Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The myth of lax gun Laws.

States With Higher Gun Ownership and Weak Gun Laws Lead Nation in Gun Death

Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, Alabama, and Wyoming Have Highest Gun Death Rates
Washington, DC--States with higher gun ownership rates and weak gun laws have the highest rates of gun death according to a new analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) of 2010 national data (the most recent available) from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
The analysis reveals that the five states with the highest per capita gun death rates were Alaska, Louisiana, Montana, Alabama, and Wyoming. Each of these states had a per capita gun death rate far exceeding the national per capita gun death rate for the 50 states of 10.25 per 100,000 for 2010. Each state has lax gun laws and higher gun ownership rates. By contrast, states with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership had far lower rates of firearm-related death. Ranking last in the nation for gun death was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York. (See rankings below for top and bottom five states. See http://www.vpc.org/fadeathchart13.htm for a ranking of all 50 states.)
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “The equation is simple. More guns lead to more gun death, but limiting exposure to firearms saves lives.” The total number of Americans killed by gunfire rose to 31,672 in 2010 from 31,347 in 2009.
States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates
States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates
Household Gun OwnershipGun Death Rate per 100,000RankStateHousehold Gun OwnershipGun Death Rate per 100,000
1Alaska60.6 percent20.2850Hawaii9.7 percent3.31
2Louisiana45.6 percent 19.0649Massachusetts 12.8 percent4.12
3Montana61.4 percent 16.5848Rhode Island 13.3 percent4.66
4Alabama57.2 percent16.3647New Jersey 11.3 percent5.19
5Wyoming62.8 percent16.3246New York 18.1 percent5.22
The VPC defined states with “weak” gun laws as those that add little or nothing to federal restrictions and have permissive laws governing the open or concealed carrying of firearms in public. States with “strong” gun laws were defined as those that add significant state regulation in addition to federal law, such as restricting access to particularly hazardous types of firearms (for example, assault weapons), setting minimum safety standards for firearms and/or requiring a permit to purchase a firearm, and restrictive laws governing the open and concealed carrying of firearms in public. State gun ownership rates were obtained from the September 2005 Pediatrics article “Prevalence of Household Firearms and Firearm-Storage Practices in the 50 States and the District of Columbia: Findings From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002,” which is the most recent comprehensive data available on state gun ownership.

The myth is that the more guns in an area the safer it is? Well here are the most current figures on gun violence in America. It appears that the myth is busted.

10. Tennessee
2013 firearm death rate: 15.4 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 9,568 (11th highest)
Violent crime rate: 590.6 (4th highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
There were more than 1,000 gun-related deaths — including homicide, suicide, and accidents — in Tennessee in 2013, or 15.4 deaths per 100,000 residents, the 10th highest rate in the country. Overall crime rates were also quite high, with 590.6 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people, far more than the nearly 368 reported crimes for every 100,000 Americans. Additionally, less than 25% of adults in the state had at least a bachelor’s degree, less than the 29.6% of adults with a bachelor’s degree across the nation.

9. New Mexico
2013 firearm death rate: 15.4 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 2,983 (19th lowest)
Violent crime rate: 613.0 (2nd highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
Like most states across the country, the largest proportion of gun-related deaths in New Mexico was attributable to suicide. The age-adjusted firearm suicide rate of 10.3 per 100,000 was the ninth highest rate in the country. New Mexico also had the highest death rate by legal intervention — deaths caused by police or other law-enforcement officials — in the country. In general, New Mexico residents were exposed to a large number of crimes. The state reported 613 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, the second highest rate in the country. Low education levels and widespread poverty may partly explain the high gun violence and deaths. Nearly 22% of New Mexico’s population lived in poverty, substantially higher than the national poverty rate of 15.8%. Additionally, only 84.3% of adults had at least a high school diploma, the sixth lowest rate in the country.
8. Oklahoma
2013 firearm death rate: 16.5 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 5,352 (23rd highest)
Violent crime rate: 441.2 (12th highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
Gun-related homicides and suicides were both relatively high in Oklahoma. At least 433 Oklahomans, or 11.1 per 100,000, took their own life with a gun, the sixth highest rate in the country. There were 4.8 gun-related homicides per 100,000 residents, the 10th highest rate nationwide. Like all of the states with the most gun violence, Oklahoma also does not require a permit to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. Additionally, Oklahoma households were among the poorest in the country with an annual median income of $45,690.

