Monday, April 15, 2013

The Boston Marathon explosion: Our Perversion to Tragedy exploited by Media

It didn’t take long after the twin explosions during the Boston Marathon for everyone from News Media to Hack Conspiracy Media to Social Media to point fingers and lay blame. As the saying goes “If it bleeds it leads” and our perversion for tragedy is a Media ratings juggernaut.

There is a desire for many in this country to watch any report that has to deal with death and despair, whether it about the Boston Marathon or Jodi Arias trial to Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware, that attracts people like moths to the flame.

But the disregard for death is the most disgusting response one can have.

Immediately after the blast was reported, reporters and social media hacks took to interweb to give a recount of the happenings. So quickly that the first response by all was “it’s a bomb,” yet no one knew for sure.

What if it were a gas explosion from days gone by frail gas line?

Or a propane tank from a food vendor?

Nope, it was a bomb regardless and of course a Middle Eastern terrorist, a “Muslim Saudi” man that was in the area so rapidly reported. Or so Media presumed as it’s the go-to knee jerk reaction to blame any bomb involved tragedy as of Muslim work.

Funny how quick our Media wants to be first to (mis)lead the masses and cement the thought.

Yet in today’s ratings infused Media journalists affairs, it only took about an hour for conspiracies to reign supreme on Social media.

The “Conspiracy King,” Alex Jones, was quick to blame the Boston Marathon tragedy as a “Governmental Inside Job.” Yes the same guy that still calls 9/11 an inside job, jumped his own proverbial shark of Nut-Job padded cell thought to place Waldo in the grassy knoll across the street by the hot dog vendor holding a thermal detonator while Chewbacca stood on point.

Not to be outdone, MSNBC’s resident ass-clown, Chris Matthews along with Massachusetts Rep William Keating (D) spent quality air time trying to link the bombing with it being April 15th, better known to all Americans as “Tax Day.”

Note to MSNBC Media management, next time just show a clip of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first” comedy sketch. The viewing public would enjoy it more.
Yet I think the best was over at CNN for people to play connect the dots of journalistic conspiracy thought.

Wolfe Blitzer, one of great historical intrigue and lack of journalistic skill, let viewers know that it was a Bostonian holiday, “Patriot Day.” Yes Patriot Day, a day when Boston celebrates the American Revolution’s battles of Lexington and Concorde.

Think about it? Tax Day + Patriot’s Day = Tea Party. Light the fuse.

Yes, somebody connected the dots and gave notion that “Wolfie” tried to subliminally link the Boston Marathon bombing and Patriot’s Day to the dreaded affair of Tax Day and therefore a possible Tea Party involvement.

I find reading the jokes on a Bazooka Joe gum wrapper gives one higher intelligence.
Sometimes I think the conspiracy theorists have more involvement in the incident than just spewing stupidity.

But let’s have fun with this and I’ll create my own conspiracy theory:
Most marathons are won by Kenyans or Ethiopians and since the “birther” notion has President Obama born in either of these two countries and didn’t have a strong contingent of runners this year, President Obama devised a plan to have bombs placed throughout the course. By using his “Obama phone” he was able to detonate the bombs, causing great tragedy and forcing runners and spectators harm and injury to be rushed to any of the nearby hospitals for care. Thereby, thanks to his Affordable Care Act, all will receive medical attention without having to worry about massive future hospital bills.

WOW! I don’t think that theory is too far-fetched. How about you?

So as stupidity saturated the interweb throughout the day, we leave it to President Obama to give people the biggest nugget to verbal diarrhea.

Yes, people cried foul that it took the Big “O” 3.2 hours (!) to address the nation about the Boston Marathon bombings. That’s the biggest atrocity of the day was that it took a sitting president over three hours to respond?!

When I questioned one of these great Social Media thinkers about how long did it take President “W” to address the nation about 9/11, they immediately went to the well with “Oh sure bring President Bush into this! He was traveling the nation, flying on Air Force 1 from base to base to keep safe!”

Actually, neither “W” or “O’s” whereabouts nor the amount of time it took them to address the nation means nothing to me. But then again, I wonder if people will complain about the amount of time it takes any sitting president to address the nation after nuclear annihilation? (Think about it…. We’d all be dead to listen.)

But the true disgust was the non-stop viewing of the victims. And I’m not just talking about events that happen here, but from around the World.

Why are we such a bloodlust society that we are entranced by the violent pictures of blood soaked victims and/or dead bodies? Do we have no personal filter?

Within the next few days, like an avalanche, these pictures will be posted on Facebook or Twitter with political statements condemning affiliations from politics to religious belief to gun control. Hell I’ve already seen the “Arm yourself to stop this from happening” posts and it’s disgusting.

Be thankful for our first responders who don’t put themselves first.

Say prays to all victims and families of tragedy.

And to all the Alex Jones' disciples, the day you can prove to me that the plastic ball at the bottom of my Guinness Draught can is a government devise that tracks how many times the can is tilted in consumption to somehow re-instate the anti-saloon temperance prohibition due to excess, well then I’ll tip the can in your direction in approval.

That’s it, “Slap the Tap” on the Ol’ Leghumper Ale and pay the political tab


Thursday, April 4, 2013

The NRA’s School Shield Study or better known as “Don’t Fuck with the French Teacher”

It’s here! It’s here!

