“Mental health is often a big problem underlying these tragedies.” — House Speaker Paul Ryan. That’s the first “fact” that “fact checkers” Linda Qiu and Justin Bank want to address. Hang on . . .
How do you “debunk” a statement that says that mental health is “often” a problem underlying spree killings? Not always. Often.
Well know for a fact that the Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech and Giffords spree killers were diagnosed as mentally ill. So there’s only one way that Speaker Ryan’s comment would be false: if mental health was seldom or never a problem underlying mass shootings.
“There’s a link,” the Times pronounces, “but it’s more limited than widely thought.” So Ryan’s statement is a fact, but it’s not an important fact. At least not to the Times’ “fact checkers.” Who proceed to redefine the statement entirely to debunk it. Like this:
Mr. Ryan’s claim reflects a common misconception. According to various polls, roughly half of Americans either believe that failing to identify people with mental health problems is the primary cause of gun violence or that addressing mental health issues would be a major deterrent.
That conclusion is not shared by experts or widely accepted research.
That is incredibly intellectually dishonest. Equally incredibly, it gets worse . . .
Overall, mass shootings by people with serious mental illness represent 1 percent of all gun homicides each year, according to the book “Gun Violence and Mental Illness” published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2016.
To be sure, gun violence experts contacted by New York Times reporters have said that barring sales to people who are deemed dangerous by mental health providers could help prevent mass shootings. But the experts said several more measures — including banning assault weapons and barring sales to convicted violent criminals — more effective.
Speaker Ryan wasn’t talking about “gun homicides” in general. He was talking about some mass shootings. And admitting that mental health is an issue then interjecting an assault weapon ban into the conversation is blatant misdirection.
And while we’re at it, it’s a fact that criminals convicted of violent offenses are barred from purchasing firearms. Besides, the Speaker wasn’t addressing “mass shootings” in general. He was addressing high profile spree killings.
There’s more, of course.
The Times’ “debunks” the idea that Israel stopped school shootings by arming teachers and administrators by quoting one Israeli politician — who says his country stopped school shootings thanks to “an overall antiterror policy and antiterror operations.” Well he would say that, wouldn’t he? And it doesn’t entirely discount the role of arming schools, does it?
Working in a similar fashion to 3D-printing pens, but without the futile exasperation of actually trying to make 3D objects, Crayola’s new Crayon Melter turns colorful sticks of wax into a thick, goopy, ink that lets kids write on almost any surface imaginable. Can you hear the sound of parents crying in the distance?
Although it uses an enclosed and protected heating element to turn smaller pieces of unwrapped crayons into liquid wax, and a low-temperature extruder that’s safe to touch, Crayola is still targeting its Crayon Melter pen at older kids aged eight and up which hopefully means they’re past the age of writing on walls, furniture, or themselves—hopefully.
It takes about a minute to liquify the pieces of crayon after they’ve been inserted into the back of the melting chamber, at which point you can just start writing with it like an oversized ballpoint pen. Aside from being another novel way for kids to draw that will maybe hold their attention for a few more minutes, the Crayon Melter has the potential for being a legitimately useful tool for grownups too.
The melted crayons adhere to countless surfaces you could never draw on with a regular crayon, and once it dries, which happens almost immediately after extrusion, the results are waterproof and durable, depending on the surface. Removing wax from a pane of glass is almost certainly a lot easier than a piece of fabric.
The Crayon Melter is expected to hit stores later this year in August for $25, and will only include eight crayons to get you started, so maybe it’s time to dig up that bucket of crayon shards you had as a kid.
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Ben Shapiro has a saying. His saying is that “facts don’t care about your feelings.” Every time a shooting happens in the US the anti-gun leftist try to goad the pro-gun side into a debate. The issue is that you cannot have a discussion when one side is arguing facts, and the other side is using an emotional crutch.
We can all agree on what happened in Parkland, Florida was a hideous crime. We can all agree that this is a tragedy that we shouldn’t have to accept as “just part of life.” I think we all want to prevent the next mass shooting. It is just the left, and the right disagrees on how to fix the situation.
Where the pro-gun side wants to fix the actual problem such as the mental health system, the left would instead attack an inanimate object like it is the ring from the “Lord Of The Rings.” The Democrat method is akin to trying to fix the road instead of your car when it breaks down. It just doesn’t work.
I am not saying don’t debate the people on the left. What I am suggesting is when you do engage them in a war of ideas for you not to get sucked into a battle of emotions. Ben Shapiro headed off Piers Morgan by removing the emotional argument by insisting that Morgan “not stand on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook.”
