The Watering Hole: Monday, December 17, 2012 – Can We PLEASE Talk About Guns In Our Society Now?

On the morning of December 14, 2012, it was Newtown, Connecticut.
Before that it was Clackamas Town Center, Oregon.
Before that it was Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Before that it was Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Before that it was Aurora, Colorado.
Before that it was Seattle, Washington.
Before that it was Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Before that it was Oakland, California.
Before that it was Seal Beach, California.
Before that it was Carson City, Nevada.
Before that it was Tucson, Arizona.
Before that it was Manchester, Connecticut.
Before that it was Fort Hood, Texas.
Before that it was Binghamton, New York.
Before that it was Carthage, North Carolina.
Before that it was Northern Illinois University, Illinois.
Before that it was Kirkwood, Missouri.
Before that it was Omaha, Nebraska.
Before that it was Virginia Tech, Virginia.
Before that it was Salt Lake City, Utah.
Before that it was Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Before that it was Seattle, Washington.
Before that it was Red Lake, Minnesota.
Before that it was Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Before that it was Meridian, Minnesota.
Before that it was Fort Worth, Texas.
Before that it was Atlanta, Georgia.
And before that, on the morning of April 20, 1999, it was Littleton, Colorado.

These are all places where someone, or several someones, took a gun, or several guns, and began shooting people at some location, or several locations. Does this list strike you as being rather long? These are just ones since Columbine. There were others in between and before that. Many people died in those mass shootings. Too many. And too many were children. Far, far too many. And yet, we can’t seem to have that talk about all these mass shootings and the prevalence of guns in our society.

How many people have to die in mass shootings before we are allowed to talk Continue reading

Sunday Roast: Hey, have you heard the news…?

(image: Newseum)

In an action that brings this country one step closer to equal rights for all citizens, the New York state Senate passed their marriage equality bill Friday night, 33-29. Celebrations abound!

Oh look…the sun came up this morning, plagues of locusts nowhere to be seen (at least in my neighborhood), and I haven’t been forced to get “gay married.”  Maybe tomorrow…

Congratulations, New York!  We’re proud of you!

This is our daily open thread — Grab a mimosa and have a chat

Ian Murphy strikes again!!

Cold Call/The Beast

Ian Murphy…Ian Murphy…you might say.  Where have I heard that name before?  Remember the phone call between Gov Scott Walk of Wisconsin and ‘David Koch?”  That’s the awesome Ian Murphy of the Giant Brass Balls ™.

Well, Ian has done it again.  Using the name Steve Smith, and disguising himself with thick-framed glasses (hey, it worked for Clark Kent), he volunteered for a Republican phone bank in New York — for Jane Corwin’s campaign.  Let the amusement begin…

“Hi, sir, my name’s Steve and I’m a volunteer for the Jane Corwin campaign–”

“Jesus!” a guy screams at me. “You know, I was thinking about voting for Corwin, but this is too much! You people have called me a dozen times in the last two days! I am sick of it!”

“But Jane Corwin wants to rule over you with an iron fist,” I calmly relay. “Don’t you crave strong leadership?”

“What?!” he balks. “An ‘iron fist’?”

“Yes,” I assure him. “These phone calls are just the beginning. When Jane’s in Congress she will do everything in her power to crush you mentally and physically.”

“Don’t call me again!” he says and slams down the receiver.

OMG, that is hilarious.

Apparently, the brilliant strategy of Corwin’s campaign is to make calls, find out who’s not planning to vote for Corwin, and then relentlessly call them back until their ears bleed.

I actually spoke with roughly 100 people, and the majority of them were extremely upset with the harassment by phone. Unless they immediately relented and said they were voting for Jane, their name went back into the system, and we’d call them until their spirits were thoroughly crushed. It’s an odd campaigning strategy — one that is no doubt backfiring.

I’m sure that will work out quite well for them.

Ian Murphy, you are the best person in the world!!  Thank you for crawling into the belly of the beast, and coming out only slightly slimed.

Hat tip: badmoodman

UFCW Local 1500 Responds To Death of Wal-Mart Worker

The Local Union has issued a press release in response to the death of a Long-Island Wal-Mart worker.  They are demanding Federal Safety Agency and Nassau County Prosecutor investigate this incident.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, New York State’s largest grocery workers Union, has called for an immediate investigation by Federal, State and Local authorities into the “avoidable” death of a Wal-mart worker at the Valley Stream, Long Island Wal-mart. Specifically, the Union has called on the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the New York State Department of Labor and the Nassau County Prosecutor to investigate Wal-mart’s failure to provide a safe workplace.

“This incident was avoidable,” said Bruce Both, President of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500. “Where were the safety barriers? Where was security? How did store management not see dangerous numbers of customers barreling down on the store in such an unsafe manner?” asked President Both. “This is not just tragic; it rises to a level of blatant irresponsibility by Wal-mart. UFCW Local 1500 will demand a full investigation by all levels of Government to ensure both justice for the surviving family members and to ensure the safety of current employees and the general public. This can never be allowed to happen again and those responsible must be held accountable,” Both concluded.

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New Yorkers Sue for Toxic Waste Cleanup

CommonDreams

Fed up with years of inaction by city and state, residents seek justice.  Lead is one of the contaminates leaking from the landfill, which children generally absorb a higher percentage than adults do.  This is particularly alarming considering there are four schools close by.  One of the side effects is reduced cognitive abilities.

Staten Island residents are going to court to force the cleanup of an abandoned toxic waste dump in the Great Kills section of the borough.

The public interest law firm Earthjustice filed a lawsuit today in federal district court in Manhattan on behalf of the Northern Great Kills Civic Association. The association represents residents living near the 272-acre Brookfield landfill.

Between 1974 and 1980, tens of thousands of gallons of toxic industrial waste were dumped illegally at the landfill, intended only for municipal solid waste. It was one of five city landfills involved in a 1982 federal investigation into illegal dumping which sent a city Department of Sanitation official and a hauling operator to prison.

“Those convicted of dumping this toxic waste have long ago served their time. But 30 years later, their poisonous legacy remains,” said Earthjustice attorney Keri Powell. “We’re filing this lawsuit to make sure this mess is cleaned up and the residents of Great Kills can reclaim their community from contamination.”

Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro, who has long called for the landfill’s cleanup, expressed support for the litigation.

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