UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that many readers are coming into this story via search engines in the wake of the Connecticut shooting. We have updated coverage at the following links:
The news this morning is dominated by stories about a man in Oregon who wandered into a shopping mall dressed in camouflage and starting firing off rounds, killing two shoppers. Eventually, police told the news media, he was ‘neutralized’, which turns out to be policespeak for ‘he killed himself.’
Enough already, I say. There isn’t much we can do about that young man’s mental illness in retrospect, but there is plenty that can be done about the people enabling unfettered access to firearms. I say its time we scare those cockroaches out from under their rocks and take a close look at the damage they’ve wrought on our society.
From Associated Press:
“It really was a killing of total strangers, to my knowledge at this point and time. He was really trying to kill as many people as possible,”Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Ten days ago Kansas City Chief linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend on Saturday, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager. NBC Sportscaster Bob Costas used up 90 seconds of air time that weekend to talk about his reaction to the tragedy in Kansas City.
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre responded to that tragedy and Costas’ remarks, telling the hosts during an episode of NRA News that the sportscaster was “for “trying to piggy-back his agenda on the back of this national tragedy and spew it all over America.” LaPierre also contended that Costas “wouldn’t have said a thing last night if this woman had saved her life, by having a firearm available, from Jovan Belcher.”
As it turns out Kassandra Perkins, the woman who was murdered did own guns and was fully trained in their use. From Sports Illustrated:
Belcher and Perkins, Brianne York, [a friend of Kasandra Perkins] says, enjoyed going to gun ranges together. Once, when York was at the couple’s house, she noticed a handgun on the kitchen table. “I guess they forgot it was out,” she says. [Devene] Dunson-Rusher, [another one of Perkins’s friends], recalls once seeing a rifle leaning against a chair in the room she called Belcher’s man cave.
I guess NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre would say she should have always had her gun by her side.
So now I fully expect that the National Rifle Association will come out and advocate for shoppers to bring their weapons along to the mall.
Mind you, this little rant is not about gun control. That’s a subject that requires a little more nuanced conversation, one that’s impossible as long as people tolerate the pinheads that make up the leadership of the NRA.
I’m talking about the simply outrageous crap that gets passed off in the name of defending our “Second Amendment Rights”. While the tinfoil set has been stockpiling ammunition and sending mass emails to AOL accounts about the Obama administration’s plans to enforce a mythical United Nations mandate that will take everybody’s guns away, the gun lobby has been busy making sure that there are no reasonable restrictions on firearms.
Did you know that, since 2009, the NRA has successfully lobbied for 99 laws among the States rolling back restrictions on gun ownership, carrying and use? Some particularly outrageous laws, as cited in Mother Jones Magazine:
- Bullets and booze: In Missouri, law-abiding citizens can carry a gun while intoxicated and even fire it if “acting in self-defense.”
- Child-safety lock off: In Kansas, permit holders can carry concealed weapons inside K-12 schools and at school-sponsored activities.
- Short arm of the law: In Utah, a person under felony indictment can buy a gun, and a person charged with a violent crime may be able to retain a concealed weapon permit. Nebraskans who’ve pled guilty to a violent crime can get a permit to carry a gun.
- Sweet Jesus! In Louisiana, permit holders can carry concealed weapons inside houses of worship.
- Without a trace: Virginia not only repealed a law requiring handgun vendors to submit sales records, but the state also ordered the destruction of all such previous records.
I say that any politician that votes these kinds of inane laws –whether or not they’ve passed, as there are plenty that get floated around California’s Statehouse—ought to be shamed come election time. They’re not voting for ‘freedom’, they’re voting for giving evil a free pass. And that should be worth shaming them over.
San Onofre Meeting to Be Held Back East
Next Monday’s (Dec 18th) meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will focus on Southern California Edison’s plans to resume operations at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. If you’re planning on attending the meeting, start looking for plane tickets: it’s been scheduled for 1 pm EST at the Commissioners’ Hearing Room on the first floor of the NRC’s One White Flint building in Rockville, Maryland.
The press release announcing the meeting says (emphasis mine):
The staff will discuss the restart plan and the agency’s requests for more information on the proposal. No restart decisions will be made during the meeting. The public can ask the NRC staff questions before the meeting concludes.
The San Onofre plant has been shut down since January following a failure of one of the twin reactors’ steam generators that caused a small amount of radiation to be released. Past meetings of the NRC have been contentious affairs, with supporters and opponents packing meeting rooms looking to make sure their voices were heard.
A live webcast of the December 18th meeting can be seen here. A teleconference line will also available; anyone interested in phoning in should contact Randy Hall (301-415-4032 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Brian Benney (301-415-2767 or email@example.com) by Dec. 14 for call-in information.
Colbert’s Carolina Machinations
Comedy Central host and wise guy Stephen Colbert’s tongue in cheek campaign to be appointed to fill the seat of outgoing Senator Jim DeMint continues unabated, despite pronouncements from South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley that she’s unlikely to make such a move.
He’s at the head of class in a recent voter survey by Public Polling Policy(PPI):
Colbert tops the wish list of who South Carolina voters would like to see join that body at 20%, followed by Tim Scott at 15%, Trey Gowdy at 14%, Jenny Sanford at 11%, Henry McMaster and Mark Sanford at 8%, Jeff Duncan and Joe Wilson at 5%, and Mick Mulvaney at 4%.
It’s Democrats and independents- those voters Haley most needs to improve her standing with- who are pining for a Colbert appointment. Among Democrats 32% say they’d like Colbert to be picked with Jenny Sanford at 19% and no one else in double digits. With crucial independent voters Colbert has a 15 point lead for the appointment, getting 28% to 13% for Tim Scott, 12% for Jenny Sanford, and 10% for Trey Gowdy with no one else in double digits.
Now the Christian Science Monitor reports that the Comedy Central host has raised the specter of pumping nearly $1 million in funds left over from his 2012 “Super Pac” into a “secret Palmetto State slush fund” to bolster his campaign. Money (pun intended) quote:
Here’s where the money thing comes in. Colbert used to have a super political-action committee, which he used, among other things, to mount a notional run for “president of South Carolina” during the GOP primaries. But last month, he suddenly shut down the super PAC, even though it still contained almost a million dollars.
What he was doing was taking things a step further to continue to illuminate the netherworld of US campaign finance law. With on-air advice from his personal lawyer, former Federal Election Commission head Trevor Potter, he legally laundered his super PAC stash through a couple of 501 (c)(4) nonprofit groups, essentially making it disappear.
Colbert told his TV audience Monday evening: “Now my network contract prohibits me from taking on another full-time job, so the Senate would be perfect.”
$3 Billion Impact for California’s Economy, 22,000 Jobs Created in 2011
San Diego’s Stone Brewing Company yesterday confirmed a letter of intent has been signed for a lease of the spot adjacent to the old Rainwater’s on Kettner, an iconic eatery that passed into oblivion with the latest economic collapse. From San Diego Magazine:
If locations in South Park, Oceanside and Pasadena are any indication, Stone Company Stores are cool. At this point, the lease isn’t 100% finalized. But Koch has told his staff; things seem imminent—Stone will open company store number four at 1202 Kettner Boulevard. They’ll turn that nondescript courtyard into a beer oasis with prehistoric rock sculptures, ornate foliage and water features. It will be a beard sanctuary, and it will be a big draw for the west end of Downtown.
When Rainwater’s left this spot in 2008, it was a sign America had really changed. Tumbleweeds and cowboy whistles filled the west end of Downtown. But a tenant like Stone could bring a lot of traffic back to the area. Koch says he’s not doing a restaurant; beer and assorted Stone Brewing retail only. So expect a restaurateur to jump on Rainwater’s former location within weeks, eager to feed Stone’s people.
Now you may be wondering just why the heck I’m reporting on this development: after all, this hardly constitutes a breaking political story and I personally haven’t drank a beer for many years.
