Good News Friday

Been a busy week, but I’ve collected a few items for your enjoyment. Make it a great day!

• Despite the irrational opposition of the NRA and gun loons, a Maryland gun dealer plans to sell “smart guns,” firearms with an electronic chip that can only be fired with an accompanying chip-implanted bracelet.
The bullies and thugs in the NRA crowd have intimidated yet another small business owner trying to sell safe guns as an option for those who don’t want their toddlers killing their siblings.

• If you live in California, New York, Arizona or Oregon, congratulations: you can now get a no-hassle residential rooftop solar system at Best Buy, thanks to the chain’s agreement with Solar City. The deal operates as a third-party leasing agreement, currently not allowed in states like Tennessee. Regulations, small government, etc.

• A major victory for the Obama Administration! SCOTUS upheld the EPA’s cross-state air pollution rule enacted in 2011. The vote was 6-2. As an interesting sidebar, Justice Scalia was found to have made an “epic blunder” in his dissenting opinion. I’m increasingly convinced that Scalia has descended into senility.

• Scientists in Amsterdam have figured out how the great pyramids of Egypt were built without advanced technology.

• After this week’s horrific botched execution of Clayton Lockett, Oklahoma’s top corrections official has asked the governor for an indefinite stay of all executions in the state.

• Schadenfreude, Rush Limbaugh edition.

• The graduation rate at American public high schools has reached 80% for the first time.

• Another stridently anti-ObamaCare blue-collar worker now praises the law for saving his life. Stories like this strike fear in the hearts of Republicans everywhere. Suckit.

• The media’s infatuation with Alaskan harpy Sarah Palin is finally over.

• Google is cracking down on deceptive “crisis pregnancy center” advertisements.

• Wisconsin’s Voter ID law has been struck down by a federal judge.

• The leaders of the Navajo Nation voted to remove sales taxes on healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables as a way of addressing rampant diabetes and obesity among tribal members.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

There is no good news out of the state of Tennessee this week. We’ve had flooding, tornados, and sadistic Republican douchery. We are a veritable hellscape of horribleness.

Cool video this week: this one has been making the rounds. Peter the Elephant may be a little tone deaf but he sure has great rhythm!

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. Joseph Stans

    But there is a great elephant rescue facility south of Nashville!

  2. Ssgmarkcr

    Howdy SB,

    Biometric technology does hold great promise to reduce accidents and unauthorized use of firearms. However, the technology has become politicized by the passage of laws mandating the sale of firearms using the feature. So far, New Jersey is the only state which has passed such legislation, but the law passed clearly shows that it still isn’t reliable enough for real world defensive use by its inclusion of an exemption for law enforcement and military.
    If it had been allowed to move forward on its own, it would have the potential to become very popular. For example, develop systems to the point where they become reliable and then market it specifically to law enforcement. Law enforcement takes weapon retention to be a serious issue and they expend big dollars for both training and hardware to prevent an officer’s weapon from being taken away and used against them.
    In fact, the hardware has even moved into the civilian market. The holster I currently use has a weapon retention feature. Also the military’s adoption of electronic sighting systems on their weapons has resulted in a flourishing civilian market.
    The civilian gun market is rife with gadgets and stuff for people to buy with claims of improvements in accuracy and appearance. There is other genuine safety issues that concern me with this tech also. The first is that no one has mentioned the other potential failure mode. Much has been made in the gun press about its failure to fire when needed, but what about when it fires when its not supposed to?
    I do sincerely hope that the political aspects don’t result in the development slowing. They also need to find a better spokesman than Mr. Raymond, this video he made is a definite turn off for me and I doubt I’d buy from him.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=691344154258026

    • deep

      So shouldn’t the issue be with NJ lawmakers? Why the threats against the manufacturer? If it’s a shitty product then it won’t sell. No need to be a douche and threaten the life of the gun’s manufacturer.