The much anticipated, newly improved National Rifle Association’s $1 million, 225 page School Shield study arrived and here’s the clincher: No price tag, no new ideas, just filled with updated stats (resourced from FBI, DHS, FEMA and Uni of Texas) in a fancy colorful PDF packet.

All that was missing was a pretty red bow around it.

The NRASS study is an incomplete work, for it lacks any estimated costs, therefore the viewing public are relegated to assumption of ease to implement to all public schools across the nation. So let me add the depth to which the study lacks for free!

There are roughly 98,800 public schools in the United States with over 49,800,000 students attending on any given day of a school year. Fuzzy math will place that around 500 students per school.

Now, the average student to teacher per classroom ratio is 16:1, so the thought of placing an armed guard in every class room needs to thrown out the door. Although, the amount of security hires would crush the Unemployment rate if anyone off the street were to be hired.

So, let’s go with 2 Security guards per school with a total of number of hires would be 197,600.

But what should they get paid? Well according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage is $11.76/hour or $24,450/yearly for those working in the Investigation and Security Service.

But these are public schools where local /state government rule as well as unionized labor, so we’ll have to bump that up as per the BLS states that this sector of security average $15.56/hour or $32,370/yearly.

So going with the latter average and the need for 2 guards per school, that’s additional $64,740 the school district and/or local/state government needs to shell out.

I don’t even want to get into the additional Insurances needed, but the number could jump close to $80-$90,000 yearly for 2 security guards.

Now there’s also the cost for needed equipment.

Every school will need to install a Walk-Thru metal detector at the front entrance and there’s a large assortment of these on the market. Versions for courthouses, schools, airports, and loss prevention are available in the security market and the price range for a school Walk-Thru metal detector range from $2598 to $4195.

Now there’s a lot of human traffic in the morning at a school, so if a school wishes they can go on the cheap and get a cool Random Fail System which portable and can be set up anywhere for around $2000.

However, outside of carrying a firearm our schools should also invest in the Handheld metal detector wands as well and those can be bought for from anywhere from $93 to $435.

So let’s see how our School Security shopping lists looks so far:
1. 2 Security guards = $64,740 (combined yearly salary)
2. 2 Handheld metal detector wands= $186 (using the cheapest market value)
3. 1 Walk-Thru metal detector= $2598 (using the cheapest market value)

OK, so not including the Insurances, it’s gonna cost a school district roughly $67,524 to start up. With the insurances the start up price jumps to $92,784.

By why stop there, why not give every student a neat little Magnet Strip ID Card as well. A school can buy the cards in bulk (up to 1,000 cards) for $200, as well as the printer from anywhere from $1400 to $3500.

Alrighty so now we’re at $69,124 ($94,384 w/insurances) for taxpayers, school district and the local/state government to split.

But wait, according to the NRASS study, costs could be offset by having charity or corporate sponsorship. Wouldn’t be cool to have a corporate logo like Pepsi or Taco Bell on your son or daughter’s ID card?

There’s also the cost of the Magnetic Card readers that range from $98 to $399, which should be placed at every entrance/exit doorway at the school, well if the school has 6 of said doorways, that’s 12 needed at the cost of $1176 (using lowest market value).
Not to mention the cost of the electrician and/or security firm to set up the card swipes and card reader technology.

Hmm, I lost track of total cost… Oh yeah we’re just around $71,000 ($96,000w/insurance.) So we’re really near the $100Kbudget buster mark.

Of course, this is cost for one school building; I haven’t gotten to the other part of the NRASS Study of landscaping and outside security measures from fencing /walls to deter climbing to road/pathway barriers to security cameras.

Hell, I’d add a few roaming Doberman’s to the list, but that’s just preposterous in thought and couldn’t make this study seem realistic.

I know, I know, many of you are saying “Let’s arm a few teachers” instead of hiring new security officers and save a few bucks.

Well good idea, but who will man the front door entrance to the school when class is in session? Maude the 70 year old cafeteria lady is not as big of threat as one might believe.

Personally, I am not against having members of a school staff armed, but only limiting to: Principle, Vice Principle and Maintenance Staff as they are not bound to any classroom and can freely roam the halls without much interruption.

I’m against arming a teacher in the thought of if an armed intruder were to gain access to a school, that the armed teacher would huddle their class to the back of the room, then leave the students unprotected in the classroom and go rogue to roam the halls in search of the intruder.

That and I’m positive the Teachers Union would want extra-activity pay for these armed educators as well.

In the end, when we round up the cost of one school adding to what the NRASS study suggests it will cost that school between $100,000- $175,000 for building and grounds security improvements.

Remember, I said there’s roughly 98,800 public schools, so nationwide and some fuzzy math, the first year start up comes to somewhere between $9,880,000,000 to $17,290,000,000.

Now we know why the NRASS study has ZERO monetary values entered to the final version.
One thing that must be agreed on, there is no “one fix fits all” answer in protecting the 98,800 public schools in the Nation. The main problem for any school district will be money and affordability of the security improvement.

Hmm, come to think about, seems about time to start the Big Poppa Security Agency before Halliburton jumps on this study.

That’s it, Slap the Tap on some “Great Dane Un-leashed” and put some fuzzy math to work on how many ounces I’ll drink tonight. Pass the cafeteria Sloppy Joe and Green potato salad and pay the political tab.

Facebook- todd.kelly.3591
Twitter- @bigpopapolitics