Another vaping ban based on ignorance

vapinglounge

Vaping lounges are basically coffees shops for vapers. You can go there and hang out, talk with other vapers, maybe enjoy a new flavor of e-juice, etc. You would think that people would be happy that so many people are quitting smoking that lounges are being established to encourage that kind of behavior. In Signal Hill, California not so much.

If the mayor and city council get their way all vaping lounges will be banned within their city limits. I don’t know how big Signal Hill is or if there are already any vaping lounges there. What I do care about is the idiocy in which this ban is moving forward. Let’s hear from His Honor…

Signal Hill Mayor Ed Wilson, who declared he doesn’t smoke, said his main concern with e-cigarettes is the potential for use among underage children, particularly since there are currently no federal age restrictions.
“The increase in kids doing it has been astronomical,” he said. “And the problem is we don’t know if nicotine is in [the liquid]… and nicotine is addicting. Every time I see someone who has one, they can never ever put it down. And they hold it. They walk around with it. It’s in their hand all day long.”

With all due respect Mr. Mayor, you sound like a moron. Are kids trying this any more than smoking? Somehow I doubt it since any vape store or lounge I’ve ever been in does not permit minors to be in their establishments. I wonder who told you otherwise. Was it some staffer or some talking head you saw on TV? Yes, there is nicotine in most e-juices. It’s what allows us ex-smokers to transition from smoking to the less dangerous vaping and it also allows us to decrease our nicotine intake to zero if we so desire, something that cigarettes don’t allow us to do. Lastly so what if someone has one in their hand all day? I don’t vape like that but that’s up to the individual but anytime they have a mod or e-cig in their hand is time that they are not smoking.

Politicians may just be the dumbest people of the face of the planet.

Can a website be blamed for prostitution? If it's Backpage they can.

backpage

Last week the Allentown Morning Call posted a four page article about the issues local police have been having with prostitution and Backpage. I’ve seen the article ridiculed online with people saying “You can’t blame a website for prostitution.” They’re wrong, you sure as hell can.

Think about it. Do you think that the people, and I use that term loosely, that run Backpage think that all the ads on the adult section of the site are for legal services? Of course not. Any idiot cab see that the ads are for prostitution. Yet they still collect money from these ads while saying they’re doing all they can to stop sex trafficking. Obviously they’re not doing all they can or they’d stop taking the money.

Our favorite spokesweasel, Liz McDougall, was even quoted for the article…

Backpage.com removes or blocks about a million ads per month, notably those that appear to involve minors or sex for money, said Liz McDougall, the site’s general counsel. And it has cooperated with police.

I’d like to see the ads they block since the ones they allow are obviously for sex for money and minors are still being trafficked on their website. Yet they’re still collecting the money. How many of those ads are there for Backpage to collect the millions of dollars they make in profit every year?

So can a website be blamed for prostitution? As long as they’re collecting the money and turning an obviously blind eye to the women and children that are being trafficked on their site then they damn well can be blamed.

Bad boyfriend beats baby buries body under bridge

Joshua Markus Beard

I’ve been trying to keep the language on the site cleaner than in the past but damn that’s one Frankenstein looking motherfucker. That’s 20-year-old Joshua Markus Beard of Arlington, Texas. He’s been charged in the brutal beating death of his girlfriend’s 19-month-old daughter, Tylea Moore. Beard not only allegedly struck the child and threw her on the bed so hard that she bounced out to the floor but he also stomped on her stomach so hard that the baby was vomiting green fluid. Eventually Tylea succumbed to her injuries at the hands of Markus. Rather than calling police Marks and the girl’s mother, 17-year-old Alexis Botello, allegedly buried Tylea under a bridge. They were caught not only after Beard’s aunt reported the child missing but also after the pair were identified on Wal-Mart security cam footage of them buying shovels and gloves.

I know it’s everyone’s first instinct to attack the mother in a case like this but I ask that you sheath your pitchforks for now. She has been arrested and has been charged with tampering with evidence. What we don’t know is if this was a domestic abuse issue or not. I mean if he was willing to violently kill her child like that what would he be willing to do to her. For all we know there could have been domestic violence that had never been reported. We all know that not every incident of domestic violence gets reported to police unfortunately.

Again though, I feel the need to address future or possible abusers like this. The best way to make sure that police catch you and send you to jail is to kill a child. You will not get away with it. You are not smarter than the police. They will use every method at their disposal to catch you and put you away for a long time. And God forbid you do something like that in a state like Texas where they execute more killers than most countries. Beard has been charged with capital murder so it’s a real possibility for him. So think about that before you raise your hand like that to a child you cowards.

