Note on Piers Morgan ending his show on CNN with a speech on guns

Below is the relevant text of Piers Morgan's comments.  Here a few comments.

1) Doesn't Piers recognize the irony that the Aurora movie theater and Newtown shootings both occurred where guns are banned?  That the movie theater shooting occurred in the one movie theater out of seven showing the Batman movie near where the killer lived?  That these attacks generally keep occurring where guns are banned?

2) Piers directly attacks the notion that more guns mean less crime.  But he never in all his shows dealt with the evidence that when guns are banned murder rates go up, except in one show where he and Christiane Amanpour were dishonest about the facts for the UK.

3) In classic Piers, he attacks his opponents in the most personal terms: "cowardly," "bullied," attacking his opponents as motivated by making profits for gun makers ("death and profits for the gun manufacturers").  What is gained by Piers constantly attacking his opponents this way?  He may never understand that is what many found objectionable.

With Piers continually repeating the same first two points over and over again, you would think that he would be embarrassed that he doesn't have a direct response to these two points.
This is the final episode of Piers Morgan Live. After 3yrs, 2months, 11 days and over 1000 shows, I am departing to spend more time with my cricket bat.  . . .
And I want to say something more about that before I bow out. . . .
As my brother, a British Army colonel, says, “You’d always want an American next to you in a trench when the going gets tough.”
But that’s where guns belong – on a military battlefield, in the hands of highly trained men and women fighting for democracy and freedom. Not in the hands of civilians. The scourge of gun violence is a disease that now infects every aspect of American life.
Each day, on average, 35 people in this country are murdered with guns, another 50 kill themselves with guns, and 200 more are shot but survive. That’s 100,000 people a year hit by gunfire in America.
Now, I assumed that after 70 people were shot in a movie theater, and then, just a few months later, 20 first-graders were murdered with an assault rifle in an elementary school, the absurd gun laws in this country would change. But nothing has happened. The gun lobby in America, led by the NRA, has bullied this nation’s politicians into cowardly, supine silence. Even when 20 young children are blown away in their classrooms.
This is a shameful situation that has made me very angry. So angry, in fact, that some people have criticized me for being too loud, opinionated, even rude when I have debated the issue of guns. But I make no apologies for that.
As Sir Winston Churchill said: “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”
My point is simple: more guns doesn’t mean less crime as the NRA repeatedly says. It means more gun violence, death and profits for the gun manufacturers. And to those who claim my gun control campaigning has been “anti-American”, the reverse is true. I am so pro-American that I want more of you to stay alive. . . .

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Yet more Wikipedia errors: "How Wikipedia's sloppy facts obscured reality in Apple vs. Samsung trial"

As anyone should know, topics of controversy invite all sorts of misleading claims to be posted on Wikipedia (also here).  Apple Computer is apparently not immune from this treatment.  From AppleInsider:
At first glance, Wikipedia's article on the first California Apple v. Samsung trial appears to be an attempt to create an unbiased legal outline of events, one that is painstakingly researched and carefully sourced.  
But as is the case whenever the free online encyclopedia ventures into a subject involving any sort of controversy, the side Wikipedia presents is the side of whoever has lots of free time and resources to devote to telling one.  
A series of legal arguments and patent claims between Apple and Samsung that Wikipedia could have reported in factual depth is instead substituted with a slanted narrative flattering Samsung, a company that has, in its third year of legal wrangling with Apple, so far lost major infringement cases while winning no real significant legal recognition of any of its own patent infringement claims in any jurisdiction. . . . .



How Obamacare has increased health insurance premiums

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The latest BLS data is available here.


"Chinese man stabs six people to death in dispute over family properties"

From AFP via News Corp Australia:
A CHINESE man has gone on a killing spree following a dispute over family properties, leaving six people dead in a village outside Beijing, police said. 
The 34-year-old, identified only by his surname Zhao, stabbed several people with a knife in Wanghua in Huairou, in the suburbs of the capital, before being overpowered by police, the Beijing Public Security Bureau said. 
Six people died and an unspecified number of wounded were being treated in hospital, police authorities said on a verified account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter. . . .


US GDP growth falling farther and farther behind trend as the Obama recovery continues

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With the final measure of GDP growth during the first quarter of 2013 just being released (2.6%), I thought that I would graph out how GDP growth has preformed during the Obama "recovery."  As economists know, during previous recoveries GDP growth grows much faster than the trend growth rate until GDP growth catches back up to trend.  This is the first recovery where that isn't the case.  As you can see from the above figure, GDP growth in the current recovery keeps growing more slowly than the trend rate.  

