Want to Know How the Cops Actually Trace a Gun?



wait, what?

“no computer. The National Tracing Center is not allowed to have centralized computer data.“


That’s the big no-no,” says Charlie.That’s
been a federal law, thanks to the NRA, since 1986: No searchable
database of America’s gun owners.
So people here have to use paper, sort
through enormous stacks of forms and record books that gun stores are
required to keep and to eventually turn over to the feds when requested.

It’s kind of like a library in the old days—but without the card
catalog. They can use pictures of paper, like microfilm (they recently
got the go-ahead to convert the microfilm to PDFs), as long as the
pictures of paper are not searchable. You have to flip through and read.
No searching by gun owner. No searching by name.“



We live in the 24/7 panopticon surveillance state and yet there seems to be this one curious exception. How very odd.

Want to Know How the Cops Actually Trace a Gun?

A Federal Court Just Ruled For Gay Rights In A Major Discrimination Case


A federal appeals court on Monday ruled that a 1964 civil rights law bans anti-gay workplace discrimination. The decision rebukes the Trump administration — which had argued against a gay worker in the case — and hands progressives a win in their strategy to protect LGBT employees with a drumbeat of lawsuits.

The dispute hinges on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex, also bans workplace discrimination due to sexual orientation.

The Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled Monday, “We now hold that sexual orientation discrimination constitutes a form of discrimination ‘because of … sex,’ in violation of Title VII.” In doing so, the court overruled a lower court — and a precedent from two previous court cases — and remanded the case to be litigated in light of their reading of Title VII.

A Federal Court Just Ruled For Gay Rights In A Major Discrimination Case


This statue is a couple miles from where I live, just sitting in someones backyard. It was in two crappy Atlantis sword-and-sandal movies back in the 50′s/60′s. Then it sat on top of a bar (or club) for a few years, and then someone bought it for their house.

Heck of a thing to just have sitting around.




“The scene takes no more than five minutes of the movie, and the tension between colonial history and race only escalates from that point on. However, we as museum professionals need to talk about the inclusion of this scene, especially regarding its function in a film that was cut from nearly four hours long in its first iteration to a solid two, a film that so many young people will see and one that is poised to become a cultural touchstone. The museum is presented as an illegal mechanism of colonialism, and along with that, a space which does not even welcome those whose culture it displays.

And is there anything incorrect about that?

It is worth considering the aspects of the scene that are realities in the modern museum. African artifacts such as those shown in the film’s museum are likely taken from a home country under suspicious circumstances, such as notable artifacts in real-life Britain like the Benin bronzes which now reside at the British Museum. It is often the case that individuals will know their own culture as well as or better than a curator, but are not considered valuable contributors because they lack a degree. People of color are less represented in museum spaces, and often experience undue discrimination while entering gallery spaces. Finally, museums are experiencing an influx of white women filling staff roles, leading to homogenized viewpoints, and lack senior staff with diverse backgrounds. With these truths represented in such a short but poignant scene, the tension between audiences and institutions is played out to the extreme.”


With source, thank you!

How many times do we have to play this game? When a new policy debate emerges, Democrats try to make an argument that has some connection to reality, while Republicans make absurd claims in the knowledge that even if they get debunked in the occasional “news analysis” piece, on the whole they’ll be treated with complete seriousness, no matter how ridiculous they are.

It’s in part because lies about the future — and that’s what they are when you know that what you’re saying is utterly bogus — will not be policed with nearly the same vigor as lies about the past. If Trump claims that he had the largest inaugural crowd in history, it will immediately get shot down and subject to mockery even from neutral reporters. But if he says that all the benefits of his corporate tax cut will flow to workers, which is no less a lie, it will usually be met with “Critics question whether there is evidence to support his assertion.” When Republicans said that their tax cut wouldn’t increase the deficit because it would create so much economic growth that revenue would actually increase, it was treated as a questionable claim, not an assertion on par with “If I flap my arms, I can fly to the moon” or “With a week of training, my dog will be able to do a perfect rendition of ‘Enter Sandman’ on the electric guitar.”

I had a stroke of inspiration today…






“No,” Phil said,  “absolutely not.”

“I don’t remember asking you,” the Director said. “Phil, listen. A group of loose cannons with no official government oversight are running around with what are essentially weapons of mass destruction built in someone’s garage, and they just used those weapons to save New York City in front of millions of eyewitnesses. We need them contained and cooperative but we also need them to keep working in case it happens again.”

“Homeland Security—”

“Already shit the bed on this and you know it. Come on, Phil, you can’t say you don’t want to work with them. I know how much you admire—”

“Yes, all right, fine, no need to rub it in.” Phil scrubbed his face with his hands—or tried to; the motion caught him with a stab of pain as he moved his left arm, and he couldn’t hide his startled wince.

“And there’s another thing,” Fury continued. “You know you’re riding a desk until you finish rehab. Would you really rather be stuck processing paperwork for the next couple of months? And I know you like the weird shit.”

Phil sighed. “All right, fine,” he said. “You win, boss. But when this is over…”

“Talk to me about that when you can lift your left arm higher than your head again, and we’ll see,” Fury said, then his voice softened. “You’re one of my best, Coulson, but I need you back to full strength. And SHIELD needs eyes on these people, you know this. It could be disastrous for everyone if—well. Let’s just say we’d rather maintain a positive relationship. After what just happened to the city, our contingency planning has had to get a whole lot broader.”

Phil stepped out of the cab, looking up at the building before him. It must be nice to be well funded. At least at this job, maybe he wouldn’t have to buy his own pens to get something that wrote without skipping. He took a deep breath, squared his shoulders, and went inside.

New York’s saviors were sprawled out around a high table, eating pizza around heaps of detritus that included circuit boards, a lit blowtorch, several paper blueprints, half-empty coffee cups, and what appeared to be some sort of shotgun that was glowing an unsettling shade of blue.

He cleared his throat. “Excuse me,” he said, meeting each set of eyes as he looked around the table. “Dr. Gilbert? Dr. Yates? Dr. Holtzmann? Ms. Tollan? I’m Agent Phil Coulson, and I’m your new liaison from the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division.”

I’m gonna need another 10,000 words of this, please. 

I just hit my reblog button so hard I nearly broke my goddamn phone

Imagine what happens when Coulson meets Kevin…

*cough* I might have some ideas about that.

“What the everloving fuck, Coulson,” Fury said, sweeping in past the reception desk with a billow of his coat.

Phil sighed quietly. He supposed it was too much to hope that the debacle in Bed-Stuy wouldn’t have gotten back to the Director.

“Sir,” he said mildly, nodding at Fury, who was looming over Phil’s desk with his arms crossed.

“When I said—”

“Boss!” Kevin said. Fury looked over at him in irritation, then did an actual, literal double-take: it was the most beautiful thing Phil had seen in at least five years.

“A moment, please?” Phil asked politely, and Fury nodded, blinking rapidly at Kevin. Phil was, just possibly, a tiny bit smug. But he couldn’t take the time to enjoy watching his boss in a rare moment of discombobulation; certain things had to be immediate if they were to be effective.

He pushed his chair back a little and turned.  “Yes, Kevin?”

“You have a visitor,” Kevin said proudly.

“Thank you, Kevin, I will see him now.”

Kevin turned brightly to Fury. “He can see you now,” he said. “Would you like some coffee?”

Phil cleared his throat.

“…bottled water?” Kevin amended.

“No,” Fury said slowly. He shot a disbelieving look Phil’s way.

“Please, have a seat, Director,” Phil said, waving at the chair in front of his desk. He pulled a  baggie out of his coat pocket, took out a small brown square, and handed it to Kevin. “Thank you, Kevin, you can go.”

“Thanks, boss!” Kevin said, popping it into his mouth. He wandered back to his own desk, chewing. He stopped in the middle to do an impromptu dance—Phil thought it was the Nae Nae, but he was woefully out of touch since he’d been out of the field—but he made it back to his desk this time, so Phil considered it a win.

“Phil,” Fury said.


“Did you just… give that man a cookie?”

“It’s a no-carb high-protein fiber snack bite,” Phil said. “Would you like one? I made them myself.”

“No I would not like one, don’t change the subject,” Fury said. “Why did you give that man a disgusting health cookie?”

“Positive reinforcement,” Phil said. “You know I’m a big believer in staff development.”

“He’s a receptionist, not a puppy,” Fury said. Behind them, there was a clatter and a bang, followed by an aggrieved-sounding “ow!”

Fury turned. Kevin was hopping on one leg, having apparently—somehow—stapled a sheaf of papers to his thigh. Fury turned back to Phil.

Phil raised an eyebrow.

“You know what,” Fury said. “I don’t want to know.” He was silent for a moment, then sighed in disgust. “Okay, fine, I do want to know. Why do you have an Avenger lookalike at your front desk?”

“Kevin has been working with the Ghostbusters since the beginning,” Phil said. “He’s very committed to the mission. He even got a new set of headshots last week depicting him as a Ghostbuster.” He had been shirtless, and wearing his very own proton pack, the one Holtzmann had given him for his birthday that had a bunch of brightly-colored LEDs and a laser pointer instead of anything that might actually explode. “He’s very proud.”

“And I suppose it’s just a coincidence that he’s the spitting image of an Avenger.”

“Who, Cap? Maybe superficially, but I don’t think it’s that close.” Phil bit the inside of his cheek, trying to keep a straight face.

The look Fury shot him could have curdled milk. “No. Thor.”

“Surely not, sir. Why, Kevin has glasses. And he’s Australian.” Phil tilted his head and made a show of looking over at Kevin, who obliged him by yanking the stapler out of his leg and hitting himself in the face with it.

“Ouch!” he bellowed, then dropped the stapler and covered his eyes.

“Also,” Phil said, “I’m not sure I’d trust Kevin with a hammer.”

Fury sighed. “Fine,” he said. “You’ve made your point.”

“I’ve been meaning to thank you,” Phil told him. “I admit I had my doubts about this assignment, but it’s proven to be a refreshing challenge.”

“Only you, Coulson, would look around this madhouse and call it a refreshing challenge.”

“That is why you hired me, sir.” From upstairs, he heard a muffled explosion, and then the hissing sound of a fire extinguisher and a voice—Abby, he thought—yelling “Phil! Can you bring up the backup containment kit?”

“If you’ll excuse me, Director,” he said, rising, already reaching for the lead-lined briefcase next to his desk. Acid-green smoke was starting to curl down from the upper level.

Fury rolled his eye. “Go,” he said.  

Phil pulled on his gas mask, and started up the stairs.

Sometimes he really loved this job.