If you’re a victim of domestic violence you can go to The National Domestic Violence Hotline website or call them at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Thanks to Jennifer for the tip and CW for the assist.

Trench's adventures in Linux: Zorin OS 9 Core

zorin

Zorin OS Core has been one of my favorite Linux distros since OS 5 Core. Recently they announced the release of Zorin OS 9 Core. Again, this is another distro that I can’t say enough good things about.

OS 9 Core is based on Ubuntu 14.04 so it should be supported for a long time. Zorin had always prided itself on being the Linux distro that eases former Windows users into Linux. Not only does it do a great job of that but it’s a great distro for regular Linux users as well. It’s not the most customizable distro but has some great themes included. The look changer can make it feel like Windows 7, Windows XP or Gnome 2. IT also has three great looking and crisp themes in light, dark and blue. It comes pre-installed with Firefox as the browser however Zorin has a browser installer feature that will install Chrome and some other browsers as well. If you’re looking to get into Linux this is the distro for you. If you’re a current Linux user and just want something that works that you don’t have to mess around with Zorin is a great choice.

My only complaints are very minor ones. The first is that it didn’t come pre-installed with the Gdebi package manager but that can be quickly rectified. The other is that I wouldn’t really recommend Zorin OS 9 Core for older computers. It was very sluggish on my EEEBox however Zorin will more than likely be releasing their Lite version of 9 soon that is designed for older computers.

Bad Breeder and Boyfriend accused of beating toddler into a stroke

Not a whole lot of detail on this story but in 2013 April Koch, 22, and Joshua Grabowski, 22, both of Irwin, Pennsylvania, are both accused of beating Koch’s then one-year-old daughter so bad that the toddler had a stroke. Of course when the couple were questioned they said that the girl, Gabriella Berry, fell out of her crib and hit her head on a coffee table. Once again innocent furniture is being blamed for something that idiots do.

Gabriella is now in the custody of her father Robert Berry but Koch still gets a four-hour a week supervised visit. Here’s Mr. Berry describing what his daughter has been going through…

Gabriella Berry’s father, Robert Berry, said the little girl is taking medication for seizures, sees a therapist up to three times a week and has to wear a brace on her left arm and left leg due to the injuries. He remains thankful she survived the alleged abuse.

“I just have to thank God. That’s really the only way to put it,” Robert Berry said. “I just hope she gets back to normal. That’s the biggest thing.”

I’ve seen adults try to deal with the after effects of a stroke and it broke my heart. I can’t even imagine a child who’s barely two having to deal with that.

Of course the alleged abusers are now expecting their own child. I wonder how long it will take before they have that child taken away from them.

Look, my message here is to abusers, you can’t fool the medical professionals. They can tell when a child has been abused. They are smarter than you will ever be. It just makes it worse for you if you try to hide it from police. Or you could, you know, not hit your kids in the first place you idiots.

I tried finding a charity or something where donations could be sent to help with Gabriella’s medical expenses but I wasn’t able to find one. If anyone finds it please leave it in the comments.

Thanks to Stephan for the tip.

In favor of flavors

ejuiceflavors

As I’m sure most of you know one of the big arguments against vaping and e-cigs is some of the sweeter flavors that they come in. A lot of people are convinced that flavors like cotton candy, that they always mention. will draw kids into vaping which will then lead to smoking. I know that sounds ludicrous but you’d be surprised how many people in positions of power believe that.

Anyway I was reading this article from the New York Times about the flavor controversy and it made me realize something. While I still enjoy the occasional tobacco flavored juice I can see why some people would not want that as they are former smokers trying to get away from that habit.

So if vaping and e-cigs were only limited to tobacco or menthol flavors not only would that create a temptation for former smokers to go back to smoking that could also actually lead kids who may be using e-cigs to smoke actual cigarettes.

Politicians are too stupid for their own good sometimes and they’re the ones deciding our fates.

Guns in the media and the SPU shooting

mediaandguns

Apparently it’s not the media’s job to inform anymore but to incite. It’s not about reporting the facts anymore, it’s about how to get as many pageviews and clickthroughs as possible and the best way to do that is to piss people off. For example, take an article from the Seattle Times about Seattle Pacific University shooter Aaron Ybarra.