7. Wyoming
2013 firearm death rate: 16.5 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 879 (7th lowest)
Violent crime rate: 205.1 (4th lowest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
With the second highest firearm-related suicide rate, Wyoming residents were more than twice as likely to commit suicide as residents across the nation. More than 87% of firearm deaths in Wyoming were due to suicide, considerably higher than the 63% of all gun-related fatalities across the country. Unlike other states with high rates of gun-violence, however, Wyoming residents were well-educated. Roughly 94% of adults 25 and older had at least graduated from high school, the highest rate in the country. Despite the high rate of gun-violence, other types of crimes were relatively uncommon. Just over 205 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 residents, one of the lowest rates in the country.

6. Arkansas
2013 firearm death rate: 16.7 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 4,478 (24th lowest)
Violent crime rate: 460.3 (10th highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
A typical household in Arkansas earned $40,511 in 2013, nearly the lowest such figure in the country. Additionally, just 20.6% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, the third lowest rate nationwide. The low incomes and education levels may have contributed to Arkansas’ high gun-related deaths. There were 501 deaths by firearm in Arkansas, or 16.7 per 100,000, the sixth highest rate. Like other states in the country, nearly two-thirds of gun-related deaths were due to suicide. Like every state on this list, Arkansas’ gun laws are relatively permissive. Currently, no laws require that gun owners have permits for the purchase of shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Additionally, gun owners are not obligated to register their weapons.

5. Montana
2013 firearm death rate: 16.8 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 1,540 (12th lowest)
Violent crime rate: 252.9 (11th lowest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
Montana had the fifth highest rate of firearm deaths, at nearly 17 per 100,000 residents. Further, gun-related deaths have been steadily increasing since 2006. In fact, Montana registered the highest firearm death rate in the decade ending in 2013. Other types of crime — including rape, robbery, and motor vehicle theft — were relatively less common in the state. There were roughly 253 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, significantly lower than the violent crime rate across the nation of nearly 368 per 100,000. As in many of the states with high rates of gun deaths, suicides made up the vast majority of deaths. More than 85% of gun-deaths were due to suicide, the 10th highest such share in the country.

4. Alabama
2013 firearm death rate: 17.5 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 7,915 (16th highest)
Violent crime rate: 430.8 (14th highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
Nearly 19% of Alabama residents lived below the poverty line, the seventh highest rate in the country. Additionally, the state had among the worst educational attainment rates nationwide, which may have contributed to the high gun-death rate. Between 2004 and 2013, an annual average of 16.6 people were killed by firearms, the fourth highest rate in the country. Despite a drop in 2011, the firearm death rate increased to the state’s 10-year high in 2013. Other types of crime in Alabama were also prevalent. There were 430.8 violent crimes reported per 100,000, a higher rate than the 367.9 violent crimes across the nation.

