There will be no Falcons in the Super Bowl, only Ravens, this year. But, there has been a lot of talk about Falcons lately so I jotted down a few notes and thought I’d share them with you. Continue reading Falcons
From the National Center for Science Education:
The Revisionaries — Scott Thurman’s acclaimed documentary about the controversy over the Texas state board of education’s efforts to undermine the scientific and historical integrity of the textbooks used in the state’s public schools — is airing on PBS. Continue reading The Revisionaries on PBS
Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis: Volume 1 – The Physical Climate is a new book you may be interested in, authored in part by my friend John Cook of Skeptical Science. Importantly, the project deals not only with climate change, but also, with important aspects of the politics of climate change and with climate change denialism:
The textbook is written for the introductory science student at the undergraduate college level. We describe the discipline of climate change science, and individual climate scientists whose expertise spans Earth history, geology, geography, biology, oceanography, astronomy, mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering and more. We’ve attempted to cover a variety of the empirical evidence for and the effects of Earth’s changing climate.
Significantly (and unique in climate textbooks to my knowledge), there is a detailed analysis of the phenomenon of climate change denial. Students learning climate science will need to put into proper context the myths and attacks on science conducted by those who deny the scientific consensus
For starters, I’ve put a bunch of videos including a must see by Jon Steward and another must see by Melissa Harris-Perry HERE. Following is a veritable carnival of topical and timely posts, stories, and sites:
Widespread gun ownership and lax firearms controls were deemed major reasons for the US topping a list of violent deaths in wealthy nations. The study comes amid a fiery gun control debate, triggered by the fatal school shooting at Sandy Elementary.
The 378-page survey by a panel of experts from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, listed unintentional injuries, quite often caused by guns, among reasons why people in America die young more often than in other countries.
This week, people were shocked when the Drudge Report posted a giant picture of Hitler over a headline speculating that the White House will proceed with executive orders to limit access to firearms. The proposed orders are exceedingly tame, but Drudge’s reaction is actually a common conservative response to any invocation of gun control.
The NRA, Fox News, Fox News (again), Alex Jones, email chains, Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, Gun Owners of America, etc., all agree that gun control was critical to Hitler’s rise to power. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (“America’s most aggressive defender of firearms ownership”) is built almost exclusively around this notion, popularizing posters of Hitler giving the Nazi salute next to the text: “All in favor of ‘gun control’ raise your right hand.”
In his 1994 book, NRA head Wayne LaPierre dwelled on the Hitler meme at length, writing: “In Germany, Jewish extermination began with the Nazi Weapon Law of 1938, signed by Adolf Hitler.”
Is any attempt to regulate firearms a violation of the Second Amendment?
Is it true that weaker gun laws lead to lower crime rates?
Does the public support gun violence prevention measures?
Does the NRA have the ability to remove from office politicians who support stronger gun laws?
Have any proposals been put forward which would result in federal gun confiscation?
Are guns that are commonly called assault weapons more dangerous than other firearms?
Are sellers at gun shows required to perform a background check on buyers?
Would closing the private sales loophole prevent private citizens from selling firearms?
Has the Obama administration proposed using an executive order to outlaw certain firearms?
The resurgent debate over gun control has put a spotlight on the hardline leaders of the National Rifle Association. In the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, executive vice president Wayne LaPierre delivered a full-throated rejection of gun control and called for more firearms in schools, while David Keene, the group’s president, predicted the failure of any new assault weapons ban introduced in Congress. The two NRA figureheads purported to speak for more than 4 million American gun owners, though the group’s membership may in fact be smaller.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The National Rifle Association and Wal-Mart, the largest gun retailer in the country, are set to meet with Vice President Biden today at the White House; all part of his gun violence task force. This comes a day after the Vice President met with gun control advocates.
Shira Goodman, Executive Director of CeasefirePA, along with the others from around the country brought some common ideas and hopes at the White House.