      • Ssgmarkcr

        “So shouldn’t the issue be with NJ lawmakers? Why the threats against the manufacturer?”

        You are correct. The issue is with the NJ lawmakers. And I can follow the logic of the owner of the store. I also agree that threatening someone on Facebook does qualify a person as a douche.
        But there seem to be detractors on both sides of the issue on this tech. The store owner states that he wants to market to a particular buyer profile, and that is exactly a concern brought up by a fairly high profile gun control advocate.
        “Both Keane and Sugarman say that smart gun technology might even make owning a gun less safe, because owners might be less careful with their firearms.
        “It could encourage individuals to leave firearms unattended, loaded, and relying upon this technology,” Keane says.
        Sugarman says the peace-of-mind offered by “safer guns” might be enough for some people who wouldn’t normally own a gun to buy one.
        “The industry is always looking for new ways to market guns to non gun owners—people who previously wouldn’t own a gun might think about buying a smart gun,” he says. “Instead of pinning our hopes on this technology, I think there are better ways to spend the millions of dollars it takes to develop this technology.”
        http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/02/01/why-both-the-pro–and-anti-gun-lobby-are-against-smart-guns

        I’m also concerned with the unreasonable reliance on the technology making you safe. I would put money on it being only a matter of time before some numbnuts shows off his new smart gun and kills himself because he forgot which hand he had the bracelet on.

    • I have no problem with a law mandating all firearms have this technology. It’s a safety technology, just like cars have to have airbags, seatbelts, bumpers, etc. You call it politicization, common sense calls it public safety.

      With thousands of people killed through negligence, stolen guns, etc., any technology that reduces the unintentional firing of a weapon is a no-brainer. The rabid gun loonz have lost most of America on this issue, same as when the NRA came out against a ban on cop-killer bullets.

      Nice try but no one’s buying it.

      • Ssgmarkcr

        “With thousands of people killed through negligence, stolen guns, etc., any technology that reduces the unintentional firing of a weapon is a no-brainer.”

        Then why include an exemption for law enforcement and military? Wouldn’t the same logic apply to them?

      • Jim in Memphis

        SSG – I thought I have heard that some police organizations are against the technology on the basis that their officers need to be able to pick up any weapon and use it in an emergency. If a fallen officer or criminal drops their weapon and it has this technology, then the gun would not be usable by other officers on the scene. I would think this would be even more of a problem in a military application.

      • ssgmarkcr

        “No need to be a douche and threaten the life of the gun’s manufacturer.

        Unfortunately, it looks like the douches have won again. While I’m not wild about NJ’s law on this issue, it is equally frustrating to see these types somehow affect free enterprise.

        “A Rockville gun store owner who said he would sell the nation’s first smart gun — even after a California gun store removed the weapon from its shelves to placate angry gun-rights activists — backed down late Thursday night after enduring a day of protests and death threats.”
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/maryland-dealer-will-defy-gun-rights-advocates-by-selling-nations-first-smart-gun/2014/05/01/564efa48-d14d-11e3-937f-d3026234b51c_story.html

        At least he still has his custom assault rifle business to fall back on.

      • Isn’t that typical. When will your side of the argument stop acting like bullies and thugs?

  3. Ssgmarkcr

    “The deal operates as a third-party leasing agreement, currently not allowed in states like Tennessee. Regulations, small government, etc.”

    This is pretty cool. My state is listed as not having any laws for or against. I’ll need to look into it, solar power has always fascinated me with its potential to make individuals independent of the large utilities.

    • ssgmarkcr

      ” I thought I have heard that some police organizations are against the technology on the basis that their officers need to be able to pick up any weapon and use it in an emergency.”

