AWRHawkins reports: According to the 2010 Death and Mortality numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more children under the age of ten are unintentionally killed in fire or water-related incidents than are killed in accidental gun deaths.
Gun scholar John Lott pulled together various CDC tables showing that thirty-six children under the age of ten were killed in firearm-related accidents in 2010.
The number of children under the age of ten killed in “unintentional fire/burn deaths” was 262, and the number killed in “unintentional drowning” incidents was 609.
Wayne LaPierre writes: With the stroke of his royal pen, President Barack Obama declared that federal law in the form of a 17-year congressional funding ban on gun-control “research” at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was trumped by his personal decree through an executive order restoring the CDC’s junk-science agenda.
Were I to choose a single word to define this action, it would be “outlaw.” The law forbidding expenditures by CDC to promote gun control still stands. It cannot be erased by an executive order. But this is President Obama, his rule and his rules.
As with so many other Obama executive actions disregarding federal law or ignoring Congress or the courts, this one has born poisonous fruit in the form of a voluminous manifesto. In this case, it’s entitled, Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearms-Related Violence.
Produced by the National Academy of Sciences (for the CDC), the research agenda was “supported by awards between the National Academy of Sciences and both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation, the California Endowment, the Joyce Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, one anonymous donor …”
Anonymous donor? New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg or George Soros perhaps? After all, the deep-pocket largesse of the Joyce Foundation is the only reason the Violence Policy Center can keep its doors open. Read the rest of this entry »
By any observable metric, zombies are totally hot right now. Look at movies like “Warm Bodies” and the coming “World War Z,” the ratings for AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” (12.9 million viewers for its recent season finale) and $2.5 billion in annual sales for zombie videogames. Over the past decade, between a third and a half of all zombie movies ever made have been released. A glance at Google Trends reveals that in the past few years, interest in flesh-eating ghouls has far outstripped popular enthusiasm for vampires, wizards and hobbits.
Any species that invented duct tape, Twinkies and smartphones stands a fighting chance against the living dead.
Why are the living dead taking over our lives, and why have so many other domains of American culture, from architects to academics to departments of the federal government, been so eager to jump on this macabre bandwagon? Is it all just good, scary fun—or something we should worry about?
First we have to appreciate why zombies are so terrifying. The classic ghoul of George Romero films seems awfully slow and plodding. But what the living dead lack in speed, they make up for in other qualities. Zombies occupy what roboticists and animators call “the uncanny valley” in human perception—though decidedly not human, they are so close to being human that they prompt instant revulsion. Another common feature of zombie narratives is that 100% of the people bitten by zombies eventually turn into zombies. Even the most virulent pathogens encountered in the real world (say, Ebola or HIV) have infection rates below 50%.
These qualities matter because they map so neatly onto the genuine threats of our day. Zombies thrive in popular culture during times of recession, epidemic and general unhappiness. Traditional threats to U.S. security may have waned, but nontraditional threats assault us constantly. Concerns about terrorism have not abated since 9/11, and cyberattacks have now emerged as a new anxiety. Drug-resistant pandemics have been a staple of local news hysteria since the H1N1 virus swept the globe in 2009. Scientists continue to warn about the dangers that climate change poses to our planet. And if the financial crisis taught us anything, it is that contagion is endemic to the global market system.
Zombies are the perfect metaphor for these threats. As with pandemics and financial crises, they are not open to negotiation. As with terrorism in all its forms, even a small outbreak has the potential to wreak massive carnage.