The never-too-bright Jessica Valenti linked to this graphic, allegedly showing that since the 1960s, more people have been killed by firearms in the United States than in every American war, ever.   And Politifact sez it’s true, so it’s like, Teh Truth, right?

If this sounds absurd to anyone, let me explain something: people in America rarely kill each other with guns, but Americans are really, really good at committing suicide with guns. From the CDC’s website, running a search from 1981 to 1998:

Total death by firearms: 620,525

Suicide deaths by firearm: 321,355

Simple subtraction: 299,170 deaths that were not suicide and were by firearm.  (Does Valenti think that people who were going to shoot themselves will, in the absence of a gun, seek counseling, write a book, and get on Oprah?)  But let’s break it down further.  Do we mind if a cop shoots a crazy person on a killing spree? or if a homeowner shoots dead a rapist/robber?  Because that’s another 4,977 deaths during that time period that really have little place in anti-gun hysteria.  Another source points out that there are only about 11,000 firearm-related homicides every year – the majority of firearm-related deaths are from suicide, police, or self-defence.

Let’s bring things into the twenty-first century to see how modern gun laws work.  The United States ranks #10 in total firearm-related deaths (out of 75 countries – a very incomplete list).  However, suicides account for approximately 2/3ds of those deaths.  Of course, that #10 ranking is absurd.  Believing that ranking requires us to believe the following things, in no particular order:

  • zero people in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuwait accidentally killed someone with a firearm;
  • for almost two dozen countries, the number of firearm related suicides is “not applicable”;
  • three countries, including Iceland, have a “not applicable” homicide rate with firearms;
  • it is totally rational to do a straight-up comparison of countries when some data are from 1993, some from 2012, and the rest, from any random year in between.  That is not cherry-picking to obtain the desired result.

Stop. Make the hilarity stop. I’m laughing and the cat is scared.

Over the past few years, many articles have come out detailing the lives of female college (or law school) graduates who are engaging in ‘sex work’ to make ends meet.  They strip, pole-dance, and otherwise sell their young bodies for money.  Most people blame the economy.  Some blame the higher education bubble.  I blame the course offerings at colleges:

Item Eight: North Carolina State University spent $304.69 to purchase butt plugs, vibrators, dildos and other sexual devices as prizes for a “Dirty Bingo” event. NCSU official Lauryn Collier says the purpose of “Dirty Bingo” is to “find ‘innovative’ ways to discuss sexual health on the campus … The certified educators plan to use some of the items … to demonstrate healthy sex practices.”

Note to college co-eds: if you spend your years learning about vibrators, dildos, and how the patriarchy is scared of your amazing sexuality, then do not be surprised when strip clubs are the only places that will offer you paid employment when you graduate.  (Also be aware that shaking your chest in a rich man’s face for money is a step up from what you did in college, which is to shake your chest in soon-to-be-rich accounting major’s face for free.)  A final word of advice: do not let your paying clients know that most women your age do not charge for such services, under the belief that giving them out for free is “empowering”.  You do not need to study economics to feel the effects of it.

Okay, that was harsh.  But I spent my college years studying engineering, and, not surprisingly, I had an engineering job upon graduation.  As much as “feminist” college co-eds may beg to differ, the respectable job market prefers to hire women who spent their Friday nights learning surface chemistry and thermodynamics, not those who spent their time learning about the myriad uses for butt plugs or who “explored their sexuality.”  I’m wondering how those interviews would go….

Interviewer: What skills would you bring to the company, which focuses on financial planning?

Co-Ed: I know a lot about vibrators and how they free women from repressive, Judeo-Christian sexual mores; surely, there’s a transferable skill there.

There is a lot more to the Blizzard of 2013 than the two videos you have seen so far. There is the prep of getting what you need:

Like Ice melt
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shovels

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and flashlights (which Bob tests before they go out).

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There was the calm before the storm

The Fifth Street Diner proclaimed they would be open when the snow came

Proud words, but then the snow came

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A lot of snow

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So I went down to see if the 5th street diner folk made it in:

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They did:

The Plow Drivers were in to eat

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as were some people in the neighborhood

But the coolest person was Norma

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I don’t know about walking in the snow to school years ago but she sure walked in snow to get breakfast.

When it comes down to it, Their business is how they pay the rent, if they aren’t open the bills aren’t paid so when people talk about Americans not willing to work, that certainly doesn’t include these folk.

8 AM Friday Morning

7:30 AM Saturday Morning

Update: Here is the post shoveling view

*****

[thermometer raised=314 target=1200 Height=225 ]

We have reached the weekly goal for Week Number #1 of operation paycheck Any of this week’s excess goes to the monthly goal (shown at left) Thanks to all who have assured me of that $300 (sans Paypal fees) paycheck this week. If I can do that every week then the show can go on!