Archive for massachusetts – Page 2

Fingerprint Recognition For Guns Saves Lives

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare
gun safety

gun safety personalization system overview

For a while, about ten years ago, there was a rash of car break-ins where the only thing stolen was the car radio. It was a very easy item for the crooks to fence. The huge numbers of incidents of these thefts rose so high that the car manufacturers and the car radio makers got together to address this problem. And you know what? They did and so successfully that the number of radio thefts dropped precipitously.

Now almost all cars are equipped with radios that have an anti-theft mechanism. If you steal a radio, you need a special code to activate it. Even if your power goes out in your car -- the battery dies -- you need the code to activate it. So a stolen radio won't work and hence you won't be buying too many "hot" music making devices.

Necessity is the mother of all invention, or so the saying goes. And Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) has a new proposal to cut down on accidental and even intentional gun violence.  He plans on introducing new federal gun legislation that would require all firearms manufactured in the U.S. to be equipped with “personalization technology,” so that if a weapon lands in the wrong hands, it can’t be fired.

For the uninitiated, that means all guns must come with fingerprint recognition -- similar to ID codes for radios -- so that they can not be fired except by the licensed, registered owner. It doesn't stop gun sales. It only stops unauthorized use of these weapons.

If the same outcome is true for firearms as for car radios why not do it? Illegally sold firearms won't do a buyer any good if they can't be fired. Hence, less unreported or fenced gun sales.

Markey gave an interview to Boston Magazine:

The Handgun Trigger Safety Act will help ensure that only authorized users can operate handguns. This is the type of gun safety legislation that everyone—regardless of political party or affiliation—should be able to support,” he said.

Now this technology is already available. It's just plain common sense. It's not taking any rights away from legal gun registrants, those with a license -- it actually could prevent them from having their weapons stolen. Safety-safety, win-win.

The technology could include fingerprint recognition, or safety systems like the Armatix iP1, referenced in Markey’s proposal, which relies on a radio-controlled watch that is responsible for gun access and use.

If passed, the law would also require anyone selling a handgun to retrofit their weapon with personalization technology three years after the date of enactment of the bill. 

The technology already exists:

A company called Safe Gun Technology, or SGTi, has been working on a product that could do just that. Relying on biometric technology, people would be unable to fire a weapon unless they were the owner.

If someone is against such a personalization then I suggest they have something to hide. There's not a sane reason that this can't be done. And cost isn't the issue. People always seem to find the money to buy a gun. If this technology is added to that cost, they'll find a way to come up with that extra few bucks just like they do with security locked radios in their cars. It's just part of the cost. If you really need a gun, you'll find the money. Just like when gasoline spikes to nearly $5/gal. We grumble and grouse, maybe cut back on our driving habits, but we don't give up our cars. Well gun owners can do the same. And they'll get over it just like we gas users do.

We make automobile smog testing and attaining a certificate mandatory every two years here in California. It's a cost burden (around $75 including certificate) and inconvenience, but it's for public safety and clean air. How about asking gun owners to be responsible for public safety with their own weapons by not letting unauthorized people pick up their gun and shoot it? Think of all those young kids who discover their parents' weapons and end up shooting a sibling or neighbor kid while they're playing with it? If equipped with fingerprint recognition, those accidents won't become fatalities. They just won't happen at all.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

"Why Save Lives? That Costs Money," Maine Gov. LePage

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

MaineGovLePaigew398h240

HuffPo:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) appears set to oppose a bill increasing access to a lifesaving anti-overdose medication because of concerns rejected by public health experts that it could encourage more drug abuse, according to the bill's chief sponsor.

Fatal heroin overdoses in Maine quadrupled from 2011 to 2012. Naloxone is a drug that can reverse overdoses from heroin and other opioids like morphine. State Rep. Sara Gideon (D) is sponsoring legislation that would place the drug [naloxone], which is sold under the trade name Narcan, in the hands of police, firefighters, at-risk users and their families.

With statistics like those above, why wouldn't any caring public servant not want to provide all possible life-saving options to all first responders? Do they send firemen to fires without water? Do they send cops out on the street without guns? So why this stand by the governor, and why now?

Part of the problem is this man is insane. He's no stranger to controversy. For a quick refresher course on his antics, he's the man who  had some words for Democratic State Senator Troy Jackson, whom he battled over the state's budget.

"Senator Jackson claims to be for the people but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline," LePage told Portland station WMTW.

So now who's shoving something where it doesn't belong without lube? Here's LePage's twisted logic: he believes increasing the availability of Narcan will lead the drug user or drug abuser to have this feeling of invincibility. Therefore, why save their lives? Why should we keep alive someone who's a drug user?

Heroine overdosers

Ask Janis Joplin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, River Phoenix, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cory Haim, Lenny Bruce, Billie Holiday, Heath Ledger, Jimi Hendrix, Chris Farley, Curt Cobain, Whitney Houston, or tragically so many more. Maybe the cost of carrying the drug on first responders is a concern. But think of the value these drug overdosers' lives would have had for all of us if they had lived. You can't put a price on a life, but this GOP ultra-conservative believes he can. And he's not alone. Maybe they need to look at this:

In 2010, police and firefighters in Quincy, Mass., started carrying Naloxone as part of their standard equipment -- a scenario similar to that envisioned in Gideon's bill. Since then, Naloxone has been credited with reversing 188 overdoses in Quincy alone, and the head of the Boston suburb's police narcotics unit has become a Naloxone evangelist.

People of Maine, you deserve better. Whatever your reasons for putting your life into this wachadoo's hands, he has certainly not earned your trust. Make sure your state representative knows that the cost of saving lives is nothing compared to what a living person can contribute to you and the rest of society.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Hillary Clinton Left Sucking Elizabeth Warren's Fumes

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

AircraftVaporTrailw396h263

While Hillary plays, Warren soars. That's something that is quite interesting and intriguing to consider. We know what Hillary Clinton has done in the past and her wealth of experience. But lately there's a new kid on the block who's pushing some very strong changes in Washington. They're being met with a good amount of skepticism on the right, as would be any change. But on the left and in the all important center, she's scoring some major points.

Here's what Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) has been up to lately -- in no order of intended importance.

  1. She's been fighting for lower cost educational  student loans, which happened.
  2. She's been leading the way for the new Dodd-Frank banking regulations bill. It's moving through committee as we speak.
  3. She's proposed INCREASING Social Security payments, not decreasing them, allowing seniors more buying power. That's gaining great attention among the lawmakers.
  4. She's stood up to President Obama on his judicial nominations, pointing out that too many of them come from Wall Street banking and not enough from tort and criminal law. She's against too much big business influence on laws and regulations.
  5. She's been fighting and gaining traction against the too big to fail excuse. She's pushing for jail terms for the banking execs who have lead their investors into huge, risky and in some cases, scandalous investments.
  6. She's leading the move to help the post office support itself by giving it more financial services it can perform like check cashing.  Details here
  7. She proposing changing student loans to be more like house or car loans -- renegotiable if the rates go down.

According to The Daily Beast:

Elizabeth Warren4

 Unlike a loan to pay for a house, a vehicle, or just about anything else your heart desires, you can’t refinance a student loan. The result is that student loans have become a rare way for the federal government to generate revenue, making $66 billion in profits off them between 2007-2012.  Warren told The Daily Beast that she is discussing legislation with colleagues that would allow students to refinance their federal loans at rates currently offered to new borrowers. 

Perhaps the presumptive front runner on the Democratic side Hillary C., might want to get off her recliner and start making a little more noise and taking stands on some issues. Senator Warren has the pulpit right now, with her current upper house seat. But Ms. Clinton better get a move on before the the party starts looking at a fresher, younger and quite vibrant up and comer. 

If not, come 2016, the Dems might just go with a fresh face and some strong ideas -- consumer protections might be more important that 22 trips to Benghazi.

Take a look at this short ad that Ms. Warren put out when running for the Senate. She's made her goals known, and she's making great headway toward them.

Important for Hillary to consider: The longer you stand on the sidelines and let others define you, the harder it is to later define yourself.

The Democrats might just have a primary race yet, and if Joe Biden jumps in, all eyes might just move to Elizabeth Warren. She says she's not interested, but we've all heard that denial before.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Look Who The GOP Favors In New Hampshire For 2016 Presidential Race

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Ghostbustersw398h203

Does this sound familiar? Courtesy of elyrics.net:

If there's somethin' strange in your neighborhood
Who ya gonna call?
(Ghostbusters!)

If it's somethin' weird an' it don't look good
Who ya gonna call?
(Ghostbusters!)

I ain't afraid o' no ghost
I ain't afraid o' no ghost

Now rejigger or reconcile this with the latest findings of the Purple Strategies Poll reported by the BOSTON GLOBE on January 30, 2014:

Romney Ghost

In a hypothetical 2016 presidential field, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would be the front-runner in the Granite State GOP primary field, with 25 percent of the vote. Behind Romney are Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, at 18 percent, then New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, at 17 percent, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, at 13 percent.

At first I had to laugh, then I took a few minutes to digest this and think it through. Mitt's high rating might just be a result of him being a former Massachusetts governor and his familiarity in the region. Add to that his two presidential campaigns in the state in 2008 and 2012. He's spent time there and people know him. Just as they know him all across the country based on his presidential run in 2012 nationally. Whether a punchline to a joke or a Jeopardy answer, "Who blew his election on his 47% comment?", people know who you're talking about.

So what can we read from these tea leaves? In second place is Rand Paul. He's the acorn that didn't fall too far from his father's tree. If Ron Paul couldn't win over his party with some very outrageous contentions and claims, it's unlikely that the Ayn Rand-worshiping Kentucky senator will gain much national attention. Could he gain enough traction to grab the nomination from the right wing conservative or evangelical Republicans who seem to control the GOP's ultimate nomination? Highly unlikely.

Coming in third on this list with plummeting approval ratings is scandal-plagued Chris Christie. With more and more revelations about the New Jersey governor's leadership coming out daily, his chances are fleeting. Either you believe his associates were wreaking havoc without his knowledge which makes him a poor executive or he was actively involved in the scandal, which isn't the quality a party looks for in it's standard bearer. Day by day, the likelihood of a successful Christie run are diminishing.

Then with roughly half the popularity of Romney you find Jeb Bush. He's been out of politics long enough that he can hope that people have forgotten that he's one of "those" Bushes. The big problem for Jeb is he's just a wishy-washy guy. He came out with a book where he proclaims he's all for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented residents and then he does the famous flip-flop and denies that stand despite it being printed in his book. He has nothing but family name to run on and I'm not sure the Republicans are ready to want to defend another Bush presidency. He'll be running away from his family's disastrous tenures in office. It just doesn't seem to be logical, but these are the Republicans I'm writing about. Logic is far down the road of qualifications for doing or saying anything.

So that leaves the hind titty. Those are Sen. Rubio, Gov. Walker, Sen. Cruz and... that's just it. There doesn't seem to be an 'and'.

What makes this most interesting is that New Hampshire is very important -- it's the first presidential primary in the nation . It follows closely on the heels of the Iowa caucuses. Not to cast aspersions on Iowa, but that's a bought and paid for caucus state. It's hardly a bellwether predictor of the ultimate winner of the nomination. Yet New Hampshire has had some success as a forecaster. Romney won there in 2012 and he ended up with his party's nomination. In 2008 McCain won and went on to get the nod. 

Will Mitt make another run for President? He's just rich enough and foolish enough to think he could win this time, "third time's the charm."

So while the Republican party, the party that took four different responses to President Obama's State of the Union speech, continues being a fractured party, there is one constant that they might unite behind. He'll be a bit more conservative this time around, and he's seasoned enough for those GOP voters to consider him viable. He's got the name and face recognition. And he's already putting out feelers. Just last week he was on Jimmy Fallon slow jammin' the news. He wasn't doing that because he loves Jimmy Fallon (or even knew what slow jammin' meant). He's just positioning himself. He's meeting with big investors. He's giving interviews. And his new documentary "Mitt" was just released on Netflix. It was the attempt to make him appear human. I saw it. And surprisingly, it does.

He's ready, willing and able. He's got the infrastructure from the last campaign. And it may just turn out that he gets his third try at the POTUS brass ring. Just sayin'...

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

A Friend To The End

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Cancer patient and his dog

 

Courtesy of MailOnline:

Mike Petrosino, 21, was diagnosed with cancer in the eighth grade. He has been in and out of Massachusetts General Hospital since then but last week doctors said there was nothing more they could do.

So on Friday, his family brought his dear dog Rusty to the hospital to say a final goodbye. The emotional image of the pet by his bedside was shared on Reddit and has since gone viral.

This is the time of year for miracles -- actually any day and any time is right for an act of God or any other deity. Here's wishing for a safe journey -- perhaps delayed, for a stranger to me, but a friend to all including his dear Rusty.

And for those who think dogs don't understand a friend and relationships, read on:

John Petrosino [Mike's brother] told TheBlaze the moment was deeply moving, and Rusty, who is now 10 years old, seemed to understand the gravity of what was going on.

'That was by far one of the most touching moments of my life,' he told the website.

'Rusty was very emotional when Mike said his finale goodbye. Every time I come home these past two days, he sits near Mike's favorite couch and whines, which is rare from him.'

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Elizabeth Warren Unleashed - Her Roar Backs Down 'Third Way' Think Tank

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

lions roar

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been constantly on the attack over Wall Street gaming us, playing the public for fools on an uneven playing field. Plainly put, they refuse to pay their fair share. Recently that's brought out some ringing criticism from the Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank. Democrats for years have been known for in-squabbling. Lately it's been a Republican trait, but the exclusivity and even civility seems to be waning. Democrats are picking on each other. That's what's cost them in the past, and may hurt them again in the 2014 elections.

Responding to Senator Warren's call to increase, not trim Social Security benefits...

BUZZFEED:

Third Way’s Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler wrote Monday that “nothing would be more disastrous for Democrats” than to embrace the economic populism of Warren and New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. Warren responded Wednesday with a letter to several major financial institutions, asking them to disclose donations to think tanks — seen as a thinly veiled reference to the op-ed.

That hit a nerve, for sure. Senator Warren's attacks continued on their tactics. HUFFPO: 

The Massachusetts Democrat said that Wall Street's push to cut Social Security is part of a broader agenda. "It's part of the larger issue about a rigged playing field. They don't wanna pay more, they don't wanna pay a fair share. I believe everybody should pay a fair share," she said. "That's how we make sure people can retire with dignity. That's not what Wall Street wants to do."

Third Way's spokesman responded by saying that under Warren's plan, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase's CEO, would be entitled to a higher Social Security payout.

"Oh please. I'm out there working for Jamie Dimon the same way Dick Cheney is out there trying to save the environment," Warren said.

Senator Warren, you tell 'em. Third Way is a think tank. Make them pay when they don't think. Seems that when you dish it back at them, Democratic ears prick up. And you're retort has even cracked through the Third Way think tank's leaders. They don't even agree with themselves, evidently.

Rep. Joe Crowley, a New York Democrat who is an honorary co-chair of Third Way, told BuzzFeed that he did not agree with Third Way on all issues, especially on Social Security, but he would “continue to work with them.”

It's nice to know someone has our backs. Now keep on 'em. Don't let up. We need you and your progressive thinking. Seniors are, as you say, for the most part separated from poverty by Social Security. They can't afford any cutbacks. Not if they want to live out their lives with a modicum of dignity. The seniors who helped build this country deserve that at the very least.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Circumcision, No. Chop It All Off

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

boys and girls rooms

As a guy writing about this, I can only cringe. This post is about bathrooms, obstinance and ignorance-- oh, and penis removal. The focus of this week's wackatude of the week is a member of the school board in Colorado. It seems she's got the Wizard of Oz's Scarecrow deficiency which has led her to making perhaps the most outrageous statement since Michele Bachmann died.

Oh, she didn't die? My bad. I thought with all those stupid remarks attributed to her, if she was still living, she'd had denied them. I guess that's what happens when you're not fully informed.

HuffPo:

A Colorado school board member is facing criticism after she said that transgender students would need to be castrated before the student could use the school bathrooms that fit their gender identity.

Talk about holding it in when you need to go.

According to Delta County School Board member Katherine Svenson a person born transgendered should be put under the knife. For what? I understand for religious reasons Jews are snipped in the bud, but now a person's sexuality is the determining factor? And Svenson's not just talking about a little snip from the tip. She wants the entire plumbing removed. What planet are we on?

I'm not sure when we're talking about Delta County. My map says it's in the Grand Junction area of Colorado. Though I know they've voted in some districts to secede, the entire state of Colorado is still part of the US.

“I don’t have a problem if some boys think they are girls, I’m just saying as long as they can impregnate a woman, they’re not going to go in the girls' locker-room,”she [Svenson] said.

Somehow Board Member Svenson isn't aware of her own states laws.

Back in June, Colorado's Civil Rights Division ruled in favor of a transgender students having the right to use the restroom for the gender that they identify as.

Seventeen states, including Colorado and the District of Columbia, now outlaw discrimination against transgendered people.

So, if you're up for some total wackiness, listen to Ms. Svenson defending herself. Close your eyes and you'll think you're hearing the late Congresswoman Bachmann. Oops. Sorry. I did it again. Well, watch this anyway:

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare