Bobby Jindal: ‘Not the Time’ to Consider Gun Law Reform

July 27, 2015

Bobby Jindal: 'Not the Time' to Consider Gun Law Reform
On Friday Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) said that it is too soon after the mass shooting in a Lafayette movie theater to discuss gun control reform. By that logic it will never be a good time to talk about gun safety laws in Louisiana, since the rate of gun deaths in the Pelican State is the highest in the country. Discussion of rational policies to reduce firearms violence will always be preempted as citizens mourn Louisiana’s new gunshot victims.

Come to think of it, that kind of neglect is perfectly consistent with the rest of Governor Jindal’s public health policy.

More:

“After Lafayette Shooting, Jindal Says It’s ‘Not the Time’ to Discuss Gun Control,” Polly Mosendz, Newsweek

“6 Times Bobby Jindal Insisted Gun Control Was Not, Repeat Not, On The Agenda For Louisiana,” Chris Tognotti, Bustle

“Another mass shooting, and yet again we’re told: don’t politicize, pray,” Jeb Lund, The Guardian

“Bobby Jindal, Does Louisiana ‘Love Us Some Guns’ Now?” By Zoë Carpenter, The Nation

“Bobby Jindal Enabled Louisiana’s Gun Violence Problem,” Rebecca Leber, The New Republic

“Spare me your crocodile tears, Governor Jindal, you’ve got the blood from this massacre all over your NRA­-approved hands,” Piers Morgan, Daily Mail

“Louisiana’s Gun Problem,” Ian Millhiser, Think Progress

“If You Live in Louisiana You’re Nearly Twice as Likely to Be Killed by a Gun,” Chase Woodruff, The Trace

“There have been 204 mass shootings — and 204 days — in 2015 so far,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

“Prayer won’t stop guns: The cruel hypocrisy behind the right’s refusal to talk about gun violence,” Robert Mann, Salon

“Lax Gun Laws Are Becoming a National-Security Issue,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“States With Gun Control Have Fewer Gun Deaths,” Taegan Goddard, Wonkwire

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Witchi Tia To

July 26, 2015

“Witchi Tia To,”  written by Jim Pepper (1941– 1992), inspired by a Native American Church peyote song he learned from his grandfather. Performed here by Jim Pepper (lead vocals, chant, tenor saxophone), Kenny Werner (piano), John Scofield (guitar), Hamid Drake (drums), Lester McFarland (electric bass), Naná Vasconcelos (chant, percussion). Recorded in 1983.

Jim Pepper also recorded versions of this song in 1969 and 1971.It has been recorded by many rock, pop, and jazz artists.

Related:

Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival @ Facebook

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The Gekas Loophole

July 25, 2015

The Gekas Loophole
On April 16th, 21-year-old Dylann Roof was allowed to purchase a 45 caliber Glock handgun from retailer Shooter’s Choice of West Columbia SC, despite his arrest, indictment, and his pending trial for felony possession of a narcotic prescription drug. Why was this sale permitted? The FBI is taking the blame for an incomplete background check, but the purchase went through because of the gentleman pictured above, former Congressman George W. Gekas, who represented Pennsylvania’s 17th District for 20 years.

When the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was on the House floor in 1993, Rep. Gekas (R, PA-17) introduced Amendment 390, requiring a technologically impossible “instant background check” and, if the FBI couldn’t clear the purchaser within five days (later 3 days) then the sale could go through. This “Gekas Loophole” or “default proceed sale” provision was added, the bill passed, and President Clinton signed it into law.

Today, explains the New York Times‘ Michael S. Schmidt:

“Many major gun retailers, like Walmart, will not sell a weapon if they do not have an answer from the F.B.I., because of the fear of public criticism if the gun is used in a crime. The marginal sale of one gun means little to the bottom line of a large dealer, which is not the case for smaller stores like the one that sold Mr. Roof his gun.”

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Ai Weiwei Got His Passport Back

July 24, 2015

Ai Weiwei Got His Passport Back

Artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei got his passport back from Chinese authorities this week and is free to leave his homeland. His papers were seized in April 2011 when he was taken into custody by the Chinese government, detained and questioned for 81 days then put under virtual house arrest for a year, and his passport was withheld until now. Without his passport, Mr. Ai was unable to attend openings of major exhibitions of his work in the US and Europe, and could not visit his son, who lives in Germany.

