Gotta love hypocrites

Journal News publisher Janet Hasson

A letter has appeared from Janet Hasson the publisher of The Journal News  explaining why the paper has decided to take the gun permit map down.

Her letter doesn’t hold water, yet she’s trying to spin taking the map down as a victory.

Read the comments after her letter and It’s pretty obvious that the heat must have been and will hopefully continue to be withering against her and the paper.

To our readers:
 
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, The Journal News thought the community should know where gun permit holders in their community were, in part to give parents an opportunity to make careful decisions about their children’s safety.
 
The Journal News mapped the public database of permit holders, placing a dot on the address of every permit holder in Westchester and Rockland counties and providing the name and street address of each holder. The dots conveyed a powerful message: gun permit holders are everywhere in our counties.
 
But public reaction to the posting of names and street addresses was swift and divided. Many in the community expressed their gratitude for The Journal News’ decision to make the information available, but permit holders were outraged at what they considered to be an invasion of privacy. Gun owners from across the country vocally conveyed their anger and accused The Journal News of having exposed permit holders and non-permit holders alike to the risk of burglaries and other crimes. Hundreds of threats were made to Journal News staffers.
 
So intense was the opposition to our publication of the names and addresses that legislation passed earlier this week in Albany included a provision allowing permit holders to request confidentiality and imposing a 120-day moratorium on the release of permit holder data.
 
Today The Journal News has removed the permit data from lohud.com. Our decision to do so is not a concession to critics that no value was served by the posting of the map in the first place. On the contrary, we’ve heard from too many grateful community members to consider our decision to post information contained in the public record to have been a mistake. Nor is our decision made because we were intimidated by those who threatened the safety of our staffers. We know our business is a controversial one, and we do not cower.
 
But the database has been public for 27 days and we believe those who wanted to view it have done so already. As well, with the passage of time, the data will become outdated and inaccurate.
 
Equally important, the legislature has weighed in on the issue and representatives of residents from across the state have said that some New Yorkers who hold gun permits should have the right to keep that information private. As a news organization, we are constantly defending the public’s right to know. Consequently we do not endorse the way the legislature has chosen to limit public access to gun permit data. The statute is very broad and allows anyone who meets certain criteria within qualifying categories to keep their permit information private. When the moratorium concludes, far fewer permit holders will be identifiable, and those who want to know which houses on their block may have guns will not be able to get that information. But we are not deaf to voices who have said that new rules should be set for gun permit data.
 
Make no mistake, The Journal News will continue to report aggressively on gun ownership. We will continue to pursue our request for data from Putnam County, and will closely analyze the data for Westchester and Rockland counties when it once again becomes publicly available. And we will keep a snapshot of our map — with all its red dots — on our website to remind the community that guns are a fact of life we should never forget.
 
Sincerely,

Janet Hasson

President and Publisher

Journal News Media Group

Here is the link to the article.

http://www.lohud.com/article/20130118/NEWS02/301180125/Letter-from-publisher-gun-map

They’ve removed the map and the information about the gun permits because the law said they have to.

Sadly, this is rather like locking the barn after the horses have escaped, there are no doubt copies replicated on countless servers, blogs, and on private computers worldwide.

In short The Journal News has created a situation that can never be undone.

In other related news there is this from ProjectVeritas

The video is about 10 minutes long and it’s very interesting to note a couple of things…

First, not one of the editors/reporters who describe themselves as anti-gun will place a sign on their lawns saying that their homes are essentially gun free zones

Second, a large percentage of the editors/reporters either have armed guards at their homes or they’ll call the police at the “drop of a hat”.

Talk about people that think nothing of the safety of others (regardless of what they say) but when it comes to their personal safety all the sudden their concerns about guns vanish.

I guess this is what Über liberalism is all about.

I’m reminded of the line from Plan 9 from Outer Space. “All you people of Earth are idiots” I supposed we could revise that line to read “All you non-liberals are idiots, you’re either with us or you’re racist morons!”

What’s good for the goose apparently isn’t for the gander

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I read this article this morning and darn near blew coffee out my nose.

http://gu.com/p/3d674

The gist of the piece is that a programmer decided to outsource then manage the outsourcing of his own job to China. 

He went to work every day, surfed the net, updated his Facebook, watched cat videos and wrote a daily progress report for his boss.

