Only 12% of Democrats think that Lamont's win was bad for Democrats?

How can a recent Democratic Vice Presidential nominee end up with only 12 percent of his party thinking that it was bad that he lost his battle for re-election? Pretty amazing.

An overwhelming majority of likely-voting Democrats nationwide said they are glad three-term Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman was walloped by anti-war challenger Ned Lamont in that state’s Democratic primary election Tuesday.

They also said the Lamont victory over one of the few pro-war Democrats in Washington makes them optimistic they can win control of at least one of the two houses of Congress in November.

The Zogby Interactive survey was conducted Aug. 9-10, 2006, and included 1,229 Democratic respondents nationwide. It carries a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

It found that nearly four out of five Democrats (79%) were happy the former Democratic vice presidential nominee was knocked off by Lamont, a wealthy cable television executive whose campaign focused almost exclusively on his opposition to the war – and Lieberman’s support of it. Just 12% said they were not pleased with the results of the primary, which riveted political junkies across the nation. Another 10% of Democrats said they were not sure what to think.


Self Defense in the Philippines

Philippine lawyer Johnmuel Mendoza vividly recalls the day his gun saved his life.

He was sitting in his pick-up truck in a Manila suburb when a deranged man appeared out of nowhere and started attacking his car with a metal pipe.

"As he was about to smash my windshield I took out my gun and told him to stop," Mendoza recalls.

At the sight of the gun the man came to his senses, dropped the pipe and fled.

Today, Mendoza uses the lessons of that incident as president of PROGUN, perhaps the only organization in Asia fighting for the right of private citizens to own guns.

The fear of being mugged, raped or murdered in a country with an annual murder rate approaching 10,000 and where violent crime is endemic has seen thousands of Filipinos seeking to arm themselves for protection.

PROGUN, which stands for "Peaceful Responsible Owners of Guns," is the organization that tries to assure they can legally get those guns.

Thousands of people descended on a recent gun show in Manila, looking for an edge in the game of survival being played out in the urban jungle that is the Philippine capital. . . . .

Lieberman loses, vows to run as independent, but who is going to donate to his campaign?

Lieberman loses 52 percent to 48 percent. Here is the question at this point now that Lieberman will run as an independent: who is going to be donating to his campaign? Democrats? It doesn't look like it. Republicans? At least not in any large numbers. May be some independents. My guess is that he is going to have a pretty barebones campaign. If so, the fall campaign may be pretty rough for him.


Guns and Children, Letter in today's NY Times

To the Editor:

Jane E. Brody’s column claiming that people should store their guns locked and unloaded is dangerous advice and will lead to more deaths (“Is Your Child a Split Second from Disaster?”). Her discussion focuses on accidental gun deaths in the home, but 85 percent of the fatality number she misleadingly points to involve homicides. Surely a concern, but locking up guns in law-abiding homes is unrelated to stopping drug gangs from murdering one another.

Despite her claim, adult males with criminal records and histories of alcoholism or drugs are the ones firing the guns that accidentally kill most young children.

Gun locks won’t stop adult criminals from firing their own guns, but they will prevent law-abiding citizens from defending themselves.

John R. Lott Jr.
Binghamton, N.Y.

Brody's original column can be found here.

Brody tries to correct one of the errors that I point to, but she made it worse. The correction added on August 2nd states: "The Personal Health column in Science Times yesterday, about gun safety, included an incorrect statistic from a medical journal on firearm deaths. They make up about 10 percent of deaths caused by injury among children aged 5 to 14, not 10 percent of all deaths in that age group."

You can find the CDC numbers on this issue here. In 2003, the total number of accidental deaths for children aged 5 to 14 was 2,618. The number of children who died from guns was 49. This is less than 2 percent.

Conspiracies everywhere: Poll Results Show Strong Support

There is a bright side to some of these crazy poll results. The three 9-11 conspiracy theories at least have fewer adherents than does the Kennedy assassination or the federal government withholding evidence of alien life.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Likely . . . . . . Unlikely

Officials in the federal government were
directly responsible for the assassination
of U.S. president John F. Kennedy . . . . . . . . 40% . . . . . . . . .51%

The federal government is withholding
proof of the existence of intelligent life
from others planets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38% . . . . . . . . 54%

People in the federal government either
assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no
action to stop the attacks because they
wanted to United States to go to war
in the Middle East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36% . . . . . . . . 59%

The collapse if the twin towers in New
York was aided by explosives secretly
planted in the two buildings . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16% . . . . . . . . 77%

The Pentagon was not struck by an
airliner captured by terrorists but,
instead was hit by a cruise missile fired
by the U.S. military . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12% . . . . . . . .80%


"Bloomberg's stunts cloud his gun efforts"

Keane with the National Shooting Sports Foundation writes:

The settlement between New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and two of the 15 firearms dealers he targeted in a lawsuit is more about publicity than necessity, given existing federal oversight of dealers by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and educational programs already in place.

