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Member since: Thu Oct 21, 2004, 05:06 PM
Number of posts: 21,494

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I'm in cool and beautifully luscious green New Hampshire - here's a bit from today

I met up with my brother who is taking me along on a business trip at his expense and we visited this place today
met wonderful and diverse people doing work and exhibiting their art
Hope you like it.

This was yesterday before I got there (camera dangling from neck, driving in Manhattan...)

then the serenity of the country side

then some of the folks I met and observed

and a couple of things I saw on the walls

Leave it to Stewie to make sense about why it isn't people that kill people, when guns are involved

Yesterday was International Women's Day - but I only saw this today

I suspect it's still topical

N.R.A. Leader Warns of Rising Cost of Senators as revealed by Andy Borowitz

N.R.A. Leader Warns of Rising Cost of Senators

HOUSTON (The Borowitz Report)—National Rifle Association C.E.O. Wayne LaPierre used his opening speech at the N.R.A.’s national convention today to highlight several challenges facing the organization, including what he called “the rising cost of Senators.”
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen the price of purchasing a Senator surge astronomically,” he told the N.R.A. faithful. “Unless something is done to make Senators more affordable, the ability of a tiny lobbying group to overrule the wishes of ninety per cent of the American people will be in jeopardy.”

The days are over, he said, when “you could buy a Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for little more than pocket change.”
“Now it costs thousands to purchase a marginally effective Senator like Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.),” he said.
Mr. LaPierre was followed at the podium by the former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the rock musician Ted Nugent, and several other people who would not pass background checks.


Boston Bombing Suspects Had First Planned Attack for July Fourth

Source: NYTimes

Boston Bombing Suspects Had First Planned Attack for July Fourth
WASHINGTON − The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings told F.B.I. interrogators that, as he and his brother plotted their deadly assault, they considered suicide attacks and striking on the Fourth of July, according to a law enforcement official.
But the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, told investigators that he and his brother, Tamerlan, 26, who was killed in a shootout with the police, ultimately decided to use pressure-cooker bombs and other homemade explosive devices, the official said.
The brothers finished building the bombs in Tamerlan’s apartment in Cambridge, Mass., faster than they anticipated and so decided to accelerate their attack to the Boston Marathon on April 15, Patriots Day in Massachusetts, from July, according to the account that Dzhokhar provided authorities. They picked the finish line of the marathon after driving around the Boston area looking for alternative sites, according to this account.
In addition, Mr. Dzhokhar told authorities that he and his brother viewed the Internet sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American cleric who moved to Yemen and was killed in September 2011 by an American drone strike. There is no indication that the brothers communicated with Mr. Awakli before his death.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/us/Boston-bombing-suspects-planned-july-fourth-attack.html?emc=na

Amazing and daring fire arms research: The gun fighter / read about Garen Wintemute

Firearms research: The gun fighter

There are almost as many firearms in the United States as there are citizens. Garen Wintemute is one of few people studying the consequences.
• Meredith Wadman / Nature Magazine

With his crisp blue suit and wire-framed spectacles, Garen Wintemute hardly looked frightening as he stepped to the podium last month to address a conference on paediatric emergency medicine in San Francisco, California. But his presence there made the organizers nervous.
Wintemute, an emergency-department doctor, is better known as the director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California (UC), Davis. As such, he has published dozens of papers on the effects of guns in the United States, where widespread gun ownership and loose laws make it easy for criminals and potentially violent people to obtain firearms. Wintemute has pushed the bounds of research, going undercover into gun shows with a hidden camera to document how people often sidestep the law when purchasing weapons. He has also worked with California lawmakers on crafting gun policy and helped to drive a group of gun-making companies out of business.
All this made Wintemute a potentially risky speaker for the conference funder, a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services, which is barred by law from funding any activities that advocate or promote gun control. The meeting organizers had told Wintemute to stick to facts and avoid any mention of policies. But with the nation still reeling from the murder of 20 children and 6 educators, who were shot in their school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December, the conference organizers were not sure what Wintemute would say.
He stuck to the facts, but also managed to make clear how he feels about the funding prohibition, which has effectively killed off most research on gun violence. “We don't have a labour force,” Wintemute told the assembled doctors.
That has led to a striking imbalance in US medical research. Firearms accounted for more than 31,000 deaths in the United States in 2011 (see 'Gun deaths'). But fewer than 20 academics in the country study gun violence, and most of them are economists, criminologists or sociologists. Wintemute is one of just a few public-health experts devoted to this research, which he has funded through a mixture of grants and nearly US$1 million of personal money.
His undercover gun-show tactics have led him into situations where he feared for his safety, and they have also raised protests from some gun-rights advocates, who charge that Wintemute is more a biased campaigner than a researcher.
But even a few of his ideological opponents praise Wintemute's work. “Garen is one of the very best in terms of his research skills,” says David Kopel, the research director at the Independence Institute in Denver, Colorado, a think tank that supports gun-owners' rights.
And Wintemute, who is 61, makes no apologies for his passion or his methods. “I believe just as strongly as I can articulate in the value of free inquiry,” he says, “especially when the stakes are so high — when so many people are dying through no fault of their own; when so much of the country simply turns its back on this problem.”

the entire piece and details about his research is here:

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