3. Mississippi
2013 firearm death rate: 17.7 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 5,056 (24th highest)
Violent crime rate: 274.6 (18th lowest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
With 24% of its residents living in poverty, Mississippi had the highest poverty rate in the country. Poverty and low educational attainment rates may contribute to higher rates of gun-related deaths. Mississippi had the second highest gun-related homicide rate in the country at 7.4 homicides per 100,000 residents. In general, crime was not particularly prevalent. There were just 274.6 violent crimes reported per 100,000, compared with 367.9 such crimes per 100,000 across the country. Mississippi also led the country in unintentional deaths by a firearm, with 0.6 deaths occurring for every 100,000 people, three-times more frequent than across the country.
Above, the state flag of Mississippi, which incorporates the flag of the Confederate States of America, is displayed with the flags of the other 49 states and territories in the tunnel connecting the senate office building and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

2. Louisiana
2013 firearm death rate: 19.1 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 8,552 (13th highest)
Violent crime rate: 518.5 (5th highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
Louisiana was the only state with the most gun violence where firearm-related suicides accounted for less than half of all gun deaths. In fact, homicides accounted for roughly 51% of all gun deaths in the state. As a result, Louisiana had the highest gun-related homicide rate in the country, at 9.7 murders per 100,000 residents. Louisiana also had the highest average firearm death rate in the country over the 10 years ending in 2013, when there were 18.8 firearm deaths per 100,000 in the state, compared with 10.2 across the country. The high number of gun deaths may be tied to gun policy. Louisiana, like many of the states on this list, does not require gun owners to have a permit to purchase a firearm, nor must they register their weapons. Above, community members respond to a shooting during a Mother's Day parade on May 13, 2013 in New Orleans. 19 people were injured during the shooting, including two children.

1. Alaska
2013 firearm death rate: 19.6 per 100,000
Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 1,256 (10th lowest)
Violent crime rate: 640.4 (the highest)
Permit required to buy handgun: No
There were roughly 20 firearm deaths per 100,000 residents in Alaska, nearly double the national rate. As in many other states with high gun-death rates, the vast majority of deaths were the result of suicide. Unlike most states on this list, however, Alaskan households were relatively wealthy. A typical household earned $72,237, roughly $20,000 more than a typical household across the nation. Other types of crime were also more common in the state. In fact, Alaska had the highest violent crime rate in the country at more than 640 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Above, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin speaks during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits in Houston.

Why neither free markets or regulation solve everything

Several years ago, the NHL instituted a salary cap that limited how much a team is able to spend for their team payroll. Prior to this arrangement, you had teams with a lot of money to spend, who frequently did so in order to lure the better players and create super teams that the rest of the league could not really compete with. In essence, if you had deep pockets and were willing to spend that money, you could create a team that few in the league could truly compete with. In an effort to create some true parity and genuine competition across the entire league, the NHL created a minimum and maximum level that teams could spend. However, this was quickly circumvented.

A "flaw" in the cap agreement was that you could divide the total money of the contract by the total number of years to get your cap hit value. Suppose you want to pay your player 50 million total in order to them to come to your team. You don't want to pay that in one year of course, because the league says you can't do that. So, you make an agreement with the player that he will sign a ten year contract at 5 million a year. However, you will pay him 8 million for the first five years, and then 2 million a year for the remaining 5 years with the expectation that you really don't expect him to still be playing in the NHL by year ten. Though this honors the letter of the law, it truly circumvents the intention of the law. My team did it, as did several others. This clause has subsequently been fixed, although a new circumvention technique has been created that I won't go into.

This example, is a small example that I believe fits the macro world we live in. Prior to the institution of the salary cap, team could and did spend whatever they wanted. Spending a ton of money on players was not a guarantee that you would win, and in fact, because there are quite a few batshit GM's, that scenario created a plethora of very bad contracts that ultimately drove up the contracts of players who really weren't very good. As for the teams that were both very shrewd and also had very good management, they simply dominated. At present, the NHL remains a fourth tier sport in America, but because of the cap and attempts to grow the sport, the league is far far more profitable and is larger than it had been under previous arrangements. This, of course, is not all because of a salary cap, and even at that, my team and the LA Kings possess 5 of the last 6 championships. Still, with the exception of a relatively small number of poorly run teams, the parity and competition level on a nightly basis is a lot closer than it had been when I was growing up and the league was full of ape sized goons whose only skill was their ability to pummel someone. I do not like everything the salary cap has brought, because on some level, it is a forced parity that punishes teams who put a lot of hard work into drafting and developing their talent just to have some rich idiot GM come along and poach them because they know the team that developed them cannot afford to keep them under the salary cap. Still, the league has never been stronger and may even expand here to Las Vegas.