Real GDP increased by only a paltry 1.9 percent in 2013.  It was down from the already weak 2.8 percent in 2012.

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Move to repeal Florida's Stand Your Ground law overwhelmingly defeated by 83-31 vote in State House

With Republicans holding at 74 to 45 seat majority in the state House, Democrats couldn't even a third of Democrats to vote to repeal the Stand Your Ground law.  From the Florida Courier:
In a rare procedural move, supporters of repealing Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law forced a vote on repeal on March 20. The House debated and then voted down an amendment that would have led to the elimination of the stand your ground law by a vote of 83-31. . . .


Prominent gun control advocate California Senator Leland Yee pushes for laws the law-abiding obey, but says he doesn't care about criminals getting guns

The problem with gun control is that it mainly disarms law-abiding, good citizens.  Yee fought for laws that stopped law-abiding citizens from getting guns, but behind the scenes he helped criminals get them.  The statement below obviously refers to criminals getting guns.  From Fox News:
. . . Despite his stances on gun control, Yee allegedly described himself as "agnostic" in these dealings.  
"People want to get whatever they want to get. Do I care? No, I don't care. People need certain things," he said, according to the complaint.  
Court documents say he was just one of more than two dozen people caught up in the five-year federal probe. Initially, agents were interested in going after Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, a notorious gangster who ran a Chinese criminal organization with ties to Hong Kong.   
According to the FBI’s 137-page complaint, Chow and five other defendants laundered $2.3 million for undercover agents between March 2011 and December 2013. According to the FBI, the defendants were told the money came from crimes like illegal gambling, drug dealing and marijuana growing. 
Chow, who was previously convicted on gun charges, was recently celebrated by the Chinese community in the area as an example of successful rehabilitation. He has been praised in recent months for his work in the immigrant-heavy community. 
Most of the suspects netted in the FBI investigation are linked to the Chinatown brotherhood association that Chow heads known as Ghee Kung Tong. The group’s headquarters were raided Wednesday and members were charged with trafficking in illicit guns, liquor and cigarettes. . . .
A few of Yee's tweets on gun control.

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Kobe Bryant speaks out against blacks automatically coming to Trayvon Martin's defense

It seems Bryant makes a very simple and obvious point:
"I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American,” he said. “That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.” . . . .


Florida woman fired for carrying her permitted concealed handgun to work

My advice is that this woman should get a new lawyer.  I may think that gun-free zones are dangerous, but the bank is correct that only the government can be sued over constitutional violations.  From Marketwatch:
Ivette Ros carries her 9-millimeter handgun almost everywhere, saying it makes her feel safe. Then she brought it to her job at Wells Fargo, where she worked as a branch manager, and it got her fired. 
So Ros is suing the bank, saying it violated her constitutional rights and other protections afforded under Florida law. The bank, which bans employees from carrying guns on company premises, replied in a court filing that only the government, not a private employer, can be sued over alleged constitutional violations. The case in Florida is unfolding as part of a bigger debate on how far the rights of gun owners extend into the workplace. 
Wells Fargo & Co. bans employees from bringing guns into work except in very limited cases, such as when employees are granted permission by a chief security officer at the bank. Says the bank: “Possessing firearms and weapons on company premises or at company-sponsored events is dangerous to team members and is strictly prohibited.” . . .


Negative views on Obama are at record high for AP poll, but his numbers are even worse than they first look

The Washington Post describes the results this way:
Negative views of President Obama have hit a new high, according to a poll.The AP-GfK poll shows 59 percent of Americans now disapprove of Obama -- a point higher than the previous high set in December.
Obama's approval rating stands at 41 percent. That's the second-lowest figure the poll has ever found. . . . .
The media is noting that Obama's approval rating is down to 41% in the new AP poll, but the numbers are even worse when the approval numbers are broken down by strongly, somewhat, and lean approve.  In the last survey in 2012, 29 percent strongly approved of Obama, but now it is down to 14 percent.  For "somewhat" approve over the same time the percent has fallen from 21 to 10 percent.  Where did it go up?  The weakest category of "lean" approve.  That has increased from 7 to 16 percent.  

