December 14th, 2012


Catholic Church Promotes Culture of Dependency. Get a Jub Hippie Jesus!

Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Blasts Catholic Church For Creating A ‘Culture Of Dependency On Government, Not God’

In a little-noticed September speech at the Cherish Life Ministries Christian Life Summit, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II
(R), the state Republican Party’s apparent choice for governor in 2013, took aim at the Catholic Church for its advocacy on behalf of the poor, immigrants, and the uninsured. Because the Church’s leadership has advocated for the government to provide a social safety net, a role he believes is the responsibility of the Catholic Church itself, Cuccinelli said, “they have made themselves out to be nothing but the largest special interest group in America.”

Though the gathering was titled “Defending the ‘Least of These,’” Cuccinelli, a devout Catholic, blasted his church for attempting to do just that:

I’m probably not the guy most Catholic bishops care to see anymore because I zero-in on them every time I spot them in the room
and they get sort of the three-minute version of the church piece of this. They’ve helped create a culture of dependency on
government, not God. And rarely do you see the two – once churches get out of the business of serving the poor, or not get out of the business but hand over and argue that they shouldn’t be the primary institution in a society that is responsible for service to the poor.

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boop on da nose

School Shooting in CT Elementary School

[OG post]State police responded Friday to reports of a shooting at a southwestern Connecticut elementary school.
The Hartford Courant, citing police, said an unspecified number of people had been shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

The nature of their injuries was unclear, the newspaper said. But it cited police in saying one person had "numerous gunshot wounds."

The Newtown Bee newspaper said one child had been carried out by a police officer and emergency crews had set up triage facilities, expecting additional patients.

The first calls came into police around 9:40 a.m., according to media accounts. Police were on the scene late Wednesday morning with guns drawn, CNN affiliate WFSB reported.

All schools in the city were on lockdown Friday as police assessed the situation, state police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said.

Students were evacuated to a nearby firehouse, the Danbury News-Times newspaper reported.
The agency scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. ET.
Newtown is about 60 miles north of New York.

source 1

i can live update this mods if that's ok


[Update 1]Multiple people have been killed in a shooting at an elementary school. Children are among the dead, the Hartford Courant reports. An official with knowledge of the situation says a gunman is dead.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still under way, says the man apparently had two guns.

The shooting was reported at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, in western Connecticut. State police say Newtown police called them at about 9:40 a.m. about the reports.

Newtown is in northern Fairfield County, about 45 miles southwest of Hartford and 80 miles northeast of New York City.

Eight-year-old Alexis Wasik, a third-grader at the school, said police were checking everybody inside the school before they were escorted to the firehouse.

"We had to walk with a partner," she said.

One child leaving the school said that there was shattered glass everywhere. A police officer ran into the classroom and told them to run outside and keep going until the reach the firehouse.

Earlier reports of a second shooter are unconfirmed.

[update 2][Updated at 11:58 a.m. ET] Danbury Hospital confirms it's treating some victims. It says this on its Facebook page:

To date, three patients have been transported to Danbury Hospital from the scene. Out of abundance of caution and not because of any direct threat Danbury Hospital is under lockdown. This allows us simply to focus on the important work at hand.

[Update 3]NEWTOWN, Conn. -- A shooting at a Connecticut school left at least two oeople dead -- reportedly a child and the shooter -- and at least one teacher wounded.
The shooting occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in western Connecticut, about 60 miles northeast of New York City.
The Danbury News Times reported that there were multiple, confirmed deaths, including at least one child. Sources say the principal may also be dead. A shooter has also been reported killed, according to the Associated Press. There are unconfirmed reports of two shooters.
"I've never been more terrified in my life," said Sarah Walker Caron, whose young son, Will, was in the school." My heart was pounding. I couldn't race
fast enough (to the school)." Walker Caron said she believes authorities are "doing the best they can." She said that she had only heard rumors at this point, and could not confirm them, but she had heard that there could still be children in the school. She also had heard unconfirmed rumors of a second shooter.
Many parents walked down street holding hands with their children.
"I heard what happened on the news and I just headed here to get my son," said a mother, Maria Nascimento.
Audra Barth, another mother who has two children at Sandy Hook Elementary, "The parents were given no information. I was just at home going crazy. I didn't even know which school it was. I found out from media." Continued...
State police
spokesman Lt. Paul Vance says they have a number of personnel on the scene to assist.
A reporter observed three state troopers with canines walking around the woods nearby, and parents leading their young children away from the scene.
It wasn't immediately clear how seriously anyone was injured. The Newtown Bee reports that "one child was carried from the school by a police officer, apparently seriously wounded. Other injuries are reported, and emergency personnel have set up triage facilities"
The school superintendent's office says the district has locked down schools to ensure the safety of students and staff.
The Newtown Bee newspaper posted a photo of a group of young students -- some crying, others looking visibly frightened -- being escorted by adults through a parking lot in a line, hands on one another's shoulders.
State police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance says they have a number of personnel on the scene to assist.

