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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: St Paul MN
Home country: USA
Current location: Here
Member since: Wed Mar 21, 2012, 10:41 PM
Number of posts: 12,765

Journal Archives

Anyone else have a problem

with this?

edit>updated link. Creator deleted original and re-uploaded with comments locked.

A sign of hope

My family volunteers each year at an event for families in need. Over time we have been on both sides of the table.

This year is special in how this event contrasts with the news.

There are a lot of people who need help. They are well represented by all skin colors.

Filling the need is a generous combination of organizations, teen groups and individuals. They too are a rainbow of colors; Santa's skin is more representative of a native of Uganda than the North Pole.

The great part is the kids don't care. They are happy to see Santa,run around playing tag, basketball, soccer and many other games. They sit together sharing a good meal without separating by color, religion or economic status.

It gives hope the next generation can do what we find so difficult.

On the parent side, families were invited to a second trip through the line for toys, clothes and hygiene items. For many what they receive today is all they will have for Christmas.

What is your place in the world?

The Population Project
What's my place in the world population? How long will I live?

My place:
Do you think you belong to the young or old? You are the 5,667,685,613 person alive on the planet. This means that you are older than 78% of the world's population and older than 67% of all people in United States

I saw this as an OP in GD

where it promptly sank like a stone. It seems worthy of more discussion.
Rethinking Gun Control
Surprising findings from a comprehensive report on gun violence.

Background checks are back. Last week, Vice President Joe Biden said that five U.S. senators—enough to change the outcome—have told him they’re looking for a way to switch their votes and pass legislation requiring a criminal background check for the purchase of a firearm. Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who led the fight for the bill, is firing back at the National Rifle Association with a new TV ad. The White House, emboldened by polls that indicate damage to senators who voted against the bill, is pushing Congress to reconsider it.

The gun control debate is certainly worth reopening. But if we’re going to reopen it, let’s not just rethink the politics. Let’s take another look at the facts. Earlier this year, President Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess the existing research on gun violence and recommend future studies. That report, prepared by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, is now complete. Its findings won’t entirely please the Obama administration or the NRA, but all of us should consider them. Here’s a list of the 10 most salient or surprising takeaways.

1. The United States has an indisputable gun violence problem. According to the report, “the U.S. rate of firearm-related homicide is higher than that of any other industrialized country: 19.5 times higher than the rates in other high-income countries.”

2. Most indices of crime and gun violence are getting better, not worse. “Overall crime rates have declined in the past decade, and violent crimes, including homicides specifically, have declined in the past 5 years,” the report notes. “Between 2005 and 2010, the percentage of firearm-related violent victimizations remained generally stable.” Meanwhile, “firearm-related death rates for youth ages 15 to 19 declined from 1994 to 2009.” Accidents are down, too: “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.”

Here is a link to the IMNRC report http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2013/Priorities-for-Research-to-Reduce-the-Threat-of-Firearm-Related-Violence.aspx

Santa is gay; get over it

(CNN) -- Who is Santa -- like, really?

That's the question at the heart of a new documentary, "I Am Santa Claus," which follows the lives of five Santa impersonators beyond the Christmas season.

In the literal sense, the answer the film provides is this: Santa is everyone who can supply the requisite beard and some Christmas cheer.

The Saint Nick stand-ins the filmmakers follow are poor and rich and drunk and fat and kind and gross and sad and sweet. One smells like cookies (it's cologne). One lives in a trailer park in central Michigan. One is a former pro wrestler who used to wear a leather mask and go by the name Mankind as he fake-pummeled Spandex-wearing men on national television.

Oh yeah, and one of them is gay.
I gotta find this docmentary

Personalized Handguns-NJ

Attorney General’s Report to the Governor and the Legislature
as to the Availability of Personalized Handguns for Retail Sales Purposes,
pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:58-2.3

November 2014

In accordance with section 2 of P.L.2002, c.130 (C.2C:58-2.3), the Attorney
General has made the determination that personalized handguns are not available for
retail sales purposes within the meaning of those terms as set forth in the law. That is,
the Attorney General has not found that “at least one manufacturer has delivered at
least one production model of a personalized handgun to a registered or licensed
wholesale or retail dealer in New Jersey or any other state.” See N.J.S.2C:58-2.3b.


Prior to making the determination in this report, officials from this Office had met
with a representative of Armatix, a gun manufacturer that has produced a firearm, the
Armatix iP1 handgun, that incorporates in its design technology that automatically limits
the weapon’s operational use. Specifically, the Armatix iP1 system incorporates within
its design a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip inside a wristwatch that enables
the functioning of the iP1 pistol. In order to fire the pistol, the matching watch must be
situated within 10 inches of the pistol. The pistol also may be disabled with a timer or a
PIN code entered into the matching watch. The statute expressly contemplates the
possibility that a handgun that incorporates radio frequency tagging technology to
automatically limit its operational use could qualify as a personalized handgun.
However, the statute imposes the further requirement that the technology incorporated
must be such that the handgun “may only be fired by an authorized or recognized user.”

