Today’s Stuff to Read

Fascinating study of “The Geography of Gun Deaths.” Someone compared the rate of gun-related deaths (from all causes, including accidents) among the states and looked for correlations with other factors. It’s not surprising that there is a positive correlation between states with high gun death rates and states that voted for McCain in 2008, but it’s a stronger correlation than I would have guessed. The other strongest factors are high poverty rates, an economy dominated by blue-collar jobs, and lower levels of college graduates.

See also Paul Krugman, “A Tale of Two Moralities.” Basically, he says a “return to civility” isn’t possible as long as we are so sharply divided over the basic nature of government. The best we can hope for at the moment is an agreement that “both violence and any language hinting at the acceptability of violence are out of bounds.” That used to be the norm, but I don’t see us returning to that norm anytime soon.

Elsewhere — “Gateway Pundit” Hoft et al. are trying to make a controversy over President Obama’s announcement that Rep. Giffords had opened her eyes. I’m serious.

Update: Some Israelis are trying to stop the opening of a Buddhist center in Israel, because they think Budhism is idolotry.

16 thoughts on “Today’s Stuff to Read

  1. It’s not just that we’re divided. Sure we are. Always were. And so is every other country today, and throughout history.
    It’s not that, it’s that one side finds outrage in any and every thing. And the only thing the conservatives are ‘for,’ is to gather together to be ‘against’ whatever anyone to the left of Attila the Hun would be for (and Attilla, btw, is wrongly maligned, but that’s a story for another day).
    And then they have their media drum the meme’s. And then they drum, and they drum, and they drum. They have a drum kit Keith Moon would have died for. 24X7X365. With no relief.
    There’s the Drudge internet drum.
    The Radio Rushwanda talk radio drum.
    The WSJ and WaPo Op-ed drum.
    The FOX News TV drum.
    The Wingnut Wefare publishing racket drum.
    All financed by the Koch-sucker Brothers, Melon-assed Sciafe, Murder-och, and other rich turds who’d rather burn their money in front of Macy’s f*cking window, or give it to these media whores to pay for banging their drums, than see a single cent of their easily earned, inherited money go to actually help anyone other than themselves. They’ve probably outspent by far what they would ever have been taxed. Can you imagine the cost of keeping talentless hacks like Tucker, Rush, Glenn, Ann, Malkin, and the rest fueled, primed and pumped full of BS every day?
    And all the while, they scream about how they don’t have anywhere near as many drums as the “Liberal Media” – which in reality has a couple of tambourine’s, and maybe half a broken bongo set for a percussion section.

    Maybe we all need some relief. Maybe we all need to get away from the endless merry-go-round and the Wurlitzer of right wing Rage-nation. Where everything about a funeral is now contraversial: it’s called a political event; or how the crowd doesn’t mourn properly; or how there were political T-shirts given out; or how Obama thinks he’s a Messiah because shortly after he visited, there was a miraculous opening of the eyes; or that the President LIED about the Congresswoman opening her eyes.
    And they drum, and they drum, and they drum.
    And though you can deny every single point, and then, even when you can empirically prove every single assertion is false, they don’t then say, “Oops, we were wrong!” No, instead it’s, “Well, you can say whatever you want, and show me whatever you want, but I still BELIEVE that what I said is true!” (Not “think,” because that’s using your head for something besides a baseball cap; no, it’s “believe” – their guts). And they’re never called on it by the well paid media whores in the MSM, who make more money the stupider our national discourse gets, so their incentive to provide any truth, or put things into any sort of perspective is zip. Zero. ZILCH!

    You know what might help?
    You know how they started this campaign called “Meatless Monday’s” to get people off of animal flesh and fats and into healthier eating of grains, fruits, and vegetables for at least one day a week? Well, maybe we need to start something called “Media-less Monday’s” Where the public is encouraged to read a book of fiction or history (besides the non-fiction fiction and fictitious history the Wingnut Welfare publishers give away gratis to drum up their numbers of books ‘sold’). Or, listen to some music. Take up an instrument. Learn a new language; Hell, never mind a new one, learn proper f*cking English (should it be “f*cking proper,” or “proper f*cking,” English? Discuss on Monday). Play with your children, grandchildren, neices, nephew’s, and parents. Anything, but get away from anything that talks to you besides a fellow human being, or a parrot – and then, NO POLITIC’s.
    One day out of seven may not seem like much. But it’s a start. And may lead people to turn away from the incessant drumming more often.
    Meatless Monday’s for our hearts.
    Media-less Monday’s for our brains. And our souls.

  2. I think Paul Krugman is being too kind in his “A Tale of Two Moralities.” Try having a rational discussion with a Right Winger sometime. Clearly they are speaking English–one can understand all the individual words–but it’s next to impossible to figure out what they’re talking about.