[Update 4 from source 3 slightly triggering][Updated at 12:16 p.m. ET] The principal and a school psychologist were killed, according to a parent who was at the school during the incident. The vice principal was shot in the foot or the leg, said the eyewitness, who has a second-grader at the school, and who talked to our colleague Meredith Artley.

Artley was told: "The principal, vice principal and the school psychologist went into the hall. Only one person came back. It was the vice principal. The vice principal was shot in the leg or foot and came crawling back from the hall."

[update 5]12:26 a.m.: More than a dozen persons, including children shot and killed at Newtown, Conn., elementary school, federal, and state law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

12:24 a.m.: Law enforcement agents with weapons drawn seen running into wooded area behind the school.

[White House Statement (rme warning)][Updated at 12:59 p.m. ET] Many people are talking again about gun control. But White House spokesman Jay Carney isn't joining in for now.

"I think it's important on a day like today to view this as I know the president, as a father does and I as a father and others who are parents certainly do, which is to feel enormous sympathy for families that are affected and to do everything we can to support state and local law enforcement and support those who are enduring what appears to be a very tragic event. There is, I'm sure, will be, rather, a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates but I don't think today is that day.

[1:09pm est death total update]1:09 p.m.: Twenty-seven people, or more, most of them children killed in shooting, sources tell ABC News.

[Shooter details]1:17 p.m: One shooter is described as 24-years-old, armed with four weapons and wearing a bullet-proof vest, sources tell ABC News.

[Updated at 1:21 p.m. ET] We're now hearing that it may be a while for the briefing from the police.

[Massive Update 6]1:44 p.m.: “The scene is secure. The public is not in danger,” says Connecticut State Police spokesman Paul Vance.
1:42 p.m.:” Shooter is deceased inside the [school,]” says Connecticut State Police spokesman Paul Vance.
[Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET] The death toll is closer to 30 than 20, a federal law enforcement source in Washington told CNN's John King. Most of those killed are children, the source said.

The source also said the suspected gunman, who is dead, had a connection to the school. He would not elaborate on that connection. The source is in touch with authorities on the scene.

[Updated at 1:53 p.m. ET] Congresswoman-elect Elizabeth Esty, who was recently won a seat representing a district that includes Newtown, Connecticut, just released the following statement on the tragedy:

As a mother, I can only begin to imagine what the students, parents, teachers and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary must be experiencing. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this horrific tragedy. While details are still emerging, I hope for the safety and well being of the children, teachers and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary and for the Newtown community.

[Updated at 1:51 p.m. ET] We have just learned that the suspected shooter is 20-years-old, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation tells CNN’s Susan Candiotti.

[Updated at 1:47 p.m. ET] A few more details from the White House press briefing earlier. White House spokesman Jay Carney said while today is not the day to debate gun policy, an assault weapons ban "does remain a commitment" of President Obama.

[shooter information]The suspect in one of the the deadliest school shootings in history has been identified as Ryan Lanza, authorities said Friday.

According to police, Lanza, 24, is suspected of killing 27 people -- 8 adults and 18 children -- at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

A neighbor of Ryan Lanza's parents in Sandy Hook told The Huffington Post that police are at Lanza's parents house.

The shooter was killed during the rampage and several others were injured.
The identities of the shooting victims has not yet been released.

The gunman was wearing dark clothing, a mask, a bulletproof vest, and was carrying four guns. A cause and manner of death is pending, police said.

Police continue to investigate if there was a second shooter involved.
Unconfirmed reports say that principal Dawn Hochsprung and a school psychologist were killed, according to a parent who claimed to witness part of the attack, CNN reported.

The masked gunman entered the school administration office around 9:40 a.m., about 30 minutes after the school day began. The first 911 call was received by police one minute later.

Investigators said the gunman fired his weapon at least 100 times.

Students inside the building were escorted out in a single-file line. There are about 626 students enrolled in kindergarten through fourth grade classes at Sandy Hook Elementary, with another 46 faculty members, Newtown Patch reported.

Authorities have not commented on whether the deadly encounter was captured on video surveillance.