The headline from the article is “SPU shooting suspect once had AK-47, 7 other firearms at home”. The article constantly mentions that Ybarra’s family owned the guns but not him. The article also goes on to state that the guns in question were stolen from the home and none of the guns mentioned were the one that Ybarra used when he killed SPU student Paul Lee.

The article also obsesses over the fact that one of the guns owned by the Ybarra family was an AK-47. I don’t know why the AK-47 keeps getting demonized just because it’s one of the most mass-produced guns in the entire world. It’s the Toyota Camry of guns. It is no more or less deadly than any other gun but for some reason the media has this obsession over the AK-47.

What really gets me is that while the article obsesses over guns that had no part whatsoever in the SPU shooting it totally buries the lede in the article.

Aaron Ybarra and his family members kept eight firearms in a safe at their Mountlake Terrace home, even though Ybarra had been hospitalized in 2010 after hearing the voice of Columbine killer Eric Harris telling him to hurt people, documents say.

Emphasis mine.

So let’s blame the shooting on guns and not the fact that he’s a psychotic mutant.

While I consider myself to be a centrist on the issue of guns, having guns in the house is not like having some kind of radioactive element in the house that infects everybody with wanting to kill disease by being exposed to it.

Falcon to become Captain America

falconascap

Not to be outdone with making Thor a woman, Marvel Comics has also made it known that the superhero known as The Falcon will be replacing Steve Rogers as Captain America. Apparently the reason this is newsworthy is that Falcon is black so we’ll have a black Captain America. I’m sure there will be some racist idiots who will have a problem with this. I actually do have a problem with this but not because Falcon is black.

Back in the late 70s my dad came home from a garage sale with a huge box of Marvel Comics from the 1970s. Among my favorites were the ones with Captain America and Falcon. I even had a Falcon action figure as a kid and it was one of my favorites because he was black and it made me wonder why there weren’t more black super heroes. As a matter of fact, in the 70s Mego Toys even advertised Falcon as the black superhero.

So my problem with this isn’t his ethnicity. My problem with this is he becomes Captain America because Steve Rogers was recently drained of his Super Soldier Serum which gave him his abilities and now time has finally caught up to the almost 100-year-old Rogers. A super hero losing their powers is one of the most clichéd tropes in all of comic history.

Again this will probably be like Superior Spider-Man and Steve Rogers will be back behind the shield in about a year or so.

UPDATE 9/7/2014: Captain America #24 would have had a great cliffhanger ending if Marvel didn’t already spoil the ending by making this newsworthy. It’s still a great issue so pick it up.

Missouri Governor vetoes bill that would classify e-cigs as non-tobacco

missourigreatseal

I briefly talked about the Missouri bill on vaping and e-cigs here. At that time I thought it was just another bill that would ban sales to minors. However the bill also contained a clause that would classify e-cigs and vaping as non-tobacco products. Because of that clause Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill.

Again, you would think that public officials that are always saying how concerned they are with the public’s health would welcome an effective alternative to smoking that doesn’t carry the multitude of health risks that smoking does. As I’ve said time and time again this is all about money. It’s about the taxes that state governments place on tobacco that must pay a lot of salaries.

Remember kids, a politician’s only real job is to get re-elected.

Kenny Bartley back in jail

Kenny Bartley

Kenny Bartley

For the second time since he’s been released from prison Kenny Bartley has been arrested. Police were called by Bartley’s father who said his son had ‘gone crazy’. When police approached Bartley they say that he was drinking which is a violation of his parole. That’s not what he went to jail for though.

When a deputy put his hand on Bartley’s back and asked him if was okay, the report said Bartley jumped out of his seat, took off his shirt and tried to hit two deputies. As deputies forced him to the ground, Bartley grabbed a shoe and threw it at them. Bartley then jumped to his feet.

One of the deputies pulled out a taser and told Bartley to get on the ground. Bartley complied and the deputies arrested him.

That’s also the second time that Bartley has been TASERed since getting out of prison. He’s also being held without bond until further notice.

Bartley shot and killed Principal Ken Bruce in Campbell County High In Kentucky back in 2005. He entered into a plea deal which saw him sentenced as an adult to 45 years. That plea was eventually thrown out and a new trial was ordered where Bartley was found not guilty earlier this year of murder but was convicted for reckless homicide.

Maybe Ken Bruce will get some justice after all.

UPDATE 10/6/2014: Bartley has pleaded guilty to threatening his father and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to supervised probation. No word yet if he’ll change his plea in a couple of years.