All the while the actual programming was being done by a Chinese programer for 1/5 the salary the programmer was making.

This programmer even managed to take on programming jobs at other companies and was making a ton of money.

He was ultimately fired from his position but only because a network audit uncovered his “misuse” of the corporate network. (Facebook, twitter, cat videos)

The funny thing is that the guy was apparently considered one of the better employees and programmers at his company.

The article mentions that had this guys job title been different he’d have probably gotten a bonus. 

I think the guy was creative and clever, but he missed his calling.

He should open a consulting firm specializing in offshore project management. I’ll bet he could make a fortune.

As much as I’ve bashed EDD it’s only fair …

That I report when EDD actually does something correctly.

I spoke with an EDD representative yesterday who actually asked reasonable questions.

This was a first!

This lady asked what I’d done as a career.

I told her that I’d been a software Quality Assurance person for about 30 years.

She asked me why I’d taken a Bartending class. 

I told her because I couldn’t get the time of day in my previous career and that It seemed a way to get immediate employment. After all good times and bad… people drink!

She noted that this was quite a departure but she saw my point.

She didn’t comment on  my statement that High technology businesses were offshoring or leaving California at an alarming rate.

She did that pause thing that you hear when people are censoring themselves. I don’t know if that was agreement or not but it was interesting.

This lady was a real person. She wasn’t one of those creepy automatons who barely speak English and strain my universal translator to the breaking point.

She was actually a nice person.

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It was kind of funny, because she told me that this class didnt’ qualify for California Training reimbursement. 

I told her I wasn’t trying for any reimbursement, I was simply reporting that since I was sitting in class 10 hours a day I obviously wasn’t out interviewing. I’d answered the question on the EDD forms honestly.

She paused again… Then chuckled and said, “I see.”

She asked, “If you’d been offered a job during that week would you have dropped the class?”

I said I’d have accepted the job as a priority. But, I’d have gone to the folks running the school and asked if I could attend nights and finished the class.

She chuckles again and says “I’m clearing this, we’re going to get you caught up.”

I was shocked. I thought there were no EDD benefits left so now I’m curious about what the they’re doing. We’ll see when the next batch of paperwork comes through. Heck if all I have to do is fill out paper work and they’ll keep me in the system I’ll fill out the paperwork.

It was nice to deal with a real person at the EDD at least once. 

#EDDNOTFAIL

 

The Holidays and Speaking of Climate Change…

I’ve begun the search for the Holiday Card photo.

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The weather this year has not been co-operative and while we’ve had our first snow it wasn’t particularly memorable.

Today it’s 49F and breezy.

“Normally” (whatever Normal is) by this time of year it’s in the 30s and we’ve seen at least a good dusting of snow. 

I have a really bad feeling that this Winter is going to come all at once.

There are examples  of this in the recent past.

The first year I moved back into this house is an excellent example.

I snowed so much in two days that the accumulation shut down my furnace because the exhaust was covered, You’d think that was a major irritation and it was… until the power got knocked out for 30 hours… then the snow covered exhaust wasn’t so much of a concern.

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In the picture, that’s my street sign and approximately 7 – 8 feet of snow piled up in the background behind it. 

During that storm we got 4 feet of snow.

It was the sticky wet heavy stuff and boy was it a pain in the butt to clear.

On the up side I got my cardio that year.

All of this leads to the problem of Holiday cards.

We’ve decided that we want to send unique Holiday cards that we produce In-House.

Last years card  was a pretty decent success even though the postal service was less than cooperative about delivering the cards & I ended up sending digital versions out in addition to the printed copies.

My Doctor was so blown away he actually kept his card in MY file for 6 months and made a point of telling me that he was impressed when he saw me for my annual exam.

This was high praise indeed from a guy that’s involved in the Laguna Pageant of the Masters.

Another Friend who’s an interior designer was also mightily impressed.

This year… well it’s been warm and sunny.

How the hell am I supposed to create a holiday card that evokes feelings of the season when it’s warm and sunny?

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I thought about using a photo from the Colorado trip… but somehow nothing works.

I can’t help but remember it was hotter than the surface of the sun!

Well, not really but it sure felt like it. I guess it was closer to the temps on Mercury.

We managed to keep the card religion neutral last year.

It’s a choice that I’d like to turn into a tradition. I like sending the same card to everyone on my holiday list. 

