Comments by hodgmo

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Posted on May 11 at 9:28 p.m.

Contrary to the predictable ADL propaganda, there is no anti-Antisemitism in Falk’s statements. The Jewish lobby should really be called the Israeli lobby – it’s a political organization that represents a foreign government – Israel – that places its own interests above all other nations. One can be ambivalent or negative about Israel policies, repressive practices and illegal settlements, and have no anti-Semitic feelings; many American Jews fit into that category, for example.

Most American Jews do vote democratic, but Israeli Jews are red:

It is also interesting that US intelligence views Israel as a significant and “genuine counterintelligence threat.”

We, the USA, would be better off if we distanced ourselves from the nation Israel, and stopped favoring them over other countries in the region, for example, Egypt. We owe Israel nothing.

On Easy to Criticize

Posted on May 11 at 9:13 p.m.

The subject letter is a welcome dose of ‘new’ information (to me anyway). It is clear that since WWI the 2nd amendment has been obsolete, but I didn't realize that, setting aside NRA-type hype and the associated uninformed political gibberish, the 2nd amendment is also essentially irrelevant to our gun ‘problem.’

“So the problem is guns? Can someone tell me why until recently (about the last 15 years) we didn't have this problem of mass shootings/schoolyard massacres?
billclausen May 10, 2013 at 2:37 a.m. ”

Our ‘problem’ can’t be blamed on guns any more than alcohol can be blamed for drunk driving. And just like damage caused by drunks, mass killings due to people using guns are not a new phenomenon. In fact, mass killings go back much further than “about the last 15 years.”

Year killed/injured
1863 1-3/18-20
1889 7-8/?
1897 6/5
1900 7/20
Etc to the present

For more go to and sort by “Year”

But is there a silver lining? For those (apparently the majority) who think gun violence has gone up in the last 20 years, think again...

The US has a gun problem relative to other relatively ‘civilized societies,’ but it’s essentially always had a gun problem. Even though the rate of gun deaths may be stable or even shrinking, we like to kill each other more than many other countries do.

On Guns, Congress, and the Commander-in-Chief

Posted on May 5 at 8:05 p.m.

NPR broadcast a relevant story today

On Dog Bone in the Throat

Posted on May 2 at 10:57 a.m.

a view from another room:

On Connecticut Shootings Prompt School Safety Measures

Posted on May 1 at 9:04 p.m.

Here's the story:

On Islam Nexus with Peace

Posted on May 1 at 9:53 a.m.

Kudos to the school system for taking steps towards a good surveillance system that is coordinated with local law enforcement. That is the best use of the limited resources available.

Gun deaths in the US are like a cancer in our society. As with many cancers, once it’s in your system, you never can be sure if or where it will pop up next, or in what form. The best defense against cancer is early detection – the earlier it’s detected, the better your odds of beating it, usually with chemo and radiation. That’s how good safety systems work - they use early detection and training so appropriate counter measures can be brought into play effectively and quickly. Setting aside the fact that the having armed guards on hand didn’t help in the Colombine shootings, schools can’t afford dedicated on-site armed security guards. But as the article points out, we have a local police force that is trained and ready to deal with an armed threat at schools and, presumably, at other public places.

Those that think more guns will result in a safer environment are blind the fact that no matter how good the training, accidents happen. An increase in the density of guns in society is likely to increase the rate of accidents. Increased vigilance, combined with training and preparation, is a better bet.

On Connecticut Shootings Prompt School Safety Measures

Posted on April 29 at 7:13 a.m.

Signage may help. In Hawaii where tourists routinely drown, that seems to be the preferred method.

Some Kuaui beaches have signs that show a count of the number of deaths

Oahu uses signage and on some beaches, like near North shore pipeline, lifeguards also roam the beach on ATVs and warn tourists when they get to close to the surf zone

On The Deadly Cliffs

Posted on April 28 at 8:20 p.m.

I can’t resist answering BC’s question: “In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.”

The number of terrorism deaths *globally* ranged from 3,000 to 13,000 between 1991 and 2010. In the US, the rate is of course much lower and varies widely – 168 in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and 2,996 in 2001 in Manhattan. Far fewer in other years.

But apparently “More Americans Killed by Bees and Wasps or Falling Televisions than by Terrorists”

And, of course, in the US, death by other US citizens using a gun trumps any of these, and usually trumps them all combined. Just handguns killed (roughly) 8,000 to 14,000 per year between 1976 and 2004, with “other guns” adding another 2,000 to 3,000 per year.

On Islam Nexus with Peace

Posted on April 28 at 7:40 p.m.

I interpret this letter, the essence expressed in the 1st and last sentences, to be a very positive signal that some of the Islamic faith want to take steps toward a peaceful coexistence.

"Moreover, His Holiness was saddened that Muslims were the first to be targeted as the culprits of this heinous crime."

@italiansurg: your interpretation of this sentence in the letter to be an 'admonishment of the US' is not supported by anything in the letter. The 'sadness' may be genuine, akin to the sadness that a parent of a known criminal might feel. Do you have any specific information that leads you to believe otherwise, or did you jump to a conclusion, or is it simply cynicism?

I think it is generally wisest to take a person's word at face value, unless there is reason to believe the individual is unreliable or dishonest.

On Islam Nexus with Peace

Posted on April 13 at 10:16 a.m.

@pk: Thank you!

On We Need to Talk

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