After careful consideration of the iP1's design, we have determined that it does
not satisfy the statutory definition because, as a matter of design, the pistol may be fired
by a person who is not an authorized or recognized user. That is, as long as the pistol
is situated within 10 inches of the enabling wristwatch, it may be fired by anyone – the
authorized user or any other person who is able to pull the trigger. While the system
does incorporate a PIN code or a timer to disable the handgun, when the weapon is
enabled, there is nothing in the technology which automatically limits its operational use
so that it may only be fired by an authorized or recognized user (so long as the pistol is
within a 10-inch proximity to the wristwatch component).


Mpls. Students Walk Out of School to Protest Ferguson Decision

Mpls. Students Walk Out of School to Protest Ferguson Decision
Updated: 11/25/2014 12:10 PM
Created: 11/25/2014 5:34 AM KSTP.com

Students at several Minneapolis high schools participated in protests Tuesday in the wake of the grand jury's decision in Ferguson, Missouri, to not indict an officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

A Missouri grand jury had been meeting for months before deciding not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Brown. The decision sparked protests around the country, including some in Minnesota.

Hundreds of students at South High School in Minneapolis streamed out the front door, walked down the sidewalk and filled the street Tuesday morning to protest the decision. Minneapolis police cars eventually showed up – not to stop the protest, but to block off the streets so the protesters would be safer.

Some faculty members could also be seen marching alongside the students, saying they would support the protesters as long as they remained peaceful.
Video at link

Perhaps the GJ really had no other option

I looked up MO justification for police use of force and found this:

Missouri's Standard for Use of Deadly Force While Making an Arrest Is Absurdly Lax

Peter Suderman|Aug. 15, 2014 4:35 pm

In the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last weekend, one of the key questions is whether the killing was legal under Missouri law.

Crucials details of the incident, in which officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Brown, who was unarmed, are still unclear.

But we can take a look at what the state has to say about when an officer can use deadly force by police while making an arrest.

Basically, the rules say that an officer has to "reasonably believe" that such force is necessary immediately in order to proceed with the arrest and also that the person either committed a felony or is a threat.

Here's the legalese:

3. A law enforcement officer in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody is justified in using deadly force only

(1) When such is authorized under other sections of this chapter; or

(2) When he reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest and also reasonably believes that the person to be arrested

(a) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony; or

(b) Is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon; or

(c) May otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.

4. The defendant shall have the burden of injecting the issue of justification under this section.

3(2)(a) is so broad it can include just about anything
Per Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 565 Offenses Against the Person Section 565.082
(2) Knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical injury to a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer by means other than a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument;
(6) Purposely or recklessly places a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer in apprehension of immediate serious physical injury;

Merely taking a step towards an officer could be considered placing him in apprehension of immediate serious physical injury

3(2)(c) is basically "Or any other reason" as an officer could always claim it was his belief the arrestee could inflict serious physical injury on someone.

Given how these standards set the bar so incredibly low and the unusual way the DA presented the case, it would have been virtually impossible to honestly vote for indictment.
Wilson didn't need to testify; he could have just dropped a Monopoly Get Out of Jail Free card on the table and walked away.

The benefits begin or Is this really what you meant?

Washington state museum pulls firearms from WWII exhibit over new gun law
Reuters By Victoria Cavaliere
7 hours ago

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A museum in Washington state plans to remove about a dozen borrowed firearms from a World War Two exhibit and return them to their owners to comply with a new gun law that requires background checks for all gun transfers, the institution said on Wednesday.

Washington voters passed legislation earlier this month expanding background checks on all firearms purchases to include sales at guns shows and online, as well for loans and transfers.

The Lynden Pioneer Museum, located about 100 miles north of Seattle and just south of the Canadian border, said that as a result it was pulling all 11 of the World War Two-era guns in its exhibit, "Over the Beach: The WWII Pacific Theater," before the law takes effect.

"The museum will be returning these guns to their owners because as of Dec. 4, we would be in violation of the law if we had loaned firearms that had not undergone the background check procedure," the museum said in a statement.

What should be the limit on ownership of guns?

What is the limit on the right to keep arms that should be considered acceptable?
For purposes of this poll, assume:
-An option includes all limitations above it excepting #1
-we are only considering purchase and ownership, not carry, smart technology or other gun control issues
-all restrictions will be retroactive as much as is possible
-any changes needed to the Constitution or SCOTUS rulings will happen to make these possible

Be brave! Vote your belief whether strict or loose...
At the point of your limit you believe further restrictions on guns will have no appreciable effect and actions other than gun control are needed to reduce crime and deaths

Edit> I did not include any voluntary options, such as buybacks, as 'voluntary' implies it not really being a restriction.
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