In years past we’ve had up to 4 different cards that we mailed. Christian, Jewish, Professional, and Personal.

It was maddening to try to keep every ones beliefs in mind and at the same time simply say “Hello, At this time of commercialism, frayed nerves, Political Correctness, and hyper sensitivity, we though of you and wanted to wish you and your family a safe… whatever the fuck you celebrate. We’re trying to reach out to you, but honestly are more afraid of offending you and ending up in court.

That conundrum led us to sending out no cards for many years.

Last years card was a photo that I took. It was simple, pretty and the message was exactly what we wanted to convey.

This year finding a photo is  proving to be a challenge. I’d honestly expected for us to have had some winter weather and I was planning to take pictures for this years card… Well, this year!

Damn Climate Change!!! 

I’ve thought about sending a picture of the Mayan Calendar and saying something like “Hey it’s been nice knowing you, don’t bother with the shopping we’ve only got until the 21st. ” (That is MY ORIGINAL IDEA, Any of you folks in other countries looking to make a fast buck by scanning my blog will owe me a percentage. I’ll see you in court!)

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Then I thought perhaps that was too much of a downer and some people might be driven to more suicidal tendencies than usual.

I’ve thought of just a snowy field with an interesting inspirational message, but I’m worried that the less imaginative in the crowd wouldn’t get it. After all there are a large number of people that really do need to have things drawn out and labeled for them.

Then there’s the Muslim people in our circle of acquaintances. What the Hell? What picture is even appropriate? Muhammed giving the Pope the finger is right out… Besides pictures of Muhammed have been done to death.

I mean you can’t actually enclose a personal note… What would you say?

Dear Achmed, I was pleased to hear about your nephews martyrdom, Perhaps your niece will have better luck next year, once she’s out of the hospital. I’m enclosing a Mexican made digital timer for her, Chinese quality isn’t what it should be. Not much is new here we’re just getting ready to engage in our infidel celebration of the birth of our god by chopping down perfectly good trees and engaging in an orgy of consumerism…

Yeah, really cheap shot but I typed it, laughed and figured I’d leave it. Sometimes my mind is a scary place.

I have a picture of a crescent moon. That would work for the Muslims, but photoshopping in Santa and his reindeer would probably be offensive.

Our Jewish friends might not appreciate the crescent moon or Santa.

So it all comes back to the weather…

I’m going to have to search through my archives of photos and see if I can find anything that would be pretty, non-religious, and inoffensive.

This is going to take a really long time, I’ve only got till the 21st!

Have a safe orgy of consumerism!

The Hangman by Maurice Ogden

I was looking for the old quote attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller about the Nazi purges of the various groups perceived as threats to the Reich.

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First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

While looking for this quote, I came across a poem that speaks to the same subject.

I like both for their cautionary tones.

I’m worried that we are losing our way, in that we too easily choose a group to blame or demand compensation from.

I find myself asking more often these days, what defines a minority? Your first thought might be to say a person of color. That could be true.

But a minority is more than that. Wikipedia, provides this definition.

Which leads me to why I was looking for Niemöllers quote in the first place.

We as a country have apparently come to the conclusion that wealth is bad. We’ve arbitrarily decided that the “Wealthy” can pay more taxes.

The definition of  “Wealthy” is also variable and apparently chosen based on the needs of the state.

California has defined household incomes greater than $250,000 as wealthy and therefore subject to increased state taxation.

You realize that $250,000 could well be the income for a young Physician and his Stock broker spouse. Both of whom are trying to pay off $150,000 each in student loans.

The arbitrariness of the definition of Wealth begs the question for me.

If the State doesn’t solve it’s budget crisis… Will the politicians decide $100,000 in household income is Wealthy? Where does that line of reasoning end? $50,000?

We have politicians in Washington DC making similar statements about the “Wealthy” being able to pay a little bit more…

I’m concerned that this kind of thinking is a very slippery slope.

Don’t get me wrong… the Wealthy people that have sold our country out from under us, and off shored jobs, who’ve raped, pillaged, plundered, and employed slash and burn techniques on the American economy that MADE them wealthy.

Oh, they richly deserve punishment!

BUT Their punishment shouldn’t come at the sacrifice equal taxation and representation. Let the wealthy peoples tax breaks expire but levying higher taxes on a minority group is certainly as unfair as the tax breaks this group enjoyed.

Presented for your consideration by a centrist Republican who is interested in equality and even social justice.

So long as those things happen… Justly.

The Hangman by Maurice Ogden

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Into our town the hangman came, smelling of gold and blood and flame. He paced our bricks with a different air, and built his frame on the courthouse square. The scaffold stood by the courthouse side, only as wide as the door was wide with a frame as tall, or a little more, than the capping sill of the courthouse door.

And we wondered whenever we had the time, Who the criminal? What the crime? The hangman judged with the yellow twist of knotted hemp in his busy fist.

And innocent though we were with dread, we passed those eyes of buckshot lead. Till one cried, “Hangman, who is he, for whom you raised the gallows-tree?”

Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye and he gave a riddle instead of reply. “He who serves me best,” said he “Shall earn the rope on the gallows-tree.”

And he stepped down and laid his hand on a man who came from another land. And we breathed again, for anothers grief at the hangmans hand, was our relief.

And the gallows frame on the courthouse lawn by tomorrow’s sun would be struck and gone. So we gave him way and no one spoke out of respect for his hangmans cloak.

The next day’s sun looked mildly down on roof and street in our quiet town; and stark and black in the morning air the gallows-tree on the courthouse square.

And the hangman stood at his usual stand with the yellow hemp in his busy hand. With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike, and his air so knowing and business-like.

And we cried, “Hangman, have you not done, yesterday with the alien one?” Then we fell silent and stood amazed. “Oh, not for him was the gallows raised.”

He laughed a laugh as he looked at us, “Do you think I’ve gone to all this fuss, To hang one man? That’s the thing I do. To stretch the rope when the rope is new.”

Above our silence a voice cried “Shame!” and into our midst the hangman came; to that mans place, “Do you hold,” said he, “With him that was meat for the gallows-tree?”

He laid his hand on that one’s arm and we shrank back in quick alarm. We gave him way, and no one spoke, out of fear of the hangmans cloak.

That night we saw with dread surprise the hangmans scaffold had grown in size. Fed by the blood beneath the chute, the gallows-tree had taken root.

Now as wide, or a little more than the steps that led to the courthouse door. As tall as the writing, or nearly as tall, half way up on the courthouse wall.

The third he took, we had all heard tell, was a usurer…, an infidel. And “What” said the hangman, “Have you to do with the gallows-bound…, and he a Jew?”

And we cried out, “Is this one he who has served you well and faithfully?” The hangman smiled, “It’s a clever scheme to try the strength of the gallows beam.”

The fourth man’s dark accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long. “And what concern,” he gave us back, “Have you … for the doomed and black?”

The fifth, the sixth, and we cried again, “Hangman, hangman, is this the man?” “It’s a trick”, said he, “that we hangman know for easing the trap when the trap springs slow.”

And so we ceased and asked no more as the hangman tallied his bloody score. And sun by sun, and night by night the gallows grew to monstrous height.

The wings of the scaffold opened wide until they covered the square from side to side. And the monster cross beam looking down, cast its shadow across the town.

Then through the town the hangman came and called through the empy streets…my name. I looked at the gallows soaring tall and thought … there’s no one left at all

for hanging … and so he called to me to help take down the gallows-tree. And I went out with right good hope to the hangmans tree and the hangmans rope.

He smiled at me as I came down to the courthouse square…through the silent town. Supple and stretched in his busy hand, was the yellow twist of hempen strand.

He whistled his tune as he tried the trap and it sprang down with a ready snap. Then with a smile of awful command, He laid his hand upon my hand.

“You tricked me Hangman.” I shouted then, “That your scaffold was built for other men, and I’m no henchman of yours.” I cried. “You lied to me Hangman, foully lied.”

Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye, “Lied to you…tricked you?” He said “Not I… for I answered straight and told you true. The scaffold was raised for none but you.”

“For who has served more faithfully? With your coward’s hope.” said He, “And where are the others that might have stood side by your side, in the common good?”

“Dead!” I answered, and amiably “Murdered,” the Hangman corrected me. “First the alien … then the Jew. I did no more than you let me do.”

Beneath the beam that blocked the sky none before stood so alone as I. The Hangman then strapped me…with no voice there to cry “Stay!” … for me in the empty square.