On the macro level, I feel like the period between 2000-2010 provided a mirror image to what I described above. In the banking world, we undid a host of regulations that kept a lid on speculation, and we allowed massive banks on Wall Street to simply buy up just about every single independent bank across the country. Predictably, consumers got worse, rather than better attention, and the mega banks were allowed to do basically whatever they wanted to make money. Ninja loans, and subsequent creation of toxic mortgages is just one example. While a very select few bankers made a shit ton of money (just like a select few NHL players previously did) what was left behind was giant size pile of crap for the rest of us to pay for. Free markets work up until a particular participant grows so big they can stifle competition from smaller players. Regulations that limit unfair advantage and keep all players in a state of true competition also work until they become so onerous that they stifle creativity and limit reward. I believe a good balanced can be reached, and I see a difference between regulating to keep competition and creating regulation for the sake of central planning.

Gov. Chris Christie to "Change the world".

This from Al Jazeera America:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched his 2016 campaign for president, telling his most loyal supporters that he's ready to begin what he called a "noble" effort to "lead our country and to change the world."

The Republican governor kicked off his campaign Tuesday morning in the gymnasium of his old high school in the town of Livingston, New Jersey, where he experienced some of his first political victories in student politics.

"The idea of going back to where you were when you were 15, or 16, or 17 years old, and to be able to stand in front of that group of people and offer yourself to the presidency is a really, really amazing moment," Christie said in a private call with donors, friends and out-of-state supporters a few hours before his official announcement.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Guns don't kill people.


Heal Inspire Revive

We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
Ronald Reagan


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Know your meat, William?

Well, this one is kind of a dandy http://www.wsj.com/articles/house-votes-to-remove-country-of-origin-labels-on-meat-sold-in-u-s-1433990294. Thanks to our trade deals, our illustrious congress voted to removed country of origin labels on meat. By so doing, they have taken away your ability to know where your meat comes from. I'm thinking William,  this one is gonna give you a headache. On the one hand, this represents an idea you absolutely are in love with, namely that the consumer is losing an ability to read labels and discriminate based on what is on the label. On the other hand, we are being forced into this because of Canada and Mexico bitching to the WTO. I really want to know how you feel about this one William.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Obamacare Lives

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that President Obama’s health care law may provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion in the 6-to-3 decision. The court’s three most conservative members — Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — dissented.  From the New York Times.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Another day in America.

 Due to a combination of activist journalism and corporate conscience (ROTFLMAO), major retailers such as Amazon, eBay, Target, and Wal-Mart are removing Confederate flags and other types of Confederate memorabilia from their shelves.  
Has Amazon and eBay adopted the view that they own the moral message of their products?  
With a simple search of the sites you can find interesting things.  
You can find a hammer and sickle necklace, “handmade” from “English Pewter,” gift-boxed for that special communist in your life.  To go with it, a bright red Soviet T-shirt, hammer and sickle displayed proudly on the front.   If clothes can’t adequately express your sympathies, you can fly the Soviet flag high and with pride, for the whole neighborhood to see.  Wasn't the USSR responsible for race- and class-based genocides that claimed the lives of innocent men, women, and children.
Need Nazi memorabilia?  Yes something for everyone, flags, jewelry, clothing, etc. Weren't the Nazi's the extreme example of racism?
Corporate morality is indeed an interesting thing. I’m sure that good companies like Amazon and E-bay have a perfectly reasonable explanation for their “genocidal tyrants’ collection” of consumer goods.
Perhaps it's the effort to remain politically correct.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Another Anniversary.... Another Nail in the Coffin of the Constitution...

