• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Winging it at Twitter
    Propertius on Winging it at Twitter
    Beata on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    riverdaughter on Winging it at Twitter
    Propertius on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    riverdaughter on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    Isabel on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
    Seagrl on Happy Birthday to Me, Bit…
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    December 2012
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Open Thread
      Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts. Facebook Twitter WhatsApp LinkedIn
  • Top Posts


This is why more and more people are turning away from religion:

Any god that leaves little children to die because their government said their teachers couldn’t lead them in what would be overwhelmingly Christian prayers is an evil god. Or non-existent.

Yeah, I said it.  That god bystander who shrugs his shoulders at the bloody death of innocents when he could intervene and stop it?  That’s evil.

As one of the commenters to this video said:

so god is a petty, sulking baby because we dont kiss his butt?

stay classy god

God 2.0 needs a major rewrite and a better PR apparatus. (Hint: don’t hire this guy)

Update on the NPR “expert” and patterns:

This morning on Weekend Edition, it sounded like a different expert was on to tell us that, sure, we can find “patterns” but those patterns are not “profiles” and are therefore useless. It is only with “profiles” that we are able to predict the future and we can’t predict the future so that’s that.

Bullshit. Any dark skinned man passing through an airport or thrown off a plane by a bunch of hysterical passengers will tell you this isn’t true. Oddly enough, none of the recent shooters, with the exception of the psychiatrist at Fort Hood, were dark skinned or middle eastern looking dudes.

Any “profile” you develop is only as good as the data you have. You can’t predict with absolute certainty which compounds in a library of millions is going to be THE next PERFECT drug. All you can do is identify the potential drugs that you can work on. During the discovery phase, we add to our knowledge of the drug-target interaction and we get better at predicting future drugs but we’re never going to be able to just look at the structures of all of the compounds and pick out the blockbuster on the first, second or third go around.

What we can do is eliminate the non-starters and focus in on the potential winners. That investigation is still worth a lot of money because the potential winners still exhibit significant activity even if they are not perfect. We’re never going to get to the stage where we can identify them just by looking at them without any additional testing and that’s the case with people too.

So, it is still worth screening and testing even if you end up with a lot of first round hits that you have to narrow down later. I think most Americans would agree that we don’t want to take away the guns from every person who fits a pattern. What we want to do is take away the guns of people who can’t be eliminated. We don’t have to predict the future. We just need to find the pool of most likely shooters and take away their guns, if only temporarily.

The alternative is to treat all 300 million of us as false positives and force all of us to undergo ritual bodyscanning and metal detecting before we can pick up our kids from school for their dental appointments. While I’m sure the security industry is going to LOVE that idea, it’s another burden of time and frustration for busy parents and others who do not fit any pattern at all except that they’re human. Are “experts” suggesting that we are all potential shooters because they refuse to come up with a set of criteria that eliminates the vast majority of us? Is the second amendment so precious that a whole country has to be constantly inconvenienced to take off our shoes and be exposed to radiation on a regular basis? There isn’t any set of patterns that we could use to prevent that?

Right now, insurance companies can charge you a fortune based on your record and your peer group. Marketing companies can profile you and target ads to you based on your purchases, demographics and other behavior. But for some reason, the “experts” say that it will not be possible for the ATF to reduce the number of mass shooters from killing people because “we can’t predict the future”. There’s something very wrong with that picture aside from it being completely unbelievable. Normally, I’d be a freak about privacy but owning a lethal firearm puts things in a different light. Should you be able to own a gun for hunting purposes or to defend yourself against intruders or a potentially tyrannical government? Yep. Should you be able to own a gun if you’ve got the makings of a mass shooter? Probably not, at least not until you’ve been thoroughly checked out.

Today, we learn that the mother of the shooter was the registered owner of the guns. Leaving aside the fact that looking through patterns probably wouldn’t have prevented this tragedy, I have to wonder why she felt she needed these guns and how they came to be at her house. That’s a lot of firepower for a Kindergarten teacher. It was probably not to protect herself from 20 five year olds.

On the other hand, when your auto insurance representative asks you whether there are any permitted drivers or kids of a certain age living with you, they are recognizing the fact that cars can be dangerous in the hands of inexperienced or recklessly young drivers and presumably, their statistics back that up. So, gun buyers should be asked similar questions. Do you have any young males living at home with a history of behavioral or mental problems? Has your family undergone any significant changes lately? Divorce, loss of job, bankruptcy, relocation? This is not an insurmountable problem.