But the fact is Craft Brewing, as it’s come to be called, has evolved into a major player in our State and City economies. Jobs have been created, taxes are being paid and, generally speaking, these newcomers have shown that profitability and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. It’s the kind of economic growth that righties would have us believe is not possible in California, what with Democrats, taxes and onerous regulations rampant throughout the state.
Consider the information contained this quote lifted from an October press release via the California Craft Brewing Association:
California Craft Brewing Association President Steve Wagner of the Stone Brewing Company today announced the state’s craft brewing industry generated approximately $3 billion in total impact to the California economy in 2011. California’s craft brewers also created more than 22,000 jobs in a state still facing double-digit unemployment. Citing a 2012 study sponsored by the CCBA in conjunction with UC Berkeley, Wagner issued the following statement:
“The craft brewing industry is thriving in California, generating approximately $3 billion in total economic impact and creating 22,000 jobs in 2011 despite being on the heels of the most significant recession since the Great Depression,” said CCBA President Steve Wagner. “The California craft brewing industry is an integral part of the state’s economy.”
The 2012 California Craft Brewing Industry: An Economic Impact Study, sponsored by the CCBA in conjunction with the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, quantified the total economic impact by dollar value of the California Craft Brewing industry for 2011. The study also estimated the number of jobs created, community contributions and the taxes paid locally, statewide and federally by the California craft brewing industry. California leads the nation’s craft brewing industry producing more craft beer per year than any other state.
Dungeness Strike Ends: We Get Crablegs Again!
An 11 day strike by crab fishermen in northern California came to an end this morning, as boats left Bodega Bay, San Francisco and Half Moon Bay – before dawn headed to the crab grounds in the Gulf of the Farallones.
According to a report in this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle, crabber and wholesalers agreed on pricing yesterday, ending the strike which was caused by moves to lower prices paid to fishermen. About 100 boats, constituting the bulk of the Dungeness fishing fleet staying in port starting on December 2nd. Supplies of the popular regional seafood began disappearing from retail and wholesale locations last week.
Drones in Space
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Air Force has successfully launched a robotic space plane, known as the X-37B, on its third mission in Earth orbit.
The first X-37B was launched in April 2010 and landed 224 days later on a 15,000-foot airstrip at Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara. The second X-37B spent 469 days in space.The only information the government released was when the space plane was launched and when it returned.
Because of its clandestine nature, some industry analysts have theorized it could be a precursor to an orbiting weapon, capable of dropping bombs or disabling foreign satellites as it circles the globe.
But the Pentagon has repeatedly said the X-37B is simply a “test bed” for other technologies.
The Times reports that the space drone is about the size of a small school bus and maneuvers using stubby wings about 15 feet long. Solar panels that unfold once in orbit create a solar power source for the craft, which was built in a secure Boeing Company Space and Intelligence System facility in Seal Beach, Ca.
On This Day 1800 – Washington, DC, was established as the capital of the United States. 1957 – Disc Jockey Al Priddy of KEX, Portland, Oregon, was fired for playing Elvis Presley’s rendition of “White Christmas.” He had violated the radio station’s ban against the song. 1995 – The U.S. Senate voted down a constitutional amendment giving Congress authority to outlaw flag burning and other forms of desecration against the American flag.
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Carlsbad (Roosevelt St. btw Grand Ave. & Carlsbad Village Dr.) 1 – 5 pm, Encinitas Station (Corner of E Street & Vulcan in parking lot B) 5 – 8 pm, Mission Hills (Falcon St. btw West Washington & Ft. Stockton) 3 – 7 pm, North San Diego at Sikes Adobe Farmstead (I-15 at Via Rancho Parkway. 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido.) 11 am – 2 pm, Ocean Beach (4900 block of Newport Ave. btw Cable & Bacon Sts.) 4 – 8 pm, San Marcos – Cal State San Marcos (333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., Parking Lot B) 3 – 7 pm,Santee (10445 Mission Gorge Rd. abandoned school parking lot) 3 –7 pm, Temecula (40820 Winchester Rd. Promenade Mall, parking lot btw Macy’s & Penny’s) 9 am – 1 pm
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.