      An interesting point Jim, I hadn’t heard that concern. All I had heard was the reliability issue. I can see where that would be a valid concern for law enforcement and the military. They both have large stocks of weapons that are issued from central storage. And they don’t necessarily get to choose what weapon they get.
      The first solution that comes to mind is to use the same access codes in the firearms and bracelets the same for all of the firearms in the department. That way, every officer can use every department weapon.
      The only issue will then become responding to the inevitable loss of a bracelet. The solution for that is to enable access code changes at the department level.
      The military already does that with encrypted communications. The codes are installed for a set period of time, and are changed if the code is compromised in some way.
      I’m curious about the security used in the electronics also. I’m just finishing a class on IT security and its surprising the information you can pull out of the air that uses wireless technology. This doesn’t detract from the tech’s utility in preventing accidental shootings. Or even the gun’s misuse if taken during an assault. It would only be an issue I think with stolen firearms.

  4. Is there a word for comment poaching?

    From the “How the Pyramids were Built” story comment section:

    “Like picture the biggest whip you can think of…BIGGER than that.”

    I’ll personally miss the Ancient Aliens.

    Have a fine weekend.

  5. “Unfortunately, it looks like the douches have won again.”

    Gosh, that’s been said, so many times since the first rational hominid watched as one of his clan killed and ate a hominid from another clan.

    Thing is this; you and your absurd gunzloonz cadre SUPPORT those assholes. Do you even get that? The NRA and all of the whackjob splinter groups of uparmed MurKKKans that it’s spawned ARE RESPONSIBLE for this nonsense. Where are the brave 2nd’Mendment solutionerz now that one of their brothers in arms (a fucking gun MAKER, no less) is being harassed and (he claims) receiving e-mailed death threats*. Oh, that’s right, THEY’RE the ones doing the harassing and alleged threatening. Yeah, that’s right douchebag, you share the blame.

    * If he has received death threats and is willing to work with the authorities there might be some bravenonymous gunzloonz goin’ to the pokey–where they can’t haz teh gunz.

  6. “At least he still has his custom assault rifle business to fall back on.”

    Right. All of the people who harass him and others like him will let it go at that.

    Jeez, after not seeing your sagacity and wit (my bad, I meant sophistry and witlessness) in Southern Beale’s last 3 posts about moronz with gunz, I was thinking that maybe you had looked down the barrel of your hand cannon while you were dry fining it and found out that it WUZ loaded. Whadda you guys use; a “phone tree” or blast e-mails to notify the faithful that’s there’s an assault on the ramparts? Does Weenie LaPutrid go up on the roof of the NRA’s HQ and fire up the searchlight so’s he can flash the “Batshit” signal for the TROO MurKKKans out there on the firing range that IS the U.S., these days?

  7. Southern Beale:

    Have you seen Mr. Voorhies latest? It’s all good.

  8. “So far, New Jersey is the only state which has passed such legislation, but the law passed clearly shows that it still isn’t reliable enough for real world defensive use by its inclusion of an exemption for law enforcement and military.”

    Bullshit. Please furnish the data that suggests that the average civilian is likely to be operating in a unit of other civilians using the same or similar issue weapons that one could conceivably use in the “fog of war” situations hat arise in military or large scale police operations against, for instance shitheads with lotsa gunz and no brainz–yeah, people like the idiots who shoot their own kids.

    • ssgmarkcr

      Demo, the exemption for law enforcement and police are because the technology isn’t considered reliable enough to bet your life on. If you want to get picky, reliability would be less important in a unit because there are others to back you up.

      “It can’t just work 95 percent of the time,” Pasco said. “You’re not going to pick up a gun to shoot it unless you mean business. And if you mean business, that’s when you absolutely don’t need it to fail you.”
      Johnson, whose lobbying firm represents more than 2,000 police departments and associations, said that he has not year heard of any agency using smart guns.
      “At some point, even with the best technology, the goal is still that the gun has to shoot when you want it to,” Johnson said.”
      http://medillonthehill.net/2014/03/smart-guns-police/

      The fog of war and working in a large unit has nothing to do with the military and police demanding an exemption to these laws, its the expectation that the firearm will work when its needed, because when its really needed, you need it bad.
      If this is a reasonable enough expectation to give law enforcement an exemption, why is it ok to expect regular citizens to have to put up with it?

