If the government shuts down, who’s to blame?

It appears we’re at the verge of a government shutdown. Of course, we can blame Congress, but let’s be clear (via Crooks and Liars):

The blame for any government shutdown should factually be laid at the feet of the Republicans. Factually.

It is a fact that Republicans spent their money and effort during the break stirring up support to hold the budget and even the debt ceiling hostage to stop the implementation of the Affordable care Act.

It is a fact that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, led by Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, passed a short-term continuing resolution to fund government at current levels while stripping funding away from the Affordable Care Act.

It is a fact that Republicans, and Republicans alone have said over and over again that they are committed to destroying the Affordable Care Act and are willing to not only shut down the government, but hold the debt ceiling hostage in order to do such a thing.

These are not theoretical. They are hard, cold, provable facts. How can it possibly be that over 50 percent of those polled would hold both sides responsible?

Ted Cruz: I do not like him here or there. I do not like him anywhere!

Sen. Ted Cruz (O-Canada) took over the Senate floor for 21 hours yesterday in a protest against Obamacare. If I can figure this out, he was filibustering the Senate to halt a vote on a House bill he promoted.

Anyway, if you didn’t stay up all night to watch the waste of time, here’s the highlight:

OK. Let’s ignore the obvious. Ted Cruz harps on and on about how much he hates Obamacare, right? So he reads a story about a grouch who hates something he’s never tried. And when he tries it?

HE LOVES IT!!!!!!!

Isn’t it ironic? Don’t cha think? I’m just waiting for Alanis Morissette to pop into the picture.

But here’s what really pops my buttons.

If you’re going to read a children’s classic, START FROM THE BEGINNING!!!!!!!!!

Who doesn’t know in their sleep that the first words of “Green Eggs and Ham” are:

I am Sam.

But does the junior senator from Teabaggia begin there? No!! He begins with:

Sam I am.

What is his malfunction? No wonder his girls don’t want him to read it to them. He doesn’t do it right!!

It’s like starting “A Tale of Two Cities” at:

It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness.

Which, in this case, is exactly what it was.

On the rebound: 2013 Louisville Cardinals

Another look back at the 2013 NCAA basketball final. I still have confetti I collected at the end of the game in the Georgia Dome. Can’t wait for next season, but there are high hopes for the football team this year, already off to a 4-0 start. (Unfortunately, didn’t get any confetti at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans last January.)

Videogames and gun violence

TMW2013-09-25color

Let’s make this even easier to understand:

video-game-chart-no-trendline

See?If videogames were the cause of people shooting up everyone in sight, The Netherlands, South Korea, Canada and France would blow the U.S. off the charts. But that’s not the case. The difference between us and them is we have lobbying groups dedicated to buying off elected officials so they can put a gun in the hand of every breathing blind person, child and psychopath in the country.

Videogames don’t kill people. Guns kill people.

 

The day we almost nuked North Carolina

How many more stories of these near misses are out there that we don’t know about? (From the Guardian and the Washington Post):

Two hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on Jan. 24, 1961 after a B-52 bomber broke up in flight. One of the bombs apparently acted as if it was being armed and fired — its parachute opened and trigger mechanisms engaged.

Parker F. Jones at the Sandia National Laboratories analyzed the accident in a document headed “How I learned to mistrust the H-Bomb.”

“The MK39 Mod 2 bomb did not possess adequate safety for the airborne-alert role in the B-52,” he wrote. When the B-52 disintegrates in the air it is likely to release the bombs in “a near normal fashion,” he wrote, calling the safety mechanisms to prevent accidental arming “not complex enough.”

It’s estimated that if this bomb had gone off, it would have been 260 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that wiped out Hiroshima.

This happened four days after John F. Kennedy was inaugurated. Almost two years later, we were on the edge of nuclear annihilation waiting for Russia to remove nuclear warheads from Cuba.

The actual document can be found here.

Lucky for us, this was the only near miss ever recorded. Right?

In March 1958, an American B-47E bomber flying en route to Britain dropped its payload — an atomic bomb similar to the infamous Fat Boy — on Florence, South Carolina. Yes, you read that right. Luckily, only six people were injured. No one died.

