Guns-In-Cars FAIL, Exploding Ammo Edition

Well, now. I don’t suppose this is a scenario our gun-humping legislators considered when they passed guns-in-cars last year:

Emergency workers at a car crash on Interstate 95 Thursday had to contend with exploding bullets as fire ignited 40 rounds of ammunition in one car.

[...]

“The car was fully engulfed and it had exploded already,” Vanadestine said. “While I’m there trying to give first aid and help them I hear this popping.” The driver of the Honda told him he had two loaded handguns, a .40-caliber and a .380, and ammunition in the car.

“All that ammo started to explode and go all over that place. I could see it. The car was absolutely destroyed,” Vanadestine said.

Vanadestine ran to his cruiser and positioned it in front of the people who had been in the car.

“I couldn’t move them. I thought we were going to get hit with rounds,” he said. “For five to 10 minutes those rounds were popping off in that car.” None of the rounds hit the cruiser.

Firefighters had to stay back until the rounds stopped going off.

The 20-year-old driver of the car had a concealed-carry permit, so no charges were filed related to the guns and ammo.

Great, just what first responders need to deal with.

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Filed under gun control

Charlie Brown, He’s A Clown

[UPDATE]:

Welcome, Wonketteers!

[UPDATE] 2:

Pith reports that state Dem leaders saw this debacle coming but were powerless to stop it (why I have no clue. How about a campaign that says “DON’T JUST VOTE FOR THE FIRST NAME ON THE LIST THEY’RE PROBABLY DUMBASSES. THINK BEFORE YOU VOTE.” Whatever). Anyway, Mary Mancini’s name is being floated to replace Roy Herron, and I think it’s a damn good idea. She’s probably tuckered out from the state senate race though.

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Unless this is some kind of scam, this is the guy who won the Democratic nomination for the Governor’s race in yesterday’s primary. His “maine intention” is to bring the Bible back to schools, he wants to raise the state speed limit to 80, tells everyone to join the NRA, and wants to “buy hugh deers for our Wild Life areas.”

His was the first name on the ballot; as we’ve seen in the past (*cough*cough*Mark Clayton*cough*cough), the first name on the ballot is usually the craziest mo-fo hoping to scam state Democrats into the nomination. Looks like it’s working. (No, I did not vote for him. I would not be scammed.)

This is a ginormous embarassment for the TNDP. Another illiterate clown running on the TNDP ticket. I don’t understand why we can’t find a decent Democrat for these races. Yes, Bill Haslam will most likely win but for crying out loud, a campaign now lays the groundwork for future races.

I just don’t get it. Why does the TNDP want to be associated with illiterates and buffoons?

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Filed under Tennessee, Tennessee government, TNDP

Good News Friday

This week’s round-up of good news awaits. Enjoy!

• Some good election news from around Tennessee: wackaloon Victoria Jackson lost her bid for the Williamson County Commission, a move by Koch Bros.-funded groups like Americans For Prosperity to oust the state’s Supreme Court justices failed, and homophobic ignoramus Stacy Campfield got stomped by his primary challenger.

Meanwhile, skeevy “abortion-for-me-but-not-for-thee” Congressvarmint Scott DesJarlais holds a narrow lead over primary challenger Jim Tracy in the race for the TN-04 Republican nomination. DesJarlais is the “pro-life” doctor who famously slept with patients and pressured both his wife and mistress to have abortions. Jim Tracy is a far-right wackadoodle, too; I guess the voters would rather stay with the wackadoodle they know, not the wackadoodle they don’t know. Maybe everyone in TN-04 is whacked out on meth.

• FICO is changing how it calculates credit scores, with things like medical debt no longer given so much weight:

“This underscores that medical obligations are very different than any other kind of obligations because consumers don’t choose to incur hospital debt — it’s a very different type of risk posed by a consumer when they default on that type of debt,” said John Ulzheimer, expert at CreditSesame.com.

• The owner of an Ohio drilling company who ordered employees to dump tens of thousands of gallons of toxic fracking waste into a local river was sentenced to 28 months in prison.

• Astronomers have made some cool discoveries sifting through the Hubble telescope’s sofa cushions.

• Theodore Wafer was found guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Renisha McBride last November. An intoxicated McBride had crashed her car and was possibly seeking help when she knocked on Wafer’s door.

• Congratulations, Becky Hammon, new Assistant Coach of the San Antonio Spurs! You are the first female coach in NBA history!

• Self-folding robots! I think we’ve seen this movie ….

• After growing attention in the media to the practice of “corporate inversion” resulted in some negative publicity (and possible legislative action), Walgreen’s decided it would stay in the USA.