      • That’s stupid. Does every gun work 100% of the time? We’re always reading stories about guns jamming and whatnot.

        I’m tired of this BS. I don’t think every police officer needs to be armed, either. The average beat cop can be just as irresponsible as the average gun loon.

        Far too much gun fetish in this country. Y’all need to knock it off.

  9. ““It can’t just work 95 percent of the time,” Pasco said. “You’re not going to pick up a gun to shoot it unless you mean business. And if you mean business, that’s when you absolutely don’t need it to fail you.”

    Typical teabaggist claptrap. That is NOT data, moron. It’s a mixture of anecdote and opinion. What is it based on; where are the polls, incident reports, statistical records, analysis and studies that led to that opinion? When you have DATA, furnish it.

    What exactly btw, does “ssg” stand for? Is it is a corruption of the abbreviation for Staff Sargeant? If so, why are you using it?

    • ssgmarkcr

      “Typical teabaggist claptrap. That is NOT data, moron. It’s a mixture of anecdote and opinion.”

      Demo, if you had read the article I cited, you would see that the person you refer to as a teabaggist represents law enforcement,

      “James Pasco, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police’s Washington advocacy center. Commercial viability isn’t enough, he said — until the products are thoroughly tested and certified, putting them into use in law enforcement will have to wait.”

      “What exactly btw, does “ssg” stand for? Is it is a corruption of the abbreviation for Staff Sargeant? If so, why are you using it? ”
      Actually its the correct abbreviation for Staff Sergeant. It was the rank I held when I opened up my email account. I’ve advanced a bit since then.

  10. I was not referring to Pasco as a teabaggist; I was referring to you.

    Pasco is a non-governmental person who is the head of a policemen’s advocacy group. He makes no statement that is anything beyond an assertion. He makes that assertion with no attempt to offer anything to back it except his own opinion. That he is the spokesman for what is essentially a lobbying group is noted. It is not data.

    Gosh, smart gunz aren’t perfect? Seatbelted autos with airbags, collapsible steering columns, runflat tires, high visibility headlamps, safety glass and crumple zones aren’t perfect either but their design, manufacture and use show that they work. Like most people who hate the strawman of gun confiscation you conflate reasonable attempts to impose regulation on the purchase and possession of weapons (especially those which have no discernible use outside killing people) as a grab for your gunz. That you’re wrong is sad, you can get help for that, it’s called reading.

    • Then by all means, let’s do the smart gun legislation without the law enforcement and military exemption.

      • Fine with me. In fact, I don’t care how they do it. The part I’m gonna like, though, is when they tell you gunzloonz that you have to REGISTER any weapons that don’t comport with the new standards. That ought to cause some hair splittin’N’pants shittin’ amongst the indignoranti of gunzloonz nation.

  11. So, you’re not a Staff Sergeant? Not that I really care, but why use a rank that is inferior to the one you actually hold? Why two different e-mails? I use two different e-mails but I don’t blog from my e-mail app, so I always sign as “democommie” when I blog or comment on blogs. I know that one e-mail is not for getting weird or threatening e-mails (and it doesn’t–except for the spam) and the other is available for some people I run into on blogs–you’re not one of them.

    • Ssgmarkcr

      “The part I’m gonna like, though, is when they tell you gunzloonz that you have to REGISTER any weapons that don’t comport with the new standards. ”

      Good luck with getting that sold in the legislature. Gun legislation has been moving steadily towards more gun freedoms instead of more restrictions. There has even been talk of repealing the smart gun law in NJ because of the law resulting in no one selling it.

      • Thanks for that comment. If I had had the slightest doubt that you and Greg Camp are asshole buddies, that would have pushed it past the tipping point.

        You gunzloonz want to make my world a more dangerous place so that you can allay your own fears about the non-existent coming invasion by the horde-du-jour. You’re a lying putz.