    “Obama is a fascist, communist, socialist Muslim”; “Liberals hate our freedoms”; “The ACLU is an anti-American organization”; “The Communist Manifesto” and “Mein Kampf,” prove the nutjob in Arizona is a liberal”; “George Soros wants to destroy America”; Sarah Palin would make a better president than the one we have now.”

    Clearly, what we have here is not a problem of differing moralities, but rather one of different realities. It is impossible to have a meaningful discussion with someone who lives in an alternate universe where lies are Truth, and actual truth is simply Liberal lies.

  3. cund and muldoon – boy, do I ever agree. Someone on this site mentioned recently that righties have a gene, or don’t have a gene to control it, that makes them abnormally fearful to the point where any suggestion that something they believe is false, changing their belief evokes terror. Rather than denigrating them, we should probably feel sorry for them.

    I used to live next door to a man who lived alone and spent most of his waking hours sitting in his living room with a cocked gun in his lap. Extreme for sure, but I’d argue that in some sense many of us ‘live’ in his same world.

  4. Felicity, recent brain scan studies in the U.K. indicate that right-wing conservatives actually DO have larger amygdalas (primitive emotions, including fear) than do liberals; whereas liberals have larger anterior cingulates (optimism, decision-making, courage).

    Thanks to this study, I now have a clearer understanding of those parading around with their guns, or shrieking against any form of gun control. These are easily frightened people who need guns in order to feel safe. Their macho-posturing is the antithesis of bravery and courage.

  5. thanks, muldoon. I wrote it down for future reference because, in my mind, it explains a lot.

  6. [T]hey’re never called on it by the well paid media whores in the MSM, who make more money the stupider our national discourse gets, so their incentive to provide any truth, or put things into any sort of perspective is zip.

    The rest of the world watches us, aghast, and wonders why wee iz so dam stoopit now. I think that particular sentence from Gulag’s all-wonderful comment sums it up perfectly. There are no brakes on the American Crazy Bus, even though non-government-controlled news media (formerly “A Free Press”) are supposed to provide those brakes.

    I wonder what would happen if we let Sheriff Clarence Dupnik run CBS News for a week. Maybe I’ll fantasize about that, to get through a dreary Friday afternoon in Cubicle World.

    • “No Brakes on the American Crazy Bus” sounds like a great book title. If I can find the right graphic, I might put it on a T-shirt.

  7. It has long been known that more guns mean more murders. The major argument that I ever hear against this is that Canadians are our moral superiors. They aren’t. They just have a higher bar to getting a handgun.

  8. I used to live next door to a man who lived alone and spent most of his waking hours sitting in his living room with a cocked gun in his lap

    Felicity…Was he in the Tea Party?…It sounds like a typical teabagger to me. It’s the old “don’t tread on me” mentality. Semper paratus. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance?

    My wife, dog, maybe.. but give up my gun, never!

  9. I hear Palin’s gonna be on Hannity. Bet he’ll be slicking back his hair and spritzing the binaca all week.

  10. “I hear Palin’s gonna be on Hannity”

    Palin on Hannity, sounds like a straight to the dust bin reality show, or maybe a christian porn movie!

    Maybe finally at last moose-chick has gone off the deep end. I can’t believe she (or whoever the fuck is in charge) approved to broadcast her attempting to bring down that caribou on her reality show (maybe the same folks that’s wrote the Blood Libel passage). As a reformed hunter and self proclaimed gun nut, she don’t know shit about hunting or guns or even faking hunting with guns based on her TLC show. Again who’s in charge, aint she supposed to be endearing herself with the outdoorsmen and gun culture folk? She takes five or six shots with two different rifles neither of which she knows how to reload (or even advance) and yet the 5 to 10 year old buck never takes off, it just stays on the horizon waiting for little Sarah to get off a good shot. Somehow it eluded mankind it’s whole life but the TLC cameras and fake Sarah stage where too much. It’s no different than that phony fucking fish video she put out last year, with her still K-Mart new waders. The women is a fucking fraud, she could not be more disingenuous.

    [Use of “C” word removed by maha]

  11. Uncledad, dude ya gotta know that “reality” shows are staged. I mean, like, Snookie has written a book, and who in the world would ever dream of calling themself “the situation” (well, o.k., some young NTB Guido from Jersey might do that….)
    Sarah has a “special” magic with righty dudes. They get all “tingly” and “ready for action. All that gun speak is VERY phallic.
    My inner pig thinks she is kinda hot, but there ain’t enough gags in the universe, OMG, the screeching would drive me mad.
    I hope she just goes back to Wasilla, or where ever she and Todd are happy, and lives happily ever after, and for crying out loud, please take care of little Trig.
    BTW, the “C” word is rather offensive, I think “fluffer” better describes her function.

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