• Someone invented a cheap, easy to use water filter that attaches to ordinary plastic water bottles.

• A growing number of evangelical Christians are turned off by the misogynistic spew coming from Mars Hill megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll. A large group described as “several dozen” protested Driscoll’s Bellevue, WA church last weekend.

• Alabama’s abortion clinic law requiring doctors performing abortions have hospital admitting privileges has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.

• Amid the issues raised in the “Blackfish” documentary, Southwest Airlines has ended its long corporate sponsorship of the Sea World theme parks.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• The largest solar parking structure in Tennessee is under construction at Hendersonville’s City Square Shopping Center.

• This East Tennessee ER nurse performed CPR on a drowned puppy and brought him back to life.

• TVA continues to move away from coal for its power production.

• Get a load of this adorable baby giraffe born at Bright’s Zoo in Limestone, TN. Please do not feed it to the lions or smack its head on a bridge during transport in an open-top truck.

I love giraffes. They’ve had a hard time of it lately, too.

And here’s this week’s cool video: watch an entire train station full of people in Perth, Australia free a man trapped by a train. Amazing what we can do when we all pull together, eh?

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Shiny-Sparkly Internet Thingie

Apparently our brilliant overlords think chucking social studies textbooks for, I dunno, Jetpunk geography quizzes and Wikipedia’d history is a great idea:

In a first for MNPS, the district opted not to purchase social studies textbooks this year when the time came to replace outdated versions every six years.

Instead, Metro administrators have asked teachers to use websites, interactive videos and primary resources as the main way to teach history, geography and other social studies topics. Though older textbooks will still be in classrooms, and teachers can use them as resources, they are no longer the central focus.

It’s a “digital classroom” these days, officials say, and teachers need flexibility to use curriculum not offered in the old-fashioned print textbook.

Ah yes, the “digital classroom,” that great beacon of our future. Last time I wrote about this in 2011, I linked to this New York Times piece about the failure of Arizona’s tech-intensive classrooms to actually educate:

Since 2005, scores in reading and math have stagnated in Kyrene, even as statewide scores have risen.

To be sure, test scores can go up or down for many reasons. But to many education experts, something is not adding up — here and across the country. In a nutshell: schools are spending billions on technology, even as they cut budgets and lay off teachers, with little proof that this approach is improving basic learning.

Indeed. It bears remembering that the very people touting the “digital classroom” and education based on computer gimmicks tend to be the same people selling school districts the high-tech gadgetry in the first place. I’ve long suspected that a big part of this push is to basically advertise certain brands to kids, often at taxpayer expense — to create future customers for Microsoft and Apple, for instance, the same way tobacco companies reached kids with their Joe Camel campaign.

It’s also kinda bizarre that we’re going all-in on technology in the classroom on the one hand, while barely two weeks ago we were told how important it is to teach cursive handwriting in Tennessee’s schools. Weird.

But yes, DO remind me how the problem with Tennessee’s schools is teachers and teacher’s unions. I’m all ears.

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Filed under education, Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

Two accidental shootings this week. Freedumb.

• August 5, 2014:

Two men argue in a Chattanooga bar over the quality of work one had done and a gun ended up in the mix. Amazing how often that happens.

• August 4, 2014:

1- A Greeneville man fired his sawed-off shotgun at his wife’s unoccupied truck after the two got into an argument at a bar. Somehow I have a feeling a trailer park is involved.

2- Dispatches from offa my lawn: An 80 year old man in Murfreesboro attacked his teenage neighbors with a stun gun for no reason.

3- Two responsible gun owners plumb responsibly forgot all about their loaded guns when they went to the Memphis airport. So responsible.

• August 3, 2014:

A 36-year-old Memphis woman was sitting on her couch watching TV Sunday night when a stray bullet came through the window and shot her in the head.

• August 1, 2014:

1- A Chattanooga man dropped his gun on the floor while getting out of bed to take a plate of food to the kitchen. In so doing, he accidentally shot himself in the hand. Woopsies. Dude, eating in bed is gross. Eating in bed with a gun? Weird.

2- A Memphis seven-year-old was shot in the arm when some kids were playing with a gun.

• July 31, 2014:

1- Someone broke into a Nashville couple’s fenced backyard and shot and killed their 3-year-old Weimaraner:

Jeremy and his wife Julie think someone may have confused Callie for a neighbor’s dog that barks frequently.

“Who shoots someone’s dog at three in the afternoon? Why would you do that?” his wife Julie said. “This morning when I came out here with my dogs, I actually thought ‘I hope someone doesn’t shoot me in my back yard.'”