Blessedly, it didn’t detonate. Well, actually, it sorta did.

The payload was released right over the home of Mr. Walter Gregg of Mars Bluff, a small, rural area of South Carolina. While the bomb was smaller than the nuclear monsters to come, the trigger, 7,600 pounds of TNT, went off on impact, obliterating poor Gregg’s house, injuring his family, damaging a nearby church and houses within a five-mile radius. According to local reports, the TNT itself left a crater 70 by 35 feet wide and was big enough to produce a small mushroom cloud. Greggs received a small settlement.

Uh oh! Does the government have something against the Carolinas? Let’s take a look at the result of this one.

Kind of makes you wonder how big can a nuclear bomb get?

Once again, my curiosity leads me to something I didn’t need to know.

When two gun owners stand their ground

This week in Michigan (from mlive.com):

IONIA, MI – Two men died Wednesday, Sept. 18, in a shootout that stemmed from a road rage confrontation, Ionia police said.

Ionia Department of Public Safety officers were dispatched to Wonder Wand Car Wash in the 400 block of South Steele Street shortly before 7 p.m. on reports of shots fired. Police arrived to find two men with gunshot wounds.

Initial investigation shows the Ionia men, ages 43 and 56, pulled into the car wash parking lot after a road rage incident. They exited their vehicles and eventually drew handguns and exchanged fire, police said. It wasn’t clear what the two men were arguing about.

Life EMS transported the men to Sparrow Ionia Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Police said both men, whose identities have not been released, held permits to carry concealed weapons.

Michigan is a “stand your ground” state. Here’s the law:

Sec. 1. (1) An individual who uses deadly force or force other than deadly force in compliance with section 2 of the self-defense act and who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses that deadly force or force other than deadly force commits no crime in using that deadly force or force other than deadly force.

(2) If a prosecutor believes that an individual used deadly force or force other than deadly force that is unjustified under section 2 of the self-defense act, the prosecutor may charge the individual with a crime arising from that use of deadly force or force other than deadly force and shall present evidence to the judge or magistrate at the time of warrant issuance, at the time of any preliminary examination, and at the time of any trial establishing that the individual’s actions were not justified under section 2 of the self-defense act.

So, in Michigan, no law was broken.

What else could go wrong?

What sounded like six shots rang out Wednesday night as Tony Holtrust worked his second-shift attendant job at the Wash King coin laundry on Steele Street.

He was out the door in an instant and found two men in the throes of death from a road rage duel.

Holtrust said he kicked a gun out of one of the victim’s hands and saw another gun on the ground near the other man. …

When the cops converged at the Wonder Wand Car Wash, Holtrust said he was at first considered a suspect linked to the shooting.

He said a young officer appeared to be shaking as he pointed a gun at Holtrust, ordering him not to talk and to get down on the ground. He was later handcuffed.

“I thought I was done,” Holtrust recalled.

A guy goes to check out the scene of a shooting, and when the cops arrive, they think the witness is the shooter because … really … how else could two guys be dead on the street if a living person didn’t shoot them?

I think of the times I’ve seen pissed off drivers confront each other. Once on U.S. 1 in New Jersey, near North Brunswick, I saw a trucker get out to harass the driver of a small car in front of him. The trucker was about my size, about 5’9″. He was out of his truck (this is at a red light on the highway, mind you) steaming and headed for the small car. Then the driver got out of the car. Had to be 6’5 and close to 300 pounds. The look on the trucker’s face was one of the funniest things I ever saw. And he was seconds away from a beat down, but neither of them saw the state trooper in the other lane, who put an end to that circus really quickly.

The worst that would have happened: The trucker would have gotten his butt kicked (he didn’t have a chance). New Jersey wasn’t a “stand your ground state back then. But in a “stand your ground state,” both guys could have come out blasting and they, as well as people sitting in their cars waiting for the light to change, could have ended up dead.

The country last week was focused on the mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington. But incidents in Michigan are far more likely to occur routinely when people are standing their ground.

And police will continue to get calls like the one linked here.