“There was a focus not just on the general idea of background checks on all guns, but making sure all states share their mental health records with the federal database.”
In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, President Obama on Wednesday announced new national gun control measures. He has already urged members of Congress to do the same. Here is our comprehensive look at where lawmakers stand on guns, as well as political spending and voting history. Explore and share what you think Congress should do about guns in this country.
The message to Republicans and some Democrats who are still walking the walk and talking the talk of the gun rights extremists came from an unlikely source today. Frank Luntz, Republican pollster, wrote in the Washington Post today about how wrong the Republicans have been about their messaging and their extreme language. Here is what Luntz had to say about the language regarding guns and gun policy:
“Beyond fiscal policy, Republicans need to revamp their messaging on other issues. For example, the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., offered Republicans a chance to discuss public safety — a more personal issue than “crime” — on a human level. That hasn’t happened, but it still can. Most people agree that there is a middle ground between gun-control hard-liners, who see every crime as an excuse to enact new laws, and the National Rifle Association, which sees every crime as an excuse to sell more guns. The Second Amendment deserves defending, but do Republicans truly believe that anyone should be able to buy any gun, anywhere, at any time? If yes, they’re on the side of less than 10 percent of America. If not, they need to say so.”
Luntz’s question is an important one and one raised on my blog often….
Dear Representative Cantor:
I direct this correspondence to you due to your leadership position in the House, your record on ‘gun rights’ legislation that has earned you an A rating by the National Rifle Association (NRA), and because your party this past election cycle received 89% of the political contributions issued by the NRA – this nation’s leading ‘gun rights’ lobbying organization. You are listed as the 4th leading recipient of such contributions in the House.
I write you not only as a concerned citizen and parent regarding the issue of gun violence in America, but as an individual whose career involved responsibility for assessing and reporting product safety in a federally regulated industry (pharmaceuticals). I have held senior executive positions, consulted for corporations, and have been before government regulators on numerous occasions. Unlike most (if not all) consumer products, guns remain unregulated for health and safety. In the industry where I worked, federal law required us to not only assure the safety of our products, but that we take steps to reduce risk, finding an optimal balance between benefit and risk….
While America continues to grieve over the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School and begins looking for answers, for Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun industry’s multi-million dollar trade association, it’s back to business as usual.
Faced, in its own hometown, with the real-world horror that can be inflicted with the military-style weapons it helps market and has tried to euphemistically “rebrand” as “modern sporting rifles,” NSSF took a page out of the National Rifle Association’s post-tragedy playbook. It issued a short notice of sympathy and then refused to talk to the press, hoping, as has happened all too many times before, that public anguish and anger would fade as time passed.
This week, America has been taken aback by the National Rifle Association’s ad politicizing President Obama’s daughters. With this latest episode, it’s become patently obvious that unhinged attacks are the NRA leadership’s calling card. As pundits cover the obstructionism and handwringing of high-profile NRA executives like David Keene, it’s important to take a look at lesser-known NRA leaders and understand just how far to the fringe the organization has moved in recent decades.
New investigative reporting by Frank Smyth in Mother Jones — that complements my organization’s Meet the NRA website — reveals the NRA’s eerie connection to the Newtown tragedy. Smyth discovered that the NRA nominating committee that plays a key role in deciding who is on the NRA’s board is run by Newtown resident Patricia Clark, and also includes George K. Kollitides II, the chief executive of the company that made the AR-15 used in the shooting.
Sunday, our President, Barack Obama, gave the oath of office of President of the United States in the Oval Office, officially beginning his second term in that role, by the will of the American people.
Today, Monday the 21st of January, he gives his inaugural speech, on the same day as Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
But back on Saturday, when the rest of America was gearing up for this momentous occasion, the gun lobbies had a different agenda. They, instead, chose to make up a new day, which they called “Gun Appreciation Day.” A day made up by a White Supremacist Group. From the article:
A handful of media items on guns and gun control: Continue reading Gun Violence Conversations