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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

Journal Archives

Guardian UK: Wayne LaPierre and the NRA: so defensive it was downright offensive

Wayne LaPierre and the NRA: so defensive it was downright offensive
The leading gun rights lobbyist gave a performance so tone-deaf that only he missed why 'put more guns in schools' sounds inept

Ana Marie Cox
guardian.co.uk, Friday 21 December 2012

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, came to the podium Friday with the pursed lips and furrowed brow of a banker anxious over accounting errors. Throughout the press conference, he seemed to be reaching for an emotional range that would reflect the horror and sorrow so many felt in the wake of the Sandy Hook killings.

But the most effective expression he could muster was that of someone trying to remember his lines. I would like to believe that LaPierre was as anguished and confused by the events of last week as the rest of us, but the man clearly suffers from constipation of the soul.

The NRA's proposal was tone-deaf to the scale of the tragedy and the psychic wreckage it left behind, in addition to being flat-out policy absurdity. The factual errors and logical twists that bedevil the group's concrete suggestion – arm the schools! – are so easily sussed out that they were expressed, repeatedly, in the 140 characters available on Twitter. To review the top two of these, briefly:

1) There is no evidence that arming school guards or posting police in schools makes them safer. Indeed, Columbine – the incident that kicked off the modern wave of school shootings – had an officer assigned to the site. Yet another recent mass shooting took place on an army base, Fort Hood, where the presences of many, many trained soldiers did not prevent the murders from taking place. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/21/wayne-lapierre-nra-defensive

Rochelle Riley: Proposal would be funny -- if the NRA didn't mean it

from the Detroit Free Press:

Rochelle Riley: Proposal would be funny -- if the NRA didn't mean it

Sometimes one must take a moment.

You see an accident as it happens. You pause and think, "Did I just see that?"

You watch a jury deliver a surprise verdict. You pause and say, "Did I just hear that?"

You see news that a disturbed man has shot up a school and killed 20 children and six adults.

And you wonder: "Can anyone not feel that?" ..............(more)

The complete piece: http://www.freep.com/article/20121221/COL10/121221051/Rochelle-Riley-Proposal-would-funny-NRA-didn-t-mean-it?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Delta Air Gets 22,000 Applications for 300 Attendant Jobs

(Bloomberg) Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), the world’s second-largest carrier, received 22,000 applications for about 300 flight attendant jobs in the first week after posting the positions outside the company.

The applications arrived at a rate of two per minute, Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson told workers in a weekly recorded message. Applicants will be interviewed in January and those hired will begin flying in June, for the peak travel season.

“We’re hunting for foreign-language speakers as we continue to expand to all points around the globe,” Anderson said. “We are experiencing a phenomenal response to the job posting.”

Delta’s applicant rush reflects the demand for jobs amid a 7.9 percent U.S. unemployment rate and the interest in an industry where flight privileges are a prized employee benefit. The Atlanta-based carrier received 100,000 applications for 1,000 jobs when it last hired flight attendants in October 2010. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-21/delta-gets-22-000-applications-for-300-flight-attendant-jobs.html

Surprise Whale Sightings in Norway

from Der Spiegel:

Amateur photographer Espen Bergersen's career took a serendipitous turn when he spotted an unusual winter appearance of whales near his hometown in northern Norway. His spectacular images, marked by eerie polar light, were made possible by the changing migratory patterns of fish.

Two years ago, Espen Bergersen was visiting his parents in the northern Norwegian island of Andøya, where he grew up, for the holidays. About a week before Christmas he was walking along the shore, taking photos of the landscape. When the hobby nature photographer saw something splashing in the water, he thought perhaps there were waves crashing on the cliffs. But then he remembered there were no cliffs in the area, and realized that the splashing was coming from whales.

The sight caught Bergersen completely by surprise. While sperm whale watching has long been a summer activity in the deep waters far off the Norwegian coast, they aren't usually seen in the winter. Bergersen says that humpbacks and killer whales like the ones he saw had never been spotted near his hometown before -- and certainly not so close to land that residents could catch a glimpse without even getting on a boat.

Bergersen spent the rest of his holiday taking pictures of the whales every day, spreading news of the whale sightings and even landing an article in the local paper. By Christmas the word was out. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/suprise-whale-sightings-in-norway-bring-hobby-photographer-recognition-a-874312.html

American Dream Fades for Generation Y Professionals

(Bloomberg) After being dismissed from her job as a Midtown Manhattan securities attorney in October 2009, Christina Tretter-Herriger hitched a used horse trailer to her Dodge Ram pickup and drove 1,628 miles to Texas.

The 32-year-old lawyer sold skin-care products in Houston before finding work as the assistant general counsel of a futures-trading firm where an irate customer punctuated a recorded voice-mail message with gunfire.

“No one was left with the impression that he just happened to be phoning from a sporting clays range,” she says.

Eighteen months and two busted jobs later, the daughter of a retired physician and a former editor at Vogue circled back to upstate New York and hunkered down at a small legal office that pays about one-quarter of her former $165,000 salary. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-21/american-dream-fades-for-generation-y-professionals.html

Flying Over Amsterdam? Eyes Down for this Megaportrait


Flying Over Amsterdam? Eyes Down for this Megaportrait

She won’t survive long beyond Christmas day, if current weather forecasts are to be believed, but this giant soil-straw-and-sand portrait of a woman—the biggest ever in the Netherlands—is certainly making her mark while she lasts. Covering the area of two football pitches the 'megaportrait' was commissioned by Dutch women’s-rights organization Mama Cash to highlight the sometimes life-threatening problems faced by female activists in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala: "The identity of the model for the portrait is deliberately anonymous," says Babette Roelandschap, spokesperson for the group's Vogenvrije Vrouwen campaign (which roughly translates to women, free as birds). "Because that’s exactly the predicament of the women whose plight we are trying to draw attention to. Many of these women have simply disappeared." The work took Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada and a band of 80 volunteers five days to complete, and is surprisingly close to the center of Amsterdam. Tell us if you see it on your way to or from Schiphol!

Kitty is not impressed.....

The NRA press conference, in a nutshell:

Bar mitzvah inspires a gift of school supplies to Haitian orphanage

from the Toronto Star:

A Toronto teen plans to spend the first few days of the New Year with his father in Haiti, distributing school supplies to students at an orphanage southeast of Port-au-Prince, which was just 12 kilometres from the epicentre of the 2010 earthquake.

The trip will culminate his efforts to do something “meaningful” in honour of his bar mitzvah.

Josh Arbess, a 13-year-old at Leo Baeck Day School, raised almost $25,000 by asking everyone who attended his bar mitzvah earlier this year to make a donation to Ve’ahavta — the Canadian Jewish Humanitarian and Relief Project.

The idea was to use a portion of the money to buy 1,000 Kinder Kits —backpacks with school supplies — to be shipped and distributed at the House of Hope orphanage at the beginning of Janaury. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1305775--bar-mitzvah-inspires-a-gift-of-school-supplies-to-haitian-orphanage

Blair County PA: 4 dead, 3 troopers hurt in shooting incident

GEESEYTOWN -- Four people are dead -- including the shooter -- and three state troopers were injured this morning in a shooting incident in Frankstown Township, Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio said.

The gunman and two other men and a woman are all dead, Consiglio said.

Two troopers were wounded during a shootout with the suspect, Consiglio said. One trooper was hit in his bulletproof vest and another was hit by flying glass when the gunman fired at his state police vehicle.

A third trooper was injured in a crash involving the suspect, Consiglio said. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/567048.html

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