Friday's shooting comes just two days after a gunman in Oregon shot and killed two people at a crowded Oregon mall. The suspect in that case was identified as 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts. Police say Roberts’ took his own life inside a mall store. Authorities in that case are still piecing together a possible motive.

Sandy Hook Elementary School is closed Friday while police continue to investigate the shooting.

[Mother was killed at school]2:37 p.m.: Gunman Ryan Lanza’s mother found among the dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
2:28 p.m. The gunman in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting has been identified as Ryan Lanza, 24, of New Jersey. A dead body has also been found in his parents’ home, officials said. Lanza’s body was found in the school.
2:22 p.m.: Federal agents investigating whether slain Connecticut school gunman had a relationship with someone in the school, sources say.

[Abridged version of Obama's Speech][Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET] From the president: "I offer Gov. Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation."

The president appears to be emotional, he's wiping his left eye.

Here's more of what he's saying:

"We've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. Each time I learn the news I react not as a president but as anybody else would as a parent.

"That was especially true today.

"I know there's not a parent in America that doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.

"The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10.

"They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own."

Obama sighed.

"Our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these children and the families of the adults we lost."

[update 7]3:40 p.m.: 18 children pronounced dead at school; 2 announced dead at hospital; 6 adults dead at school, says Conn State Police spokesman Paul Vance.

[Update 8][Updated at 3:54 p.m. ET] Three guns were found at the scene, CNN's Susan Candiotti reports. According to a law enforcement source, the third weapon found on the scene was a .223 Bushmaster. The other weapons, previously reported, are a Glock, and a Sig-Sauer. No word on the models of Glock or Sig-Sauer.

[Updated at 3:51 p.m. ET] A federal law enforcement source tells CNN's John King the information from the scene is that the shooter arrived and headed directly toward and to his mother’s classroom. That and the other information now emerging - another family member killed, police interviews - lead them to believe his mother was the primary target. But they note he also came armed with clear intention of mass killing.

4:17 p.m.: Federal sources initially identified the suspect as Ryan Lanza, 24, of New Jersey, but there appears now to be confusion over the gunman’s identity.

[Massive Shooter Update]WASHINGTON (AP) — The suspect in the Connecticut school shootings is Adam Lanza, 20, the son of a teacher at the school where the shootings occurred, a law enforcement official said Friday. A second law enforcement official says the boy's mother, Nancy Lanza, is presumed dead.

Adam Lanza's older brother, Ryan, 24, of Hoboken, N.J., is being questioned by police, said the first official. Earlier, a law enforcement official mistakenly transposed the brothers' first names.

Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record about the developing criminal investigation.

The first official said Adam Lanza is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to the second official, the suspect drove to the scene of the shootings in his mother's car. Three guns were found at the scene — a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols — and a .223-caliber rifle. The rifle was recovered from the back of a car at the school. The two pistols were recovered from inside the school.

The official also said Lanza's girlfriend and another friend are missing in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, former Jersey Journal staff writer Brett Wilshe said he has spoken with Ryan Lanza of Hoboken, who told Wilshe the shooter may have had Ryan Lanza's identification.

Ryan Lanza has a Facebook page that posted updates Friday afternoon that read that "it wasn't me" and "I was at work."

[Update 9][Updated at 4:54 p.m. ET] We are now being told there was no body found in the Hoboken, New Jersey, home as had been previously reported.

[Updated at 4:23 p.m. ET] We have learned that Connecticut police have searched the suspected gunman's home and place of employment in the wake of Friday's mass shooting, Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

They have also interviewed his friends, relatives and "everyone who possibly had any connection with him whatsoever," he said.

[Updated at 4:11 p.m. ET] Police did not discharge their weapons at any time when responding at the school, police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. However, he could not confirm whether the suspected shooter - who died at the scene - killed himself, saying that would have to be determined by the medical examiner.

4:52 p.m: Ryan Lanza, 24, brother of gunman Adam Lanza, 20, tells authorities that his younger brother is autistic, or has Asperger syndrome and a “personality disorder.” Neighbors described the younger man to ABC as “odd” and displaying characteristics associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

4:41 p.m.: Federal law enforcement sources now say Connecticut school shooting gunman was Adam Lanza, 20, and not his brother Ryan Lanza, 24, as earlier reported. Adam was found dead in the school along with his mother, a kindergarten teacher there.

source 2, Source 3,Source 4, Source 5, Shooter info source, Updated shooter source

Live streams

3:15pm EST President Obama will give a live speech
4:45pm EST Another briefing with Lt. Vance

Just before 6pm EST Lt. Vance will give another briefing

3:40 p.m.: 18 children pronounced dead at school; 2 announced dead at hospital; 6 adults dead at school, says Conn State Police spokesman Paul Vance.

