,” right?

      1. Well yeah, except that at least they have a product at the end of the day to show. What exactly was the benefit of concentrating 13M tons of CO2 here?

  36. Think we can have a couple posts this week that don’t involve the shooting or discussion of the ‘heated poltical climate’?

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