And this from Colorado


I hate to admit this but this caught my eye on the HUFF POST. They are not that reliable but I vetted this and these two professors in Colorado have deduced that Mitt Romney will win in a landslide. Their diametric has some valid points and I, by all means am not a professor, but I have some experience in playing the odds.
Their contention, and mind you their prediction model has predicted every presidential race since 1980, is that economic indicators are what reads the tea leaves. They predict Romney winning 320 to 218. Who am I to argue with two guys who have been doing this since 1980?
Here is the problem if you seek out other very relevant models.
1) Romney has not moved past 191 in the states he is most likely to win for quite some time. I have been following for the last 6 months and this number has not eclipsed the 191 mark, ever.
2) “The model also suggests that Romney will win every state currently considered a swing state which includes Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Colorado.” According to these guys these 9 states, all the major “battleground” states will go to Romney. I think this is some shark jumping. True a great deal can happen between now and then. This would require all 9 of the states to go strictly to Romney. I just don’t see this. And neither does Real Clear Politics. Which has Obama sitting at 221 coming out of the gate. Which leaves only 49 electoral votes to be had. Again Romney, as on most other projection models, still sits in his 191 chair with 79 votes to be gathered up.
3) This election may come down to the wire but I am not sure that Romney will catch up. Other projections have Pennsylvania leaning Obama. Some have him winning outright and that is considering the questionable voter ID kerfuffle. If this states, with so many intangibles taking place, falls Obama then the ones, minus the same intangibles, are fully in play for the President and makes his road to 49 more electoral votes pretty clear. Penn has 20 so that knocks the number down to 29 votes. That would only require Florida to fall to Obama and game over.

Professor Berry even warns “As scholars and pundits well know, each election has unique elements that could lead one or more states to behave in ways in a particular election that the model is unable to correctly predict.”

As they say in professional sports “that is why we play the game.” And the Game is ON!

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Something I Just read


“That was a confusing time for me, but I don’t miss being misled. I’m not an atheist. There’s an undeniable unseen world that some people call God and think they know more about than other people. I try not to get hung up on the names.” —Iron and Wine
commenting on his distinction of being an agnostic as opposed to an atheist.

Shooting: An American Tradition


I have taken it all in since James Holmes shot up the movie theater in Colorado. It was awful and I held off until some of the white noise surrounding it cooled down. Then a few more incidents have been noticed by the media in the wake of that awful tragedy. I say noticed because gun violence in America happens every hour.  People have gone back and forth, made stances and shared their opinions about the massacre. But the one which keeps sticking in my craw is an assertion very similar to this: “if I had been in that theater with my gun I would have stopped him!” Which leads to my assertion: Unless you are a trained combat personnel (Army Ranger, Infantry, Special Forces, Navy Seal, SWAT, etc.) you have no idea what you would have done in a dark movie theater filled to capacity with people. Get over yourself. You would have most likely taken out a few more people.

Then this news story came across my FB timeline.

If you do not want to read it here is my best one sentence synopsis: Man goes to theater packing heat, gun goes off, he shoots himself in the rear end, and shows the rest of the world why idiots do not need to carry guns.

Good thing something did not “pop off” or he might have also injured or, worse, killed some innocent moviegoers. If I hear anyone else explain to me, in a serious tone, “man if I had my gun in that theater I would have <insert macho bravado here>” I think I am going to lose my mind. And here is why. 

I am not an armchair quarterback on this issue. I was in a store once in Nashville (June 24 2002) where a gun was accidentally discharged and I can honestly say that one gunshot froze everyone in place. It was unnerving and since the event when someone uses the word unnerving to describe something I immediately vet their claim with a few questions. The silence between the loud bang, the frozen faces, and the silence between broken by a man’s scream “my son! Oh God not my son!”  I had, at first thought the place was being robbed, and I was shooing some kids to hide behind a counter when I heard a small child begin screaming. I will never forget how it sounded. I peered over some store displays to see a man lower a bleeding child, maybe just shy of 3 years old, onto the floor of the store. He pleaded with God out loud to save his son as the boy’s blood pooled up beneath his head. He cried out for his father and I just knew I was about to watch a little boy die.I can still feel the shudder which rocked through me at that moment. 

Many of us went to them, huddled together there on the tile floor of the store, someone handing a handkerchief or towel another someone handing a bottle of water and all of us just standing there helpless as the child screamed “daddy.” I am not a praying type but whatever God it was this man was screaming at I asked it to spare this young boy. Ambulances take FOREVER to arrive. 

One finally did and the boy lived. Then, as the police arrived, we all quickly discovered that the father was carrying a .32 on his person. The toddler had simply reached and grabbed the pistol, pulled the gun out, and squeezed the trigger. The round clipped him in the forehead and fortunately only grazed him. You would not know it by the seeming gallon of blood that was left after the EMT took him to the ambulance. Once I realized this I was glad the man was gone. 

I probably would not have said anything to the man due to him being bereaved by his injured son. This would have just been cruel and pointless but after some time had passed I think a group confrontation by everyone standing in that store would have been adequate and justified.Since in reality he, by his carelessness, had taken the lives of everyone within shooting distance of him into his hands. I have been shot and do not care to be shot again. It sucks. My wound was minor but again it was merely a matter of centimeters.
I do not know what happened to the boy other than the news report that night on the local Nashville news stating he was grazed and not seriously injured. But to the father at the Mars Music in 2002 who had the .32 handgun with which his son shot himself in the head with:

You sir are the reason I am more fearful of “law abiding gun owners” than any common thug on the street which, out of your baseless fear, causes you to irresponsibly arm yourself. I hope you have given up the practice of carrying a gun on your person. I own a gun but do not feel the need to carry one around with me. A close friend of mine who grew up in Chicago’s Cabrini Green told me once “if you have a gun on you trouble will find you a lot of times” I believe that and guess what? You proved it. How dare you be so irresponsible. I am very glad your son is ok and I hope he goes on to lead a very prosperous life but to this day I can relive that incident as clearly as yesterday. I know many scenarios have gone through your mind since the day and I hope you have resolved them but what if that gun had actually killed someone? I hope you have decided to keep your gun at home. For the sake of the rest of the world please do so.

 

Sorry for the length of this but I have seen firsthand what a gun can “accidentally” do. It is not pleasant and it bears no resemblance to any Chuck Norris, Rambo, or Steven Seagal type derry doing. More times than not it is just awful and sad.