11 Responses

  1. It was Huckabee who came up with that in this discourse. I put together all I read on twitter yesterday
    As I got to the God argument I noticed how similar this argument was to the Obama apologists. “he can’t and it’s your fault”

    • Jeez, Mike Huckabee was a governor. No wonder people want to carry guns. You never know when one of your elected officials turns out to be manipulative and cruel.
      Of course, Occupy did a lot of damage to the plutocrats without using any weapons at all so …

      • That people voted him into the governor’s mansion says more about their mental state than Hucksterbee’s. The same with the above video, that people agree demonstrates just how backwards American society is.

  2. It would not be an insurmountable problem in a sane, civilized country.

    This is the United States of Fubarica, however, so fuhgeddabowdit.

  3. I am waiting for one of these oatmeal-headed dingbats to blame the Sandy Hook school shooting on the teachers union. Or have they done it already and I just missed it?

    ps: why are the vaaaast majority of these mass killings perpetrated by white guys? likewise serial killings? just askin’….

    • Maybe because–all other things being equal–the cops, and our society’s other authority figures, keep a closer eye on non-white guys than on white guys–so any such mentally unstable non-white guys are more likely to be intercepted before they can go berserk?

  4. Speaking of Fischer himself, and his particular religion . . . This American Life repeated an hour-long program they ran a while ago.
    It was about how a young Christian Satanist from a Christian Satanist Pentecostal family rose up high in the Oral Roberts Pentecostalist Christian Satanism infrastructure. And then about how he came to question and then reject the Satanism part of Christian Satanism . . . and become a Christian not-Satanist-anymore and found his own little
    Christian not-Satanist-anymore Church.

    It gives a very precise and detailed explanation of the Satanism in Christian Satanism and it shows why that phrase is so clinically and exactly accurate.

    I suspect Fischer is a Christian Satanist, as aGAINST a Christian not-Satanist-anymore. The This American Life program makes it all clear.

  5. I’ve probably lost my facebook friends in my family who are a bunch of gun nuts, because I posted this on facebook, after reading my cousin write in one post about how we all need to pray for the families, the poor children and on and on. Then in his next post gripe about the “meatsicles” calling for gun control. I told him to stop pretending to care about those who died if he wasn’t willing to consider trying to do anything to stop it.

    “I don’t care if every member of my family unfriends me for this. I don’t dislike guns, I dislike irresponsible gun owners. Every time a gun owner commits an act of unspeakable violence, we hear that we better not even suggest that it is time to regulate guns a little more closely. Gun owners need to start acting responsibly. If guns are going to be easily available, gun owners need to police their ranks since they don’t think anyone else ought to. Gun owners are responsible for murders by gun owners. I don’t care if it is a minority. It adds up after a while. 30,000 gun owners killed people in America last year.

    Gun owners need to acknowledge that dammit, yes, guns are used to kill people. There have been 65 mass murders by American gun owners in the last 3 years. There are more killings by guns in states with loose gun ownership laws. But, it is politically incorrect to suggest that dammit guns do kill people. 30000 people a year is a lot. In order to drive a car, you must take a test, learn proper safety rules, get a license and buy insurance. Alcohol is taxed a lot to help pay for illnesses caused by consuming alcohol. Cigarettes are taxed a lot to pay for deaths and illnesses caused by their use. You can’t even smoke a cigarette in a public building anymore, but you can take a concealed weapon in an elementary school in many states.

    Gun shows that avoid background checks need to be outlawed. Gun owners need to be required to carry liability insurance for the possibility that their guns cause injury to someone. Parents who allow their children access to their guns and cause injury need to be imprisoned”

    The family is pissed,again. Oh, well, I’ve never denied being a bleeding heart liberal. I think it is better than pretending to care about “the children”, but unwilling to do anything to save them. I also went on a rant about them saying it is the mental illness, hen most of the people who oppose gun control also oppose universal health care. I know who in my family has depended on help from the government, who do they think they are to say others shouldn’t get it too.

  6. You say, ” I have to wonder why she felt she needed these guns and how they came to be at her house.” I found one answer in the UK Daily Mail (can’t verify how accurate this newspaper is though):

    “Friends and family portrayed Adam Lanza’s mother Nancy as a paranoid ‘survivalist’ who believed the world was on the verge of violent, economic collapse.

    “She is reported to have been struggling to hold herself together and had been stockpiling food, water and guns in the large home she shared with her 20-year-old son in Connecticut.

    “Mrs Lanza, 52, was a ‘prepper’ – so called because they are preparing for a breakdown in civilised society – who apparently became obsessed with guns and taught Adam and his older brother, Ryan, how to shoot, even taking them to local ranges.”


    • Sounds like my mother.
      Maybe Nancy and her son were anticipating the end of the world this Friday.
      Totally crazy. But when people get these ideas stuck in their heads, it’s difficult to dislodge them. Once an eschatologist/survivalist, always an eschatologist/survivalist.
      Glenn Beck should be sued by the parents of the dead.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: