Guns now beat out cars for killing children


Mario Tama/Getty

The study in the New England Journal of Medicine quantifies the leading causes of death nationwide for people ages 1 to 19. Based on the analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, firearm-related deaths among children and adolescents increased by 29% from 2019 to 2020.

“The increasing rates of firearm mortality are a longer-term trend and demonstrate that we continue to fail to protect our youngest population from a preventable cause of death,” says Jason Goldstick,,,professor of emergency medicine at Michigan Medicine…

“Motor vehicle crashes were consistently the leading cause of death for children and adolescents by a fairly wide margin, but by making vehicles and their drivers safer, these types of fatalities have drastically decreased over the past 20 years,” says Patrick Carter, co-director of the institute and associate professor of emergency medicine and of health behavior and health education…

“Injury prevention science played a crucial role in reducing automobile deaths without taking cars off the road, and we have a real opportunity here to generate a similar impact for reducing firearm deaths through the application of rigorous injury prevention science.”

I’m not at all clear what Carter thinks might work as well for firearms as safety improvements have for motor vehicles. Maybe bring strict licensing, attendant proof of such licensing, for the purchase of ammunition? Simpler devices don’t necessarily make for easy solutions … when human beings are involved.

Texas Commissioner calls on Abbott to end border inspections


Elias Valverde II
Yes – that’s Sid Miller in the photograph

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller pressed the governor on Tuesday to end a new inspection policy that is snarling traffic at the border and “turning a crisis into a catastrophe.”

In a strongly worded statement, Miller warned Gov. Greg Abbott that commercial vehicles are being forced to wait up to 12 hours to enter Texas from Mexico because of the stepped-up state inspections. As a result, Miller said, produce is rotting in idling trucks and ultimately, prices could spike for consumers.

“This is not solving the border problem, it is increasing the cost of food and adding to supply chain shortages,” said Miller, a two-term Republican who is up for reelection this year. “Such a misguided program is going to quickly lead to $2.00 lemons, $5.00 avocados and worse.”

This may surprise you; but, there is a possibility Texas voters just might lay blame for this mess at the feet of the neo-fascist bigot sitting in the governor’s office.

Rocketman … in the dorm kitchen


Explosion damage (L) and subsequent flooding (R)
Brigham Young University Police

Authorities at Utah’s Brigham Young University said 22 college students had to be relocated after someone attempted to make rocket fuel on the stove in their dorm, which led to a “fireball” explosion…

Firefighters first responded to the incident around 4:30 p.m. local time on Sunday at BYU’s Heritage Halls Building 4. Crews found the fire sprinklers activated and flooding on the main floor.

“The subsequent investigation revealed that a resident had been making homemade rocket fuel on the stove when the volatile mixture suddenly exploded into a fireball,” BYU police said in a Facebook post. “The flames from the explosion had engulfed the walls and ceiling around the stove and the intense heat tripped the fire sprinkler system.”…

Firefighters quickly secured the scene and were able to put out the remnants from the fire, police said. However, the explosion resulted in “extensive damage” to the dorm building.

Enquiring minds want to know…

I discover neck gaiters

My last remaining cold weather problem is solved.  Keeping my neck and face warm in autumn/winter cold wind…without steaming up my sunglasses at the same time.  I bought my first neck gaiter.  It was obvious it would work to keep my neck comfy.  Piled up in layers like a broad lightweight scarf, that was predictable.  But, when I headed out for my first fence-line laps, this morning, I was looking forward to pulling it up over my nose – right up to my sunglasses – to block a 10mph wind straight out of the North.

Everything I’ve tried previously either gave little protection or was so impermeable my breath would steam up my sunglasses.  This morning?  SUCCESS!  The gaiter was easily breathable while doing a good job of deflecting that wind.  The only hint of glasses steaming was on the portion of my walk along the bosque with my back to the wind.  Even then, it was a shadow of the fogging problems I had wearing a surgical mask as windbreak.

I’m happy as an Ipswich clam.  Knowing me, I’ll enjoy the same vanity I have with my four pairs of sunglasses.  I have two of these gaiters, now.  One patterned, one plain.  I’ll be ordering more.  These are Naturwool 100% merino wool ordered via Amazon.  Affordable and comfy.  A very fine knit fabric and lightweight enough to be unnoticeable against my ancient skin.

Why are Conservative foes of Abortion Rights silent about Texas’ crap law?


Mario Tama, Sarah Silberger/Getty

Few political issues inflame passions so much as abortion. The issues of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy (for abortion-rights advocates) and the sanctity of life (for their opponents) are so elemental that scant room exists for compromise, conciliation, or cool analysis.

…Liberal groups have been predictably furious and upset, though they recognize that Democrats who control the White House, the House, and (tenuously) the Senate cannot do much…

But conservatives have been conspicuously silent… across much of the right, reaction to the law, and the Court’s refusal to block it, have been met with either silence or muted approval…

One possibility is that many anti-abortion conservatives understand that their victory this week is tenuous…A second theory is that conservatives understand the law will be unpopular. This is probably true, and to some extent explains the understated reaction on the right. Polls generally find that 60 to 65 percent of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade

For decades…David Frum writes, “opposition to abortion offered Republican politicians a lucrative, no-risk political option.” Many GOP candidates seemed to adopt the position hypocritically, never wanting such rules to apply to their own wives and daughters, but conscious of the power and money of the religious right.

And that’s the reasoning that provides motivation oh-so-often to political creatures. The economic machinery that needs to be greased with sympathetic dollar$ in American politics.