This is the tenth anniversary of Kelo vs New London decision.  A testament to the progressive contempt for private property rights and the stupid and mindless conservative demands for judicial restraint.

As for Justice John Paul Stevens (who wrote the majority opinion), he remains unrepentant about his central role in the Kelo debacle. In fact, in a 2011 speech, Stevens lashed out at several of his critics, arguing that Kelo remains perfectly justifiable because it “adhered to the doctrine of judicial restraint” and was rooted in “Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ broad reading of the text of the Constitution—which allows the states the same broad discretion in making takings decisions that they possess when engaging in other forms of economic regulation.”

But why should the Supreme Court adhere to Justice Holmes’ distructive interpretation? Why not just follow the actual text of the Constitution? After all, Holmes is the same justice who once wrote, “a law should be called good if it reflects the will of the dominant forces of the community, even if it will take us to hell.”

Of course 80% of the population disagreed with the court’s decision…  I guess they just aren’t the dominant forces Holmes was talking about. Perhaps the general population isn’t at all what the string pullers of progressivism care ultimately about ….   I could only dream of setting up a ‘better use’ business that would put Justice Stevens on the street…(and actually seeing it happen)

Interestingly he blasted Roberts over the Citizens United ruling by saying : “The voter is less important than the man who provides money to the candidate,” he said. “It’s really wrong.” ….  While somehow finding that it is alright for the state to remove someone from their home and deliver it up to some other citizen (or well financed individual) who promises to deliver more taxes to the state … thus qualifying the state seizure as being ‘public use’.

Just for William/ Taylor Swift

What if Taylor Swift and other pop stars ran corporate America?  

Given Swift’s sound advice to Apple, they just might do better

Taylor Swift singlehandedly got Apple to pay royalties for all artists on its new music-streaming business.


Marek Fuchs


What did you do on Sunday? Mow the lawn? Hit the beach? Have a cookout? Well, Taylor Swift took on the world’s biggest company, and won.” — The New York Post Threatening to leave Apple AAPL, -0.26% breathless or with a nasty scar, Taylor Swift brought about considerable change. A singer famous for songs that stick in your head like earworms, Swift wrote a Tumblr post Sunday that criticized Apple’s decision not to pay musicians — or anyone else involved in the creation of music — for songs sold on its new streaming site for an initial period. By Sunday night, Apple caved.
A singer once known as the Bard of Puberty got a corporate force with a market value nearing $1 trillion to smarten up. Just like that, Apple and its miserly ways were, as Swift once so eloquently put it, “never ever ever getting back together.”
What does it mean that a singer known for her “sick beat” could affect such — and I apologize ahead of time for the groaner — swift change?
It means that, as Bob Dylan once noted, “The times they are a-changin’.”
Perhaps, in fact, this even heralds an age in which pop stars dictate corporate policy and maybe even start doling out stock-trading advice. Considering the chuckleheads usually in charge of such guidance, how much worse can it get?
Let’s check. Forget Top 40; these are the top three pieces of advice already given by rock stars:

1. “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away” — Neil Young
Wall Street apparently takes this bit of advice as outright inspiration. Bank of America BAC, +1.12% Citigroup C, +0.81% J.P. Morgan JPM, +0.68% and Goldman Sachs GS, +0.48% have all acted heedlessly under the assumption that they are too-big-to-fade. When they burn, we always save them — so why isn’t it better to burn? It is as if in one lyric, Young gave Wall Street its guiding principle for the modern age. But that should not surprise. As Bruce Springsteen opines: “We learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school.”
2. “And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile” — Talking Heads
Sure enough, every time oil prices tick down, Americans drop their Prius fixation and start turning back to those SUVs the size of Bolivia. According to the Talking Heads, General Motors GM, +0.69%  and Ford F, +1.44% stand to benefit. And how about Tesla TSLA, +0.03% with its high-priced electric cars, batteries and intergalactic travel? A Talking Head research report entitled “Burning Down the House” puts it quite succinctly: “We’re in for nasty weather.”
3. “The exodus is here” — The Who
There is probably no clearer a signal to leave the market before the Federal Reserve Board raises interest rates than The Who’s call to action. After nine years of low rates, the high rates presumably coming in the fall will indeed bring about a “wasteland.” And Alan Greenspan is weighing in all over the place on our higher interest-rate future, even though he almost ruined our past? Roger Daltrey frames the appropriate response: “Who the f- are you?”
See? We’ve already put rock stars in charge of Wall Street, and Swift, as always, seems to say it best: “I’m dying to see how this one ends.”