Honestly, I’ve long been afraid someone would shoot our dogs in our front yard. One of them gets her greatest joy in life running up and down the front of the yard barking at people walking past. They aren’t out there all the time but when they are, I worry.

2- Members of the 100-year-old Central Christian Church in Murfreesboro have damaged the building’s iconic golden dome with bullets in a failed attempt to remove pigeons over the years. Apparently they thought the dome was real gold. It’s not. It’s paint. Oops. The church has launched a fundraising campaign to repair the dome. They’re hoping to raise $100,000.

3- Here’s a sad sign of the times: Memphis elementary schools are handing out clear backpacks to help keep weapons out of the classroom. Elementary school, kids.

4- Related: Chattanooga firefighters have requested bullet-proof vests. Maybe we all need them.

5- A Rockvale man fired an AR-15 assault rifle at his sister, just at the Founders intended. He then barricaded himself inside his home “for hours.” A special Sheriff’s Dept. team finally used an armored vehicle to get him out.

“He was lying in bed with his AR-15,” Sgt. Chris Kauffman said in a statement. “After numerous, numerous attempts, we used the armored vehicle and he surrendered.”

Lying in bed cradling his AR-15. Sounds about right.

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Filed under gun control, Tennessee

The Battle Of The Editorial Page

The Kansas City Star‘s editorial page editor learned the hard way that the Heritage Foundation is not a real think tank but rather a conservative talking point factory populated by charlatans and cranks. She won’t be publishing any more editorials from Heritage nitwit Stephen Moore, but I hope she takes a closer look at everything else coming out of that shady outfit, too.

The link has the deets, but in a nutshell, Moore submitted a piece rebutting a Paul Krugman piece about the sorry state of the Kansas economy ever since Gov. Numnutz decided slashing taxes would create an economic boom. It didn’t — it never does — but Moore begged to differ, offering a piece full of recycled supply-side ideas and cooked with some incorrect statistics.

As an aside, I really don’t get people like Stephen Moore. He’s writing a piece where he has to fudge his data to make his point work (and he didn’t even do that correctly), yet he’s still going to the mat on a discredited economic theory? Again: he can’t make the theory work without fudging the numbers and he’s still spouting it? Who does that? Not a real economist, but a fraud. How does someone like that look themselves in the mirror every day? What a pathetic loser.

Anyway, as the CJR pointed out, the blame rests on the newspaper, not the propagandist:

Of course, the responsibility here is not Moore’s alone. As Silverman says, “each of these outlets bear responsibility for the op-eds they publish. There are so few stats in this piece that it would seem reasonable to expect someone on the op-ed page to check them before accepting the column. That would have prevented this issue.”

Pepper acknowledges this responsibility. “We did not factcheck his BLS figures that we found out later were incorrect, and that was a failure on our part,” she says.

Indeed. This whole scenario reminds me of our own Gannett fishwrap, The Tennessean, which repeatedly ran op-eds from the corporate sockpuppets at Rick Berman’s House of Propaganda. For some reason newspaper editors seem to be the last to get the memo that conservatives are using the media to advance their political agenda. As with Stephen Moore, they either know it and don’t care, or they’ve drunk so much “two sides to every story” Kool-ade that they’ve forgotten their first job is accuracy.

Anyway, score a point for the Kansas City Star, at least. One fewer paper publishing one right-winger’s bullshit. At this rate our media will be cleaned up around the time the very last newspaper folds.

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Filed under media

Just Folks

Right-wingers have called for the fainting couches because President Obama used the word “folks” when discussing post-9/11 torture. Specifically, he said,

“We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks.”

It apepars Obama’s use of the word “folks” has right-wingers more upset than the actual torture. Last night on Real Time With Bill Maher the Token Conservative™ derided Obama’s use of the word as “glib,” while Dan Froomkin Tweeted that it was a “malapropism” and inappropriate:

That’s just a sampling of the outrage, you can ask the Great Gazoogle for more.

Meanwhile, let’s take a trip into the Memory Hole and go back to Sept. 11, 2001 and President Bush’s very first comments about the tragedy while he was still at Booker Elementary School reading My Pet Goat:

I have spoken to the Vice President, to the Governor of New York, to the Director of the FBI, and have ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families, and — and to conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act.

This was just minutes after the attacks. But the attackers were “folks.” I wonder if Dan Froomkin and the rest called for the fainting couches back then?

But by all means, let’s continue to attack Obama for using the word “folks,” not the Bush Administration for their actual torture policy. Our discourse in this country is so stupid.

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Filed under 9/11, conservatives, President Barack Obama, President Bush, torture