Shapiro automatically puts Morgan on the defensive and took away his ability to use emotions in his argument by using this technique. Morgan spent a minute plus saying, “How dare you?” in his smug British accent. The reason he kept repeating himself is that Shapiro took away the emotional evidence that Morgan was so fond of using and he knew he couldn’t beat Shapiro in a war of facts.
When debating gun control with someone on the left, it is always good to know their arguments better than they do. Fortunately for us being on the pro-gun side, the gun grabbers will use the same talking points sourced from the same places. In reality most of the time they just repeat the twisted statistics they hear on TV.
The question I ask is, “If we were to stop the manufacture and sale of all firearms from this moment then how would you deal with the 350 million plus guns that are already in circulation in the United States?”
The only answer that they have is a forced confiscation of firearms. People always think that there is some list of the location of where every gun resides, but this isn’t the case, so make sure they know that fact. It is clear to see if no one knows where all the guns are then there is no way for gun confiscation to work.
Even if the government did know where every gun was, the confiscating firearms wouldn’t work in our country. Unless they are dishonest, they will have to admit a large percentage are not going to volunteer to give up their guns. How would the anti-gunner handle the holdouts? Usually, they will not have an answer.
Another argument I have seen today is the “18 school shootings this year” pushed by Everytown. Ask them if they know what Everytown considers a school shooting. When they don’t understand what Everytown uses in their study, then bring up the fact that they included bb guns in their stats of school shooting.
I always bring up the indisputable fact that schools are gun-free zones. If you look at the study by The Crime Research Prevention Center that looked at every mass shootings between 1950 and 2016, they found that a staggering 98.4% happened in gun free zones. Even if we limit the range to 1998 to 2016, we still see that 96.2% of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones.
The anti-gunners are going to bring up more talking points from Everytown again. The Bloomberg group puts this number at only 30% of shootings happening in gun-free zones. When this happens, I always ask if they know what Everytown counts in their studies. Of course, they don’t.
Everytown includes suicides, accidental discharges, and airsoft guns. Yes, kids playing in the park with airsoft guns and police get called because someone overreacts is counted as “a shooting” by Everytown For Gun Safety. The average anti-gunners just hear the numbers and does not look at the method that was used to reach the figures.
In truth, Everytown For Gun Safety counts on people not looking into their methods used to come up with their skewed numbers. The more significant the amounts; The more prominent the headlines. By knowing their ways, we can discount their studies as propaganda.
The gun-grabbers will try to argue that the founding fathers were talking about muskets and not AR15s in the Consitution. This point is elementary to counter. James Madison, “The Father Of The Consitution,” wrote in Federalist No.46 about the need of the people to be armed as well as the military. Most gun-grabbers haven’t even heard of the Federalist Papers.
My favorite thing that they do is say that the other developed countries don’t have as many people killed by guns. What this does is discounts is the size of the US. The numbers they use do not include the differences in population. When you look at shootings per capita, you will find another answer.
Jaclyn Schildkraut of the State University of New York in Oswego and H. Jaymi Elsass of Texas State University analyzed mass shooting from 2004 to 2014. What they found is that you have a better chance of being killed in a shooting in Norway, Finland, and Switzerland than in the US.
Then you also have to look at the violent crime rates in other countries. This statistic is one thing that the left never uses in their anti-gun attack. For example, in China where citizens are not allowed to own firearms at all, they have a higher murder than in the US. If people want to kill you and don’t have access to a gun they are just going to use something else.
The final thing the gun-grabbers might use is another stat from the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. The statistic states that there were 300 mass school shootings since 2013. The actual number of total mass shootings since 1999 is 66 according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. These include all public mass shootings whether they happen in a school or a park. We can surmise from this fact that the 300 number is not only misleading but a total lie.
With separating emotion from the facts we, as responsible gun owners, can win any debate with the gun-grabbing leftist. What we must do is not follow them down the rabbit hole of emotion. We must present the fact and know the subject matter better than they do. In the end, the truth is on our side.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.
PHOENIX –-(Ammoland.com)- For those who harken back to the days of jingling spurs, the smell of authentic chuck-wagon cooking, and cowboys vying to see who’s the quickest on the trigger, then circle Feb. 19-25 on your calendar.
That’s when Winter Range rides into town, transforming the Ben Avery Shooting Facility into a festive scene from the Old West where more than 1,000 competitors from around the world will take part in the 27th annual Single Action Shooting Society’s national championship of Cowboy Action Shooting.
Cowboy Action Shooting is one of the nation’s fastest-growing shooting sports and requires competitors to take their best shots with single-action revolvers, lever-action rifles and period shotguns. Competitors also must adopt a shooting alias suitable to a character or profession of the late 19th century, a Western movie star or an appropriate character from fiction — names like “Babe Ruthless,” “Chihuahua Charlie” and “Laurie L’Amour” — and then dress in costume accordingly.
Winter Range will feature period militaria, exhibitions of Western skills and crafts, a fast-draw competition, and vendors purveying period clothing, hats and wigs, antiques, reproductions and more. There also will be roaming balladeers, trick horses and even a visit from Wyatt Earp, the great grand-nephew of his namesake, at 1:15 p.m. Feb. 24.
A two-day mounted shooting event is expected to draw 100-plus competitors mounted on horses participating in their own arena Feb. 24-25.
A variety of food services will be available, including chuck-wagon cooking, barbecue and ice cream. Admission to Winter Range is free (parking is $5). BASF is located on Carefree Highway, west of Interstate 17. For more information, visit www.winterrange.com.
Twilio’s Engagement Cloud, its suite of products for building new customer experiences, is about to get a new feature, TechCrunch has learned. The company plans on launching the beta of a full contact center solution for businesses at the Enterprise Connect conference in March, according to a tip we received this afternoon. When reached for confirmation, Twilio had no comment.
With the launch of this product, Twilio could potentially be going up against some of its current customers who are selling contact center solutions to enterprises. In a copy of the internal email we saw about the upcoming launch of this new product, the company clearly aims to avoid this impression, but that’s likely because it’s worried about how this move will be perceived by current players in this market who are likely using some of Twilio’s services themselves.
Until now, Twilio positioned its various APIs as the building blocks for developing new contact center solutions. With Flex, it’ll now essentially bundle these together to make it far easier for developers to build these services.
Our understanding is that Twilio Flex, as the service is currently called (though that could change in the time leading up to the launch date), will follow in the footsteps of most of the company’s products in that it will put an emphasis on the developer experience. For example, it will allow systems integrators to build a customized contact center solution on top of Flex.
Twilio Flex will offer them the basic building blocks to power the communications experience, single sign-on and integration points for these organizations workforce management and workforce optimization suites (i.e. all of the usual contact center goodies like call recording, agent coaching, speech analytics, etc.), as well as integrations with their back-office employee scheduling systems.
As the name implies, Twilio is positioning this service as a very customizable solution, though that also means that it’ll take some extra integration work on the side of the customer to make it work. Twilio, however, argues that it’s exactly this kind of customization that will enable businesses to optimize their contact centers.
According to our source, the announcement is currently scheduled for March 12th, the first day of the Enterprise Connect conference In Orlando, which focuses on the contact and calling center market.
For those of you not interested in professional sports, allow me to educate you on the concept of the "coaching tree." This concept comes from the common decisions by losing teams to hire junior coaches out from under the head coaches of successful teams, hoping to siphon off some of the genius of more successful organizations. In football, for instance, you will often hear about the "Andy Reid coaching tree" as his assistants get head coaching jobs across the league after serving underneath him.
Sadly, a much more sinister version of this appears to be occurring in the copyright trolling space, with Malibu Media serving as a launching point for legal minds joining other organizations and replicating what they’ve learned from their former employer. The result has been an explosion in copyright lawsuits for the early part of 2018, with most of them coming from the porn-trolling industry.
According to Lex Machina, there were 1,019 file-sharing cases filed in the United States last year, which is an average of 85 per month. More than half of these came from adult entertainment outfit Malibu Media (X-Art), which alone was good for 550 lawsuits.
While those are decent numbers, they could easily be shattered this year. Data collected by TorrentFreak shows that during the first month of 2018, three copyright holders filed a total of 286 lawsuits against alleged pirates. That’s three times more than the monthly average for 2017.
As the TorrentFreak post goes on to note, while Malibu Media is still leading the way in these lawsuits, a company called Strike 3 Holdings is keeping pace with them, 138 lawsuits for the former and 133 for the latter. The rest of the companies that have filed suits against BitTorrent infringers are other porn-related organizations, save for Bodyguard Productions, which sues over the pirating of the Hitman: Bodyguard film. Interestingly, it seems that this significant uptick in the lawsuit rate has been driven by former Malibu Media employees finding new professional landing spots.