More:

“Ai Weiwei free to travel overseas again after China returns his passport,” Tom Phillips, The Guardian

“After 4 years, Chinese authorities return passport to artist Ai Weiwei,”Jonathan Kaiman and Juli Makinen, Los Angeles Times

“Ai Weiwei’s Freedom by Fiat,” Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

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Tropical Island Resort Property Available Soon

July 23, 2015

Tropical Island Resort Property Available Soon

A long-anticipated real estate deal is about to put eight prime parcels of tropical paradise on the market. White House press secretary Josh Earnest blabbed that the Obama Administration is finally ready to close down the Guantánamo Bay concentration camps detention centers on the sunny island of Cuba.

The canny Mr. Obama teased the deal back in 2009, but waited for the Cuban real estate market to take off, and it’s muy caliente after US normalization of relations with the island nation. There are already deals in the works for a dozen new luxury golf courses, and tourists from as far away as China are waiting for tee times.

The “Gitmo” detention centers now hold 116 inmates guests at a cost of more than $100 million (possibly $454 million) a year, so it’s plainly time to cash out and recoup costs during Cuba’s current resort development boom. The deal would look better without sitting tenants and since 106 of those 116 guests have never been charged or convicted of anything, it’s time to find them other accommodations. And why host the remaining 10 guests at an annual cost of at least $10 million each when the Government Accountability Office has found many alternatives?

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ฉันไม่พูดภาษาไทย (“I Don’t Speak Thai”), Sings Brooklyn’s Maggie Rosenberg

July 22, 2015

“For 19-year-old Brooklyn native Maggie Rosenberg, learning Thai pop songs began as a frustrated attempt to connect with the people of her host country. But the connection turned out stronger than she had anticipated ….

After returning home from a cultural immersion program in Thailand four years ago, Rosenberg taught herself Thai by learning how to sing the country’s pop hits. Today, her covers draw tens of thousands of views, while her original song, the endearing “I Don’t Speak Thai,’ has racked up nearly a million. Most videos feature her strumming a ukulele in her bedroom ….”

— “Maggie Rosenberg, Thailand’s American Sweetheart.” Melissa Pandika, OZY

Maggie Rosenberg @Facebook

Downloads @Bandcamp

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Australia Will Kill Millions of Kitty Cats

July 21, 2015

Australia Will Kill All the Kitty Cats
20 to 30 million feral cats roam Australia, killing 75 million animals each night. 29 of the continent’s mammals have been lost to extinction, and feral cats are implicated in 28 of these eradications. More than 120 Australian animals are currently at risk of extinction by feral cats, which also spread diseases that affect farm livestock.

These critters are not the mild-mannered moggies British colonists brought with them since arriving in 1788 but ferocious felines weighing up to 30 pounds. The Australian government wants to kill 2 million of these furry furies in the next 5 years.

More:

“Feline Massacre: Australia Unveils Plan to Kill Two Million Feral Cats,” Vice

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Altar Boy, US Marine, FBI Agent, Lawyer, GOP Congressman, Felon.

July 20, 2015

Altar Boy, US Marine, FBI Agent, GOP Congressman, Falon.
Former altar boy Michael Grimm, US Marine veteran, ex-FBI Agent, lawyer, thug, restaurateur, and former Republican Congressman from Staten Island, has been sentenced to 8 months in federal prison for tax fraud. He will be missed by his Mom and Sebastian, his Yorkshire terrier.

More:

“The Appalling Career of Michael Grimm,” Evan Ratliff, The New Yorker

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

The Twinkies Bakery is Now Worth Big Dough

July 20, 2015

The Twinkies Bakery is Now Worth Big Dough

Hostess, baker of America’s beloved Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Twinkies, founded in 1930, went bankrupt in 2012. The firm was bought the next year by a partnership led by C. Dean Metropoulos, savior of Vlasic, Hungry-Man, Old Milwaukee and Chef Boyardee food brands. The turnaround king has done it again, for our nation’s iconic dessert cakes:

“Now, the iconic dessert titan is resurgent, selling its golden, cream-filled Twinkies across the world under the name Hostess Brands and turning down $2 billion offers from a pack of hopeful buyers. On Tuesday morning, the company reached its latest peak when Reuters, citing anonymous sources, suggested Hostess would head to Wall Street with an initial public offering that would value the company at around $2.5 billion.”

— “Twinkies are not just back from the dead. Their baker may now be worth billions.” Drew Harwell, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

Today’s Economy: Agnes Török Explains It All to You

July 19, 2015

“Worthless,” written and performed by Agnes Török of Loud Poets. Film by Perry Jonsson; music by Robbero.

h/t: S. Abbas Raza

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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