The agreement calls for two Georgia dealers to receive additional training in preventing illegal, or "straw," purchases. But the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, has for years partnered with ATF, the appropriate and legally authorized federal regulatory agency, to provide dealers with training designed to prevent straw purchases through the Don't Lie for the Other Guy program.

The campaign was launched in Atlanta this past January with Gov. Sonny Perdue and ATF Director Carl J. Truscott, who referred to Don't Lie as "vital" and "an important tool for ATF."

Firearms dealers in greater Atlanta have already received in-store materials that help deter would-be straw purchasers, and U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias has appeared in TV ads warning the public about the penalties associated with illegal purchases.

Unfortunately, Bloomberg has rejected NSSF attempts to share this industry-government program plus information about an ongoing series of seminars that educate dealers about the extensive laws and regulations governing the lawful sale of firearms. . . .

Concealed Handgun Law in Kansas Leads to New Sales

Don't believe claim that Alaska pipeline problem could raise gas prices by $10 per barrel

400,000-barrel per day reduction in output would have a major impact on oil prices, said Tetsu Emori, chief commodities strategist at Mitsui Bussan Futures in Tokyo.

"Oil prices could increase by as much as $10 per barrel given the current environment," Emori said. "But we can't really say for sure how big an effect this is going to have until we have more exact figures about how much production is going to be reduced." . . .

Well, if people really believed that the market price would already be up by $10 per barrel. Instead,

ight, sweet crude for September delivery was up $1.23 to $75.99 a barrel in mid-afternoon Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

At London's ICE Futures exchange, the Brent crude contract for September jumped $1.09 to $77.26 a barrel . . .

If traders believe that prices will go up by $10 per barrel, it will pay for them to keep on buying the oil until it has gone up to that price.

One case where smoking by others may have really killed a non-smoker


What some states counted as work under the work requirements for welfare

The Washington Post might not be too thrilled about restrictions on wat counts as work, but some of these types of work are amusing.

"Some defined as work bed rest, going to a smoking-cessation program, getting a massage, doing an errand with a friend."

So what do the words to the song "American Pie" mean?

For those who always wondered what the words to the song "American Pie" mean,here is the ultimate website. I had figured out or heard some of these points, but there were others that I didn't know.

Thanks to Craig Newmark for pointing to this on his blog.

Does Oliver Stone's World Trade Towers Movie Cut Out the Moral Message?

Here is part of Brian Carney's take in the WSJ on Stone's movie:

A long article on the film in Newsweek quotes Mr. Stone: "The consequences of 9/11 are enormous to this world, not just to America." This is true; 9/11 changed world history. But he goes on: "This movie is made for the world, and if it's what I hope it to be, it transcends 9/11. It's about anybody, anywhere, who feels the taste of death, whether it was a bombing in Madrid or an earthquake or a tsunami" (emphasis added). Well, now we are in a different place. The world-changing character of 9/11 does not rest on the number of people who "felt the taste of death." Hundreds of thousands more people died in the December 2004 tsunami. It was a tragic event, but not a world-changing one. Unless you are an animist inclined to attribute moral significance to random acts of nature, a tsunami is "value-free." It just happened. But 9/11 didn't just happen. As "United 93" makes explicit, 9/11 happened because determined men with a plan boarded those planes and carried out their plan.

"World Trade Center" tells a different story. It is the story of 9/11 as experienced by the men on the ground as it occurred. As far as it goes, it does ample justice to the rescue and emergency workers who were present on that day. They did not know, could not know, who brought down the towers or why. The question is whether "World Trade Center" goes far enough when it comes to shaping our understanding of what happened.

One fact about the movie that has received considerable mention already is that it screened well with teenagers, many of whom were too young to perceive clearly what was done five years ago next month in New York and Washington. Will they come away from the film thinking of that day as a tragedy or as an atrocity? Mr. Stone would seem to prefer the former. But universalizing the meaning of the movie risks trivializing it. New York was not hit by an earthquake on September 11, 2001. . . . .