The increase in the disapproval numbers are a little similar.  While the "strongly disapprove" haven't changed very much, both the lean and somewhat disapprove numbers have both increased.  

To put this another way, as a measure of intensity, changes in the ratio of strongly disapprove to strongly approve can be seen here:

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UPDATED: One of California's strongest gun control politicians arrested on firearms trafficking charges: State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco)

California State Senator Leland Yee is well known for pushing for more stringent gun control regulations.  For example, on his website you can still find this announcement:
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Just announced minutes ago from the Los Angeles Times:  "Sen. Leland Yee, S.F. Chinatown figure arrested in corruption raids"

Fox News has this:
As part of the raids, Fox News has learned that the FBI also arrested multiple people including Raymond Chow -- one of the heads of the Ghee Kung Tong, a Masonic organization. Both federal and local authorities were searching locations on Wednesday morning in San Francisco and Sacramento; local TV stations spotted law enforcement searching Yee's office at the state capitol and even caught the senator being led away in handcuffs from his San Francisco home. 
The FBI would not divulge details on what led to the arrests, or what the individuals are charged with, but local reports claim Yee has been charged with public corruption and bribery. . . .
UPDATE:  Now it is clear that Yee was arrested for trafficking firearms.  Only in the ninth paragraph does the Los Angeles Times briefly mention that Yee has been a gun control advocate, though even this understates how important of an advocate Yee has been both in California and nationally.  From the Los Angeles Times:
State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) was charged Wednesday with conspiring to commit wire fraud and traffic firearms, part of a sweeping public corruption case outlined by federal prosecutors.
The charges sent shock waves through the San Francisco and Sacramento political establishments, as FBI agents searched Yee's Capitol office.  . . .
The indictment alleges Yee and Jackson defrauded "citizens of honest services" and were involved in a scheme to traffic firearms in exchange for thousands in campaign donations to the senator.
Federal prosecutors also allege Yee agreed to perform official acts in exchange for the money, including one instance in which he introduced a businessman to state legislators who had significant influence over pending medical marijuana legislation. In exchange, the businessman -- who was actually an undercover FBI agent -- agreed to donate thousands to Yee's campaign fund, according to the indictment.
The indictment also describes an August 2013 exchange in which Jackson told an undercover officer that Yee had an arms-trafficking contact. Jackson allegedly said Yee could facilitate a meeting for a donation. . . .
The gun charges go against Yee's stand as a gun control advocate.
In 2006, Yee was named to the Gun Violence Prevention Honor Roll by the Brady Campaign for his efforts that included co-authoring a first-in-the-nation bill to require new semiautomatic handguns be equipped with ballistics identification technology known as micro-stamping.

In 2013, he stood with law enforcement officials and then-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to propose a bill that would regulate assault weapons. . . .
The Los Angeles Times could have gone into this much more.  But it was more than what the San Jose Mercury News mentioned in its 7th paragraph.
The charges are particularly shocking given that Yee has been among the state Senate's most outspoken advocates both of gun control and of good-government initiatives. . . .
CBS News in San Francisco doesn't even mention Yee was a gun control advocate.  Of course, the left wing TPM and NPR don't mention the gun control angle in the body of their stories, though NPR does contain a note under the picture that it has of Yee.

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Is Iowa Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley self destructing?

When Todd Atkin made stupid comments in his 2012 Senate run in Missouri it was major national news.  Braley's comments are also stupid, but we will have to see if it gets the same extensive national coverage.

This first video is simply amazing, with Bruce Braley attacking someone from Iowa for being a farmer and not being a lawyer!

WHO-IA: "No Question" Braley's Criticism Of Iowa Farmers Is "Damaging" & "Big Mistake"

At 1:45 into the video you have even Bill Press saying that he was stunned by how politically insensitive Bruce Braley's comments on the government shutdown was.  Saying that Braley was too much "inside the bubble" of Washington DC's elites.

UPDATE: This is actually getting some national news stories, though it has a long ways to go to get the coverage afforded Atkin.

Iowa Press Citizen

The Associated Press
Fox News

UPDATE: Survey done shortly before this latest scandal involving Braley showed that the race was pretty close.  From Rasmussen:
Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley holds a slight lead over his three top Republican challengers in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the 2014 U.S. Senate race in Iowa.A new statewide telephone survey of Likely Iowa Voters finds Braley with a 41% to 38% lead over businessman Mark Jacobs. He leads State Senator Joni Ernst 40% to 37% and runs four points ahead – 40% to 36% – of former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker. . . .
UPDATE 2: More farm trouble for Braley.  In order to try to fix the problems denigrating farmers, his campaign put out a press release, but it misspelled some basic farming terms.  From Fox News:
“Bruce grew up in rural Iowa and worked on Iowa farms, detassling (sic) corn and bailing(sic) hay,” it reads.
After the typos were pointed out, Braley spokesman Jeff Giertz said on Twitter he lost his fourth-grade spelling bee by misspelling “journey.”
“I guess my old habits are hard to break,” he said.
Additionally, Buzzfeed reported on Thursday that a photo of an Iowa farm Braley posted to his Facebook page in 2013 is actually a photo of a farm in England. . . . 

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Roseville, Michigan: Concealed carry permit holder stops a shoplifter from slashing a security officer

As the ABC Channel 7 TV news story above makes clear, the citizen with a gun who stopped the attack was a concealed carry permit holder.  The video also notes that the police are putting in for an award for the permit holder.  Fox News Channel 32 notes: "Berlin says that Silva stabbed a store security officer several times. He says a customer with a concealed firearm permit ordered Silva to stop, and police arrested him."
From the Detroit Free Press:
Acustomer with a handgun stopped a shoplifting suspect from slashing a securityofficer with a contaminated needle and syringe outside a Home Depot store inRoseville, police said.
Joshua J. Silva, 26, was arrested a short time after the incident Monday night . . . . 
Silva was ordered held in the Macomb County Jail on $25,000 bond after being arraigned today on second-degree retail fraud, a one-year misdemeanor, and assault with intent to do great bodily harm, a 10-year felony. A preliminary exam is set for April 2 in 39th District Court in Roseville. . . . 
Berlin said Silva began to fight with store loss prevention officers in the parking lot when they tried to apprehend him for stuffing a $179 battery-powered drill under his coat. Silva pulled a concealed syringe from his jacket and used it as a weapon . . . . 
They said he stabbed one of the officers several times with the contaminated needle. Berlin said the victim had more than five puncture wounds on the top of his hand. 
A customer with a concealed pistol license saw the fight, pulled out his handgun and told Silva to drop the syringe and get on the ground. Silva stopped fighting and sat down in the parking lot, police said, but jumped up and ran when he heard approaching police sirens. The loss prevention officers allowed him to run and police officers arrested him without further incident. 
The citizen told police he got involved because the suspect was so violent and appeared to “be getting the best of” the loss prevention officers. He said he feared if he didn’t get involved, the suspect was going to kill one of the store officers, police said.The wounded loss prevention officer was treated at a local hospital. Neither he nor the good Samaritan was interested in a media interview, Berlin said. . . .

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Is it believable that 40 to 50 people a week actually are accidentally bringing guns on commercial airline flights each week?

From the Orlando Sentinel:
"It strains credibility when 40 to 50 people a week show up with guns at the security checkpoint and then say 'I forgot.' They didn't forget their ticket. They didn't forget their pants. They've been on notice for over 12 years that guns are not permitted and it's time they be held responsible for violating the law." . . .
To put this in some perspective, 16 million passengers travelled per week in 2012.  40 or 50 cases out of that is about 0.0003 percent.  But it probably makes sense to say that 16 million is not the right group making the mistake here.  Suppose we are dealing with the 5 percent of adults who carry permitted concealed handguns (putting aside non permit holders and that permit holders are relatively wealthier and are therefore more likely to be flyers).   That would then be 800,000 (16 million times 5 percent).  Then implies an error rate of between 0.005 and 0.00625 percent, or about 5 or 6 per 100,000 travelers.  

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Florida senate committee today hears bill to protect children from zero tolerance hysteria

Given the large majority by which this law passed Florida's House, the question is why this law hasn't been passed in other states.  From the Washington Times:
. . . Over the past year, schools have increasingly punished children for playing games that involve pretend firearms. Now Florida is leading the nation in stopping this madness. 
On Tuesday, the Florida Senate will hold a committee hearing on legislation that has become known as the “Pop Tart bill.” 
The legislation got its nickname from an incident involving Josh Welch, a 7-year-old Maryland boy who was suspended from school in March 2013 for chewing his strawberry Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. 
The Florida bill makes it clear that children in public schools will be allowed to simulate firearms while playing without risk of disciplinary action or being referred to the criminal or juvenile justice system. 
The Florida House passed the companion bill Thursday by an overwhelming vote of 98-17. Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s spokeswomanJackie Schutz told me, “The governor supports the Second Amendment and our state’s self-defense law and will review any bill that comes to his desk.” 
“Children should not be punished because some adult lacks common sense or the capacity for rational judgment,” said Marion Hammer, a former president of the National Rifle Association and the current head of its Florida lobbying operation. . . . .
Some in Florida claim that the bill is an overreaction.  From the Editorial page of the Tampa Tribune:
Gun rights are a conservative value, but adopting laws for nonexistent problems, which the Pop-Tart bill does, is a liberal tactic. 
The measure, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican, and Sen. Greg Evers, a Pensacola Republican, is a hysterical reaction to an incident in Maryland last year where a 7-year-old boy was suspended from school for chewing his Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. . . . 
Here are just a few cases from March 2013 on available here.  The problem is that public schools have been using zero tolerance approaches to traumatize children about guns.

Florida has had its own cases.  From October, 2013 in Fox News:
An 8-year-old Florida boy was suspended from school after using his finger as a pretend gun while playing cops and robbers with his friends. 
Jordan Bennett was suspended for a day after administrators at Harmony Community School in Harmony, Fla., said the gesture was an act of violence, WFTV.com reported.
His mother, Bonnie, told the station she's concerned that her son may labeled violent with a suspension now on his academic record. 
"He had nothing in his hand. It was a finger gun, a pretend gun," Bonnie Bennett said. "He didn't threaten violence. He didn't utter words that were inappropriate. He made a sound and used his fingers and that was it." 
School district officials told the station its code of conduct prohibits students from playing with invisible guns. Bonnie Bennett believes there are more effective ways the district could have disciplined her son. . . .
Zero tolerance has also destroyed other lives in Florida even if it wasn't involving a gun.  From May 2013 in the New Miami News:
Kiera Wilmot got good grades and had a perfect behavior record. She wasn't the kind of kid you'd expect to find hauled away in handcuffs and expelled from school, but that's exactly what happened after an attempt at a science project went horribly wrong. 
On 7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused. 
According to WTSP, Wilmot told police that she was merely conducting a science experiment. Though her teachers knew nothing of the specific project, her principal seems to agree. . . . 
After the explosion Wilmot was taken into custody by a school resources officer and charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds and discharging a destructive device. She will be tried as an adult. 
She was then taken to a juvenile assessment center. She was also expelled from school and will be forced to complete her diploma through an expulsion program. . . .


Stupid/Misleading government ad to encourage 25 to 34 year olds to sign up for Obamacare

Either the Obama administration is simply misleading or this is more evidence that they don't know simple math.  Of course, both things might be true.

This ad for 25 to 34-year olds implies that there is a fifty percent chance of them having to pay at least $500 in medical bills over the course of a year.  In other words, the expected medical bills over the course of a year are at least $250 (it would be more useful to simply state what the expected bills would be).  In any case, the cheapest state insurance for a 27-year old under Obamacare is $142 per month, with most in the $200 range per month (see chart below).  Could someone please explain to me how this section of the ad justifies the statement "I should really get insurance"?

Of course, the problem is even worse than this because if a young person does get hit with that $500 insurance bill, the insurance company isn't going to have to pick up the entire amount.

The reason why insurance is such a bad deal for younger people is that Obamacare is purposefully set up to transfer money from younger to older people.  Younger people pay much more than what they would pay under true market insurance rates so as to subsidize and lower the prices for older people.



Idaho becomes the third state to pass "nullification" of federal gun laws

From Ben Swann's blog:
On Thursday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter (R) signed a bill, which would effectively nullify future federal gun laws, by prohibiting state enforcement of any future federal act relating to personal firearms, a firearm accessories or ammunition. 
S1332 passed the house by a vote of 68-0 and the senate by a vote of 34-0. Alaska and Kansas have also passed similar laws. . . .  
Introduced by the State Affairs Committee, the Idaho Federal Firearm, Magazine and Register Ban Enforcement Act, will: 
“protect Idaho law enforcement officers from being directed, through federal executive orders, agency orders, statutes, laws, rules, or regulations enacted or promulgated on or after the effective date of this act, to violate their oath of office and Idaho citizens’ rights under Section 11, Article I, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho.”



Steve Malzberg Show interview the risks of guns in the home