Video of the day

Y’all know how I love cool time-lapse and cool nature and especially the combination of the two.  This is pretty awesome– featuring a comet (you should watch it bigger at the link):


It is truly amazing to see such a rapid shift in public opinion on anything.  From the latest ABC/WP survey on gay marriage:

Gay marriage trend

Look at that change in less than 10 years.  Click through for some interesting demographic, etc., breakdowns.  Here’s the PID and age:

Gay marriage by Party ID and Age

Top right corner tells you all you need to know.  Right now, when it comes to gay marriage, you could almost say that it’s old Republicans vs. everybody else.  I have little doubt the GOP will drop it’s opposition to gay marriage within the decade (okay, maybe a little longer).   When that happens, you will be looking at this as the law of the land.


Photo of the day

This is pretty cool– photos of children from around the world wit their most prized possessions:


Chiwa – Mchinji, Malawi (Gabriele Galimberti)

Here’s the story:

Shot over a period of 18 months, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s project Toy Stories compiles photos of children from around the world with their prized possesions—their toys. Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world; saying, “at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.”

Guns über alles

A couple of interesting recent articles on just how extreme the NRA really is.  First, God forbid that we should have a treaty trying to make it harder for guns to get in the hands of terrorists, transnational organized crime, extremist rebels, etc.  From yesterday’s Post:

The National Rifle Association, which is battling a raft of gun control measures on Capitol Hill, also has an international fight on its hand as it gears up to oppose a U.N. treaty designed to restrict the flow of arms to conflict zones.

Negotiations open Monday in New York on the Arms Trade Treaty, which would require countries to determine whether weapons they sell would be used to commit serious human rights violations, terrorism or transnational organized crime.

The gun lobby fears that the treaty would be used to regulate civilian weapons. Human rights activists counter that it would reduce the trafficking of weapons, including small arms such as the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle, to outlaw regimes and rebel groups engaged in atrocities against civilian populations.  [emphasis mine]

And there’s your problem right there.  To the NRA, the AK-47 is a civilian weapon.  Seriously.  They’ve left no doubt about that in the assault weapons debate.   Serious automatic assault weapons designed strictly to kill large numbers of human beings are, in NRA-world, “civilian weapons.”  Naturally, if this treaty becomes law, the NRA predicts international gun registration.  And we all know that such an act would surely lead to gun confiscation before you know it.  Ugh.

Meanwhile, the NYT tells us that the NRA is also looking out for the rights of those stalkers, etc., faced with a protective order to still own a gun.  Gee, I cannot ever think of a crazed former boyfriend, husband, etc., shooting his girlfriend/wife.  Nope, never happens:

Advocates for domestic violence victims have long called for stricter laws governing firearms and protective orders. Their argument is rooted in a grim statistic: when women die at the hand of an intimate partner, that hand is more often than not holding a gun.

In these most volatile of human dramas, they contend, the right to bear arms must give ground to the need to protect a woman’s life.

In statehouses across the country, though, the N.R.A. and other gun-rights groups have beaten back legislation mandating the surrender of firearms in domestic violence situations. They argue that gun ownership, as a fundamental constitutional right, should not be stripped away for anything less serious than a felony conviction — and certainly not, as an N.R.A. lobbyist in Washington State put it to legislators, for the “mere issuance of court orders.”

Gee, wouldn’t want a “mere” court order to get in the way of some nutjob killing his wife.

Larger point, when it comes to cost/benefit issues of gun ownership, in NRA-world, there’s only one half of this equation– it doesn’t matter what the benefit is from limiting gun ownership in particular situations.  In short, guns über alles (most definitely including common sense).

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