While Strike 3 Holdings is a relative newcomer, their cases follow a similar pattern. There are also clear links to Malibu Media, as one of the company’s former lawyers, Emilie Kennedy, now works as in-house counsel at Strike 3.
This comes at the same time that some courts are pushing back on these trolling efforts. Between some courts describing their tactics as harassing to questioning seriously the evidence that the trolls present to the court, this is the exact wrong time for the court system to suddenly be clogged with Malibu Media-trained legal minds hell bent on trolling for settlement dollars.
The only good that might come out of this, should this lawsuit pace continue, is a public recognition that these trolling operations need to be stopped.
Stem cells derived from a human placenta hold the key to unlocking a myriad of potentials in regenerative medicine and are the focus of X-Prize and Singularity University founder Peter Diamandis’ new endeavor.
Called Celularity, the startup is a spinout from Celgene, a global biopharmaceutical company creating gene therapies. Diamandis teamed up with Dr. Robert Hariri, the founder of Celgene, to create Celularity in the hopes of using stem cells found in the human placenta to quickly regenerate tissue and organs needed to treat cancer and other diseases. The idea is these types of cells can do a better job of helping us live longer, fuller, healther lives in the future.
It’s a wild proposal and, seemingly, the stuff of science fiction often tossed around in certain Silicon Valley circles — create a startup focused on a medical breakthrough to make us live forever — or at least much, much longer than we currently do. But stem cell technology has been around for some time.
Lab worker with human stem cells.
For decades stem cells have posed an ethical quandary as they’ve largely been harvested through discarded embryos. However, in just the last few years, science has discovered adult stem cells can come from a number of sources throughout the human body — including a woman’s placenta, shortly after giving birth.
Placental stem cells are even more important as they can be taken from any placenta and injected into any human without the risk of the body rejecting them, according to the company. And, because they are so abundant, treatments are potentially more affordable and can begin immediately.
But this is not the first time Diamandis has dipped his toe in longevity research. He cofounded Human Longevity Inc. in 2014 to focus on extending the human lifespan. Celularity extends his interests in this endeavor.
So far, the startup has conducted several clinical trials and treated “hundreds” of patients, Hariri tells TechCrunch. The next step is to try and gain FDA approval to roll these treatments out on a mass scale.
That approval may be just around the corner — possibly in the next 12-24 months, according to Hariri. That’s because “cellular medicine is intrinsically safe,” he says, adding the potential could have a “huge impact” on U.S. medicine.
So just how are Diamandis and Hariri obtaining these human placentas? Donations. Though some couples choose to keep (and later eat) their placental afterbirth, approximately four million human placentas are disposed of per year in U.S. hospitals.
While this strange, yet magical temporary organ is from a human mother, some states consider it to be a biohazard after birth and discard it as waste. Couples, by law, therefore cannot take and sell the tissue to Celularity or some other outfit hoping to use it up. But they can donate it.
That’s where Celularity comes in. The startup procures the placental tissue from hospitals willing to hand over would-be waste in the name of science.
Right now the field is pretty wide for Celularity, too. The company is only competing with a handful of others in the same space like Israeli biotech firm Pluristem. Though it seems to be the only player in the U.S. at the moment.
Add to that a whopping $250 million in new funding from several prominent investors and celebrities to help it grow, including well-known life coach Tony Robbins, John Sculley of Apple and Pepsi-Cola, former GV partner and founder Bill Maris, who now runs a new biotech funding venture Section 32, and Andrew Von Eschenbach, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Naturally, Celgene led the latest round, with cash infusions from United Therapeutics Corporation, Sorrento Therapeutics and Human Longevity, Inc. to boot.
One other big heaping help to the startup — Celularity owns and operates LifeBank USA, the world’s only repository of donated placenta cells and biomaterials. So, presumably, should any other companies want to do something similar in the U.S., they’d need to go through a subsidiary of Celularity first.
Celularity is sure to stay a large player in this field as it continues. It owns the whole chain from procurement to deploying treatments. It also holds 1,800 patents on the procedures.
“Our ultimate mission is to make 100 years old, the new 60, and to provide people with maximal aesthetic, mobility, and cognition as they age,” Diamandis said. “The 20 years of science, research, and intellectual property pioneered by my visionary partner Dr. Bob Hariri, is the cornerstone for the coming longevity revolution.”
The last season of Voltron: Legendary Defender ended with our heroes facing a tempting, dangerous offer: An alliance with the disgraced Lotor, son of Galra Emperor Zarkon, to end the Galra Empire once and for all. If this new trailer for the next season is anything to go by, it’s a truce that will cause some big problems for the Paladins.
Dreamworks has dropped a brief new trailer for season five, which picks up immediately in the aftermath of team Voltron and the rebellion’s big win against the Galra in the climax of the last season. But despite scoring a major victory, there’s a long road ahead for the Paladins—one fraught with a lot of potential danger, not just from the Galra, but from within, now that they have a tenuous alliance with former Prince Lotor.
After an uneven, yet promising, fourth season—primarily made so by the weird decision to split one “complete” run of episodes into two, smaller seasons—hopefully this latest batch of Legendary Defender can get the show back to its strengths as it delves into bigger and more dangerous times for its erstwhile heroes.
Legendary Defender season five drops on Netflix March 2.
If I asked you to identify the biggest asshole in your life right now, how quickly would you be able to come up with a name? Some of us might be able to list three or four assholes with whom we interact on a daily basis, plus all of the anonymous assholes who cut us off in traffic, cut in front of us in line, and otherwise make our lives miserable.
Want to know how to identify the assholes in your life? Start with your own emotional responses. “You have an asshole problem if you are dealing with somebody who leaves you feeling demeaned, de-energized, disrespected,” Sutton says. “Somebody who makes you feel like dirt.”
The problem is that sometimes our feelings can play tricks on us, and the meta-emotions surrounding issues of workplace and family hierarchy mean that we might be too quick to ascribe assholery to what might otherwise be called assertiveness or boundary-setting. (No, your kids aren’t assholes for not enthusiastically responding to your “how was your day?” interrogation every time they return from school—even though their unwillingness to talk might make you feel like dirt.)
If you want to be sure that you’re dealing with a true asshole, look for clearly obnoxious behaviors, especially those that are intentionally demeaning or rude. Another good way to tell if someone is an asshole is to ask other people for confirmation: are they interpreting this person’s behavior in the same way you are?
Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a person who occasionally exhibits asshole behavior and a certified asshole. As Sutton explains: “All of us, under the wrong conditions, can be temporary assholes. Certified assholes are people who consistently make people feel like dirt over time.”
There’s also one more reason you might feel like you’re surrounded by assholes: you’re actually the asshole. “You’re treating people like dirt and they’re throwing the shit back,” says Sutton.
How to deal with assholes
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for dealing with assholes. If the assholery is run-of-the-mill, non-abusive stuff (think line cutters, interrupters, those people who make every conversation about themselves or feel obligated to comment on every little thing you do), you might have to grin and bear it—literally.
“Reframe the situation,” Sutton advises, “so it doesn’t touch your soul and it doesn’t upset you quite so much.”
Sutton suggests taking one of five strategies:
Don’t take it personally.
Decide that you’re going to find the asshole hilarious. (It’s best to keep your amusement to yourself—which is also part of the fun.)
Create physical or emotional distance between yourself and the asshole. If you’re sharing a conference room with an asshole, sit as far away from them as possible. If one of your relatives is an asshole on social media, mute or unfollow them so you no longer see (or emotionally respond to) their posts.
Tell yourself you’re conducting a psychological study of assholery. Keep a tally of how many times your coworker interrupts someone, or how often your friend’s new significant other dominates the conversation.
Be nice to the asshole—as pleasant and unruffled as possible. Don’t react to or otherwise encourage their behavior.
How to get rid of an asshole
If an asshole is abusive, or if they’re making so many people feel like dirt that it’s causing significant problems, it might be time to get rid of the asshole.
The first step in getting rid of an asshole, Sutton advises, is to consider how much power you have over them. Do you have the power to fire them? Can you stop inviting them to group events or family gatherings? Sometimes it’s relatively easy to remove an asshole from a situation—although it’s never easy to tell someone that they’re being laid off.
If you don’t have individual power over an asshole, you might have more power in a group. Sutton notes the tipping point that came in relation to sexual abusers Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, as more people started sharing their stories. “Each one has more and more power and the asshole has less and less power.”
This isn’t meant to conflate asshole behavior and sexual abuse—although it’s probably fair to call sexual abusers assholes, among other terms—but it is intended to give you a guide as to how to address the behavior if you don’t have a lot of power in the situation. For example: ask your peers whether they see the same asshole behavior you see. Some people might be relieved that they’re not the only one who’s noticed it, and together you might be able to find a solution—or force someone with more power to pay attention.
How do you deal with the assholes in your life? Which of Sutton’s strategies are you most likely to incorporate into your next asshole encounter? Let us know in the comments.