[President's speech]

White House Petitions
Gun Control Conversation Petition, Immediate Gun Control through Legislation
Suzy Bishop

China stabbing spree hurts 22 schoolchildren

A knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes Friday, police said, the latest in a series of periodic rampage attacks at Chinese schools and kindergartens.

The attack in the Henan province village of Chengping happened shortly before 8 a.m., said a police officer from Guangshan county, where the village is located.

The attacker, 36-year-old villager Min Yingjun, is now in police custody, said the officer, who declined to give her name, as is customary among Chinese civil servants.

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'Fantasy author Scott Lynch shows he's a gentleman, not a bastard'

'Fantasy author Scott Lynch shows he's a gentleman, not a bastard'

In all the whirl of investigating self-publishing, I'd forgotten that I read my first originally self-published novel years ago. It was Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. Lynch had been posting parts of his novel on his blog and Simon Spanton, editor at Gollancz, spotted them and liked them, and signed him up. I had to interview Lynch for The Bookseller (as ever, I was the sole fantasy fan on the staff), and I read the novel and absolutely loved it.
It's set in the Venice-esque world of Camorr, and follows the adventures of Locke Lamora and his band of thieves, the Gentleman Bastards. I found it funny, dark and thrilling, passed it on to tons of people, enjoyed the followup Red Seas Under Red Skies, and am – along with many others – eagerly awaiting the third, The Republic of Thieves (there have been a number of delays).
Anyway, I'm rambling on about Lynch because I was reminded again how much I like him by a pointer from the (always excellent) MobyLives blog. Criticised by a reader for including characters who are "unrealistic stereotypes of political correctness" – the reader objected in particular to the character Zamira, a middle-aged pirate mother – Lynch went to town.
The reader wrote: "Real sea pirates could not be controlled by women, they were vicous rapists [sic] and murderers and I am sorry to say it was a man's world. It is unrealistic wish-fulfilment for you and your readers to have so many female pirates, especially if you want to be politically correct about it!"
"First, I will pretend that your last sentence makes sense because it will save us all time," responded Lynch. "Second, now you're pissing me off. You know what? Yeah, Zamira Drakasha, middle-aged pirate mother of two, is a wish-fulfilment fantasy. I realised this as she was evolving on the page, and you know what? I fucking embrace it. Why shouldn't middle-aged mothers get a wish-fulfilment character, you sad little bigot? Everyone else does. HL Mencken once wrote that, 'Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.' I can't think of anyone to whom that applies more than my own mom, and the mothers on my friends list, with the incredible demands on time and spirit they face in their efforts to raise their kids, preserve their families, and save their own identity/sanity into the bargain.
"Shit yes, Zamira Drakasha, leaping across the gap between burning ships with twin sabers in hand to kick in some fucking heads and sail off into the sunset with her toddlers in her arms and a hold full of plundered goods, is a wish-fulfilment fantasy from hell. I offer her up on a silver platter with a fucking bow on top; I hope she amuses and delights. In my fictional world, opportunities for butt-kicking do not cease merely because one isn't a beautiful teenager or a muscle-wrapped font of testosterone. In my fictional universe, the main characters are a fat ugly guy and a skinny forgettable guy, with a supporting cast that includes 'SBF, 41, non-smoker, two children, buccaneer of no fixed abode, seeks unescorted merchant for light boarding, heavy plunder'. You don't like it? Don't buy my books. Get your own fictional universe. Your cabbage-water vision of worldbuilding bores me to tears."
Hurrah! Bring on The Republic of Thieves, and in the meantime I'm going to dig out my crumbling old proof of The Lies of Locke Lamora.
OP: I thought I would post this, since people are in the mood for some good news. I figured reading an idiot like this get SCHOOLED might perhaps qualify.

I also will add a mention that I do not have any link to this author (I haven't even read his books, to be honest) but I thought this was a great example of when replying to reader reviews was not only appropriate but pretty darn awesome.
Jon - Are You Fucking Serious

Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke

If you've ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you've ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or "drug paraphernalia" in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.

Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who's ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.

The banks' laundering transactions were so brazen that the NSA probably could have spotted them from space. Breuer admitted that drug dealers would sometimes come to HSBC's Mexican branches and "deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in a single day, into a single account, using boxes designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows."

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Source: Matt Taibbi's Blog

Most of the bolding is mine