Monday, June 22, 2015

John Kasich

The Republican Party Is My Vehicle, Not My Master

Yet another entrant in the presidential race  plans to run as his own

Ohio Governor John Kasich turned heads in political circles earlier this month when he announced the hiring of a pair of GOP operatives with checkered histories to run his presidential campaign.
John Weaver and Fred Davis were the strategists behind former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman’s ill-fated 2012 campaign for the presidency. Before that, they worked for Sen. John McCain. But to those who know Kasich, their hiring made perfect sense—he’s planning to run a similarly unconventional campaign for the White House. “Here’s the thing you have to realize, the Republican Party is my vehicle, and not my master.”

Casting himself as a “change agent,” Kasich has overseen an economic revival in Ohio, and won re-election in the swing state by a 31% margin over a weak Democratic opponent. It was a sharp reversal from 2011—his first year in office—when Kasich’s poll numbers plummeted amid a failed effort to curtail the power of state public sector unions in an effort to control the state budget.
Kasich unsuccessfully ran for the White House in 2000, where he was edged out by another Bush’s well-funded campaign. “The issue was money-M-O-N-E-Y,” he told the New York Observer in 2001. Kasich now says he was too young that time around, pointing to support he is receiving from those who backed Bush over him in 2000.
He endorsed George W. Bush, calling him “a soul brother” for his support of compassionate conservatism, a theme at the center of Kasich’s campaigns. “I think that it’s important for the GOP, must most important for me to be able to talk about the kindness of conservatism,” Kasich says.

To that end, he defends expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, despite vigorous opposition from Republicans. “I’ve never thought anything about it. It was the right thing to do,” he says. “We’re helping the drug addicted, the working poor, the mentally ill. I didn’t see it as standing up to my party really, I just saw it as carrying out something that I thought was important for my state.”
A former investment banker, he has no regrets about his time at Lehman Brothers, but says he supports capital requirements for large banks. Kasich  opposes increasing taxes, but that he will not sign any pledges to that effect.

Time Magazine asked Kasich: What did you learn from standing up to some in your own party on Medicaid expansion?

 I’ve never thought anything about it. It was the right thing to do. We’re helping the drug addicted, the working poor, the mentally ill. I didn’t see it as standing up to my party really, I just saw it as carrying out something that I thought was important for my state. Here’s the thing you have to realize, the Republican Party is my vehicle, and not my master. My job is to try to figure out how to fix things, and I’m going to fix things as best as I can. I’m going to get a team together to fix things. And I can’t sit around and worrying what the heck the chairman of the Republican Party thinks about what I’m doing. I have to do what has to be done to bring improvement. What would I do? Say, oh well, the Republicans don’t like this therefor I shouldn’t do it. What kind of a government would that be. We’re not a parliamentary system.

Which woman should be on the $10 bill?

Susan B. Anthony / Lime Green
Betsy Ross / regular green
Rosa Parks / blue
Eleanor Roosevelt / purple
Harriet Tubman /orange

only Rhode island goes for Anthony in the Marketwatch straw poll
only Alaska goes for Rosa Parks.
otherwise looks like Betsy Ross is the clear favorite.

So we might get a woman who's contribution to America is actually only legend an story started by a grandson 100 years after it supposedly happened.