Overnight Open Thread: Ripped from the Headlines… True Crimes Edition

You cannot make this stuff up. A guy named Schmuck attempted to teach an impromptu firearms safety course while drunk in front of the Quick Stop Deli on West Louther Street in Carlisle, PA (former home of me – Carlisle, PA, not a convenience store and deli on West Louther Street).

Christopher R. Schmuck, 39, was charged by the Carlisle Police Department on Friday after officers say they were called to the Quick Stop Deli on the 600 block of West Louther Street for a report of a man with a gun.

When police arrived, they found Schmuck at the front of the store, and they say he had a .45-caliber glock handgun tucked into his waistband.

Police say Schmuck, who was intoxicated, was giving a gun-safety lesson to two teenagers, and at one point, there was a live round in the chamber.

He did not have a license to carry the gun, police say.

Schmuck was charged with a weapons violation, reckless endangerment, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, and is set for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Needless to say: what a schmuck!

Last Reminder: Phoenix Area Meet-Up TOMORROW, May 22

From commentor / party planner Prescott Cactus:

PHX Balloon Juice Meet Up

Sunday afternoon (3 to 3:30 pm arrival)
Oregano’s Pizza Bistro (the one in Tempe just off I-10 on Elliot.)
1475 W Elliot Rd, Tempe, AZ 85284
Phone: (480) 966-0401

Looking like 10 to 12 !

@ karen marie
@ Suzanne: + one
@ Bumper
@ azlib + one
@ pirate dan + one
@ Jordan Rules (trying)
@ 2liberal (cough-Cough)
@ Prescott Cactus: + one

Come on Arizona, anyone else?

Lurkers, friends & significant others obviously welcome !

Incