Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Too much, too little

But it's never too late.

-- Thanks again, Darwin:

A firearms instructor has died after he was shot by a nine-year-old girl when she fired an Uzi at a shooting range in the Arizona desert.

Mohave County sheriff’s officials said 39-year-old Charles Vacca, of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, died at the hospital on Monday after he was shot at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range.

Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Vacca was standing next to the girl when she pulled the trigger. The gun recoiled and it went over her head.

The paper reported that the girl had successfully fired the 9mm weapon several times in “single-shot” mode before Vacca changed the setting to “fully automatic” mode.

“The guy just dropped,” McCabe said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The sheriff said the instructor was shot at least once in the head.

-- Why Congress Is Reluctant To Stop The Military Toys Flowing To Local Cops:

“The argument made is that everyone wants their community to ‘be prepared’ with the best equipment, in the event they need it,” said another House Democrat, who also voted against the amendment. “Hard to say 'no' to your local police chief when they are explaining to you how this equipment could help and in what type of situation.”

-- UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report that wasn't in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to connect the different scientific disciplines studying problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.

The 127-page draft, obtained by The Associated Press, paints a harsh warning of what's causing global warming and what it will do to humans and the environment. It also describes what can be done about it.

And a cry goes up from conservatives to defund and disband the UN.

-- Midwestern wheat left to rot as oil trains roll on:

U.S. grain shipments are being held up as trains carrying huge quantities of Bakken oil chug through the region, the New York Times reported Tuesday, illustrating how the booming business of moving oil by rail has negative consequences beyond safety risks.

-- Keystone XL opponents win the battle but lose the war.

Enbridge is steadily advancing plans to build a pipeline network akin to the Keystone XL. The Calgary company is progressing on at least two projects that will help it move more Canadian tar sands oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast, recently revealed documents and a federal ruling last week indicate.

In one project, Enbridge is proposing to switch crude oil from one pipeline to another before it crosses into the United States -- a move that enables the company to circumvent a lengthy federal permitting process. Environmental groups first learned about the plan, which wasn’t previously publicized, after the U.S. State Department released documents related to the crude switch. The organizations, including the National Wildlife Federation and Sierra Club, flagged the plans to the media Thursday.

The same green groups last week decried a federal judge's decision to let a second Enbridge project move forward. The company is building a $1.9 billion line between Pontiac, Illinois, and Cushing, Oklahoma, which will link together two existing pipelines and effectively achieve what the Keystone XL aims to do: connect oil fields in the Alberta province to refineries in Texas. Environmentalists had sued to require  the project undergo an extensive environmental review.

Forbes has more, and with a more obnoxious tone.

Far from stopping the flow of oil, the battle over Keystone is creating a far greater threat to the environment than the pipeline ever would.

That of course is false.  At least the Ogallala Aquifer has been spared.  Then again, who needs to grow grain when you can't get it on a train to market?

-- Another reason to legalize pot: Prescription painkiller overdose deaths -- the reason why, just last week, that hydrocodone was moved to Schedule 2 -- decline.

In all, the study found that states that had legalized medical pot experienced around 1,700 fewer painkiller overdose deaths in 2010 than what would have happened if those states didn’t make medical marijuana legal and available.

“We found there was about a 25% lower rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths on average after implementation of a medical marijuana law,” lead study author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber explained to CNN.

-- Federal judges chide state lawyers over gay marriage bans:

Federal appeals judges bristled on Tuesday at arguments defending gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, with one Republican appointee comparing them to now-defunct laws that once outlawed weddings between blacks and whites.

As the legal skirmish in the United States over same-sex marriage shifted to the three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, more than 200 people lined up hours before to ensure they got a seat at the much-anticipated hearing.

While judges often play devil's advocate during oral arguments, the panel's often-blistering questions for the defenders of the same-sex marriage bans could be a signal the laws may be in trouble — at least at this step in the legal process.

Richard Posner, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, hit the backers of the ban the hardest. He balked when Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson repeatedly pointed to "tradition" as the underlying justification for barring gay marriage.

"It was tradition to not allow blacks and whites to marry — a tradition that got swept away," the 75-year-old judge said. Prohibition of same-sex marriage, Posner said, derives from "a tradition of hate ... and savage discrimination" of homosexuals.

In my lifetime, the United States will see both marijuana and gay marriage legalized. Now that is some kind of progress.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Obama said he's going to end the militarization of local police by ...
Wait for it ...
Wait for it ...
NSAing them all instead.
Have fun on that next traffic ticket, when police search your puter and smartphone for porn.