Archive for safety

Tracy Morgan v Walmart's Lowest Prices, Gua-ran-teed

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notSureIf

What part of a Thirty Rock comedic star and outspoken liberal voice suing a big-box chain not beloved of the Left for unsafe business practices is not fascinating?

Lawrence O'Donnell agreed, giving a generous amount of time to the news item that may have a lot to do with actual traffic deaths if this cause gets some tread and some traction. Video below.

Tracy Morgan is about to find out how much the life of a close friend of his is worth in the eyes of modern American law.

The underpinnings of the situation are tragic, not comedic. Tracy Morgan had finished a late night set out of town, and was headed back home with friends and staff when a Walmart truck driver, who had been up for longer than 24 hours, completely committed vehicular homicide.

don'tyouknow
The driver, who assuredly will take the moral weight of this to his grave, hadn't had a Bud with his late-night meal, or was even thought to have had a record of poor driving choices, never mind the kind of poor judgment that killed and maimed others on the roads he knew so well.

From Lamestream Librul' Rag the Wall Street Journal:

The lawsuit alleges Wal-Mart should have known the driver's hours were in violation of federal laws aimed at preventing fatigue because the driver, Kevin Roper, commuted 700 miles from his home in Georgia to Delaware to start work.

"As a result of Mr. Roper's fatigue, he fell asleep behind the wheel of his truck while he was driving, failed to slow down for traffic ahead, and resultantly collided with the limo," the suit said.

Lawrence O'Donnell, recently back behind the anchor desk at The Last Word on MSNBC following his own lengthy recuperation from a taxi-cab crash in Cuba, brought in safety advocate Ed Slattery, a truly informative guest, to expertly speak on the topic, along with Emma Fitzsimmons of the N.Y. Times to discuss further.

Apart from our ragged rail system, big trucks are carrying most of the heavy lift of getting our crap to ourselves, and you know exactly how much crap we think we need to get through your average American day. I already have more items on my bed than in my first dorm room and it's 6:15 a.m.

It's astonishing to think that circa 4,000 American (or tourist, pretty soon they are going to start delivering High Risk Alert Travel warnings for visiting any part of the United States for a variety of violent death scenarios) lives are at risk because of industry greed and improper regulation of the good companies and workers that are out there hauling us our Stuff every day.

NOWAY

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Are Wayne LaPierre And The NRA Responsible For One Of The Las Vegas Killings?

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Las Vegas

A tragic, mindless random shooting took place this past weekend in Las Vegas by two very disturbed rightwing nuts, Jerad Miller and his wife, Amanda,. These two fringe "sovereign citizen" types, fond of the 2nd Amendment in the loosest of interpretations, walked into a restaurant, point blank killed two Las Vegas Metropolitican cops who were just eating lunch, then continued on their crazy spree across the street. Their destination? Walmart. Of course Walmart. Where else do you go when you want to show you're just part of the normal world? While they were stocking up on free weapons and munitions, they had fired warning shots into the ceiling and yelled for everyone in the store to get out. I guess these two had a compassionate streak in them after all.

According to NBC News:

“They just said, ‘The revolution’s begun,’ they said that they shot some officers, and basically get out of the store if you don’t want to get hurt,” said Tyrone Ellis, who works at the store.

Now here's where the NRA comes in. Over and over again spokesperson and NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has expounded his organizations mantra after random mass shootings like Columbine, and Sandy Hook, and even the recent Isla Vista massacres. Mindless as it is: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." 

Would someone please explain that to the family of the third victim of this Las Vegas madness, Joseph Wilcox.

A shopper, Joseph Robert Wilcox [good guy], 31, of Las Vegas had a concealed weapon and decided to confront Jerad Miller, police said. As he walked toward the suspect [bad guy], Amanda Miller [another bad guy] came up behind him and shot him several times in the ribs, police said.

Wilcox is dead. He listened to the insipid ramblings of the NRA's LaPierre and now he's deceased. He is now a dead good guy with a gun. All because he actually believed the NRA's claptrap defense of their truly indefensible stand. His death was most likely avoidable. But instead of following directions, he took the NRA for their word. And now he's gone. I wonder if Wayne LaPierre will be speaking as Wilcox's memorial.

This tragedy points out once again, just like time and time before, that gun control is something that needs to be addressed. And it also points out that carrying a gun doesn't make you any safer than not being armed. All of those people who escaped uninjured from the Walmart can attest to that.

We need fewer pistol-packing heroes and more gun sanity and regulations. Sorry NRA. But the 2nd Amendment was never intended to give everyone the ability to pack heat just to make us feel "manly." It was to allow us to defend ourselves as part of a well regulated militia.

Also recently, about a week ago, there was the random Seattle Pacific University shooting where the assailant had killed three people. But because he didn't have a larger clip, he had to stop to reload. Here's how that worked out, according to Truth About Guns:

The gunman walked into the Otto Miller Building just after 3 p.m. and shot three people, said Capt. Chris Fowler with Seattle police. The gunman then began reloading when a student building monitor pepper-sprayed the shooter.

“The shooter began to reload his shotgun and the student building monitor inside the hall confronted the shooter and was able to subdue the individual,” Fowler said. “Once on the ground, other students jumped on top of them and they were able to pin the shooter to the ground until police arrived.”

Regulation, not good guys with guns saved lives. Let's have background checks. Let's have limited ammo clips. Let's stop avoiding the issues. Gun control can be done if the cowards in Congress will grow a backbone. It's been achieved in the past. Let's hope it's done again soon, before so many more must needlessly die to appease the wishes of the few over the hopes and prayers of the many.

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Police Stop A Well Regulated Militia in Minnesota

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I guess the police in Rosemount Minnesota haven't heard of the Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

This unconstitutional action in Minnesota cannot be tolerated. This is hereby a formal invitation to all armed NRA and Militia members to fall in line and help defend the actions of 61-year-old Gary Drake. If you think Cliven Bundy in Nevada needed your help, you were right. And now the newest call is up to the land of lakes.

In case you missed it, here's some of the details of Drake's arrest, from the Raw Story:

A Minnesota man was arrested last week after pulling a shotgun on a neighbor who was teaching his 7-year-old daughter to ride a bike.

“If you don’t like my advice, get off my street,” Drake told the man, who reminded his neighbor he didn't own the street.

This apparently angered Drake even more, and police said he went inside to retrieve a Remington 870 shotgun. He came back with the weapon and threatened to kill the father, but Drake’s wife came outside, pulled the gun away from him, and physically dragged her husband back inside.

Now what's hard to understand here? This guy Drake was just protecting his street -- and isn't that the job of any state militia guardsman? How much clearer can you make it? The neighborhood father and his daughter were infringing on the armed man's rights to peace and quiet as he deems fit.

Drake admitted to police that he had a confrontation with the father, saying he didn’t like how the man treated the girl during the bike-riding lesson.

He admitted to drinking during the day but denied the alcohol had influenced his behavior.

I mean really, so the armed man had a few drinks before pulling his rifle....that's his right. It doesn't mean he's under the influence because he felt justified in arming himself to deal with a father teaching bike riding to his daughter. That's dangerous stuff. He might have even launched the girl at him where he'd be so fearful of his life that he's have to shoot her right off the two-wheeler.

“Maybe next time I should have shot him,” Drake said, according to the arrest complaint.

Drake’s wife turned over his shotgun and a rifle, and he was charged with second-degree assault and terroristic [sic] threatening.

Don't know about you, but I find this blatant infringement on Drake's Constitutional rights to be totally unwarranted and the police in Minnesota need to be stopped. Are you with me? Grab your guns and rifles. We've got our rights to protect.

Here's the coverage if you'd like to know more:

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As Guns Get Smart NRA Gets Dumb

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smart gun

Ordinarily you'd think that the second amendment (right to bear arms) zealots would be pushing for guns to be sold. Arm everybody, everywhere, anytime. That's an NRA-type thinking. You just can't have enough guns.

So what's making hundreds of gun owners in Maryland send death threats to a gun store owner who wants to sell new guns? And what's got the NRA up in arms over prohibiting the sale of certain weapons? It's something referred to as "smart guns."

Who'd ever think of guns being described as smart? They're killing devices. But here's what's causing the bruhaha.

First, here's a look into the technology:

Now, here's a little factual coverage of the latest NRA and gun zealotry activities of late as reported by the Washington Post:

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.

Andy Raymond, the co-owner of Engage Armament, a store known for its custom assault rifles, had said earlier this week that offering the Armatix iP1 handgun was a “really tough decision” after what happened to the Oak Tree Gun Club near Los Angeles. Oak Tree was lambasted by gun owners and National Rifle Association members who fear the new technology will be mandated and will encroach on Second Amendment rights.

The way I read it is gun zealots don't want certain guns sold because with knowledge of this technology being readily available, the second amendment nuts might be forced to retro-fit their guns or the weapons will become illegal. But California and Maryland are just the beginning. Gun safety is a major concern for the NRA. Fear of common sense legislation is their biggest enemy. If only the registered owner of a gun could use it, think of how the black market on guns, or kids picking up their parents gun and killing a sibling or pulling of a Sandy Hook or Columbine might be curtailed. The NRA wouldn't want that now, would they?

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Old Gov. Moonbeam Returns To California -- A Bit More Crazy Now

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Moonbeam

I live in California so things my Governor says impact my life a bit more than say, Nikki Haley, Scott Walker or Rick Scott. Add to that I recreationally used marijuana during and after college so the subject is near and dear to me. Though I haven't smoked in years, I still remember how it affected me and those who joined me at the bong or vaporizer.

So when Jerry -- that's what we call him out here -- recently went on Meet The Press and tossed caution to the wind about full marijuana legalization here in California, my ears pricked up. What was Governor Moonbeam -- his nickname from his early terms before he found philosophically whatever it is that he found -- thinking?

First, here's what he said, from WaPo:

He also expressed worry about the "tendency to go to extremes."  After legalization, he said, "if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together."

Really Jerry? You fear potheads are going to take over. Look at history. Look at alcohol. Go ahead, take a good look. Has our society crumbled with the repeal of the Volstead Act (Prohibition)?

And what are we really talking about with recreational legalization? California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana use in 1996, when 56 percent of voters approved Proposition 215. Do you know what it takes to get a medical marijuana certificate today? Nothing.

Venice Beach 2

On a recent outing with my wife, we strolled along the boardwalk in Venice Beach, Ca. There were five, count 'em five storefront walk-in clinics within one mile. You see a "doctor" after filling out a form and he stamps it approved, takes your picture and a certificate is issued. You can immediately walk to the back room and buy some very aromatic OG, Lemon or Purple Kush. Licensing is a joke. And not just here in California. It's a process that is abused everywhere that state certificates are issued.

I got my license years ago because I claimed I had insomnia and back pain issues. That was it. Boom. Stamped. Certified. I bought some grass minutes later.

So to your implied point, Gov Moonbeam, that pot is perhaps different from alcohol, you're right. It's not nearly as debilitating. But to hold off full legalization like Colorado and Washington state with the excuse that everyone will become potheads is insane. I think Jerry is having a flashback and it's more dangerous than reality.

Come back to us Jerry. And bring practical sense and a well rolled joint with you. It's your turn to blaze more than a new pathway to reality. Set California free. Or if you're really that concerned about each person being responsible for themselves and their behavior, try banning alcohol. See how well that does for you when you run for a fourth term.

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GOP Maine Representative Hits New Low In Suggesting It's Okay To Rape Women

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rape

If you can't beat abortion legislation, rape the women. That's a loose translation of the inflammatory remarks made by Maine state Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst). Via Raw Story:

If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman?” Lockman said. “At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”

"Rape doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death?" Whoa there, Mr. Representative. Are you kidding? Some things like psychological scarring and permanent physical damage result that can be far worse than death. And suicides by rape victims are statistically significant according to Suicide.org.

-Rape has long-term emotional consequences that can lead to suicide.
-It is quite common for rape victims to suffer from depression.
-And untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.
-About 33% of rape victims have suicidal thoughts.
-About 13% of rape victims will attempt suicide.
-Suicide attempts may occur years after the rape.

Reality calling Rep. Lockman. Please come in. It's as if this Neanderthal is saying, if I can't stop you from getting an abortion, then you can't stop me from raping you. If you get pregnant, you have the legal way to get rid of the fetus. So tough noogies.

Rep. Lockman should be under a psychologist's care. He's not safe out on the streets and certainly not safe sitting in the state capital as a voting member of the Maine legislature. He's not just a one issue nutjob, anti-abortion. Here's a bit more about him:

In one of the quotes posted on the blog, Lockman falsely suggested HIV and AIDS could be spread by bed sheets and mosquitos, and he also said the progressive movement helped spread the virus by claiming “the practice of sodomy is a legitimate alternative lifestyle, rather than a perverted and depraved crime against humanity.”

“[Lockman is a] disturbed individual who holds some of the most abhorrent beliefs ever heard from a public official in Maine,” said Ben Grant, the state’s Democratic Party chairman in a statement Tuesday.

More and more these wackadoos are coming to light. And they aren't all made of the same whole cloth. But they seem to all have on thing in common -- they're Republicans. As we saw in Arizona with their recent smokescreen anti-gay law (vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer), the right wing, evangelical fraction is still out there, and still active.

Their old ideas just won't die. Perhaps like the old soldiers of Gen. MacArthur's day, over time they will just fade away.

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Senior Assisted Living Doesn't Mean Senior Assisted Raping

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Edgewood Vistaw Senior Living

Edgewood Vistaw Senior Living

My mother is in a seniors' assisted living and care facility. She's 95 and I'm glad to say doing very well. She's still able to amble around on her own and her faculties are perhaps even better than mine. And with nearly a century of memories to deal with, the loss of a husband and a son, she's lived through a lot. And her care is most important to me.

Safety in her housing is something that I thought was a given, but this story from Minnesota has my ears pricked up. Of course this story isn't the norm, but if it can happen in one state, it could happen in another. Bottom line is it's shocking. Anyone who has an aging relative should watch this. Then afterwards, read the horrific rest of the story.

So if this brutal attack wasn't enough, what happened afterwards was incredulous.

The Raw Story:

 The nursing home transferred the woman to a psychiatric ward at St. Luke’s Hospital for nearly three days.

“The room she was in was dark and cold … and they locked her in at night and all she had was a blanket,” nurse examiner Theresa Flesvig said in the court documents.

When Flesvig was finally able to examine the victim, she found the “biggest tear” as a result of rape that she had ever seen in her career.

Testimony filed with the court said that the nursing home’s clinical services director, Marilyn Moore, tried to defend that rapist after he had confessed to police.

They send the victim of a vicious rape to the psych ward and the 30 year old man who rapes an 89 year old woman isn't? Help me see how this isn't so wrong that it's sick.

The rapist gets 4 1/2 years in prison and 10 years of registering as a sex offender. Sadly his victim probably won't live long enough to get beyond this trauma. But so far nothing has been done to the nursing home -- though this upcoming trial could find them paying some pretty hefty fines. But to think this nursing home would defend a confessed rapist for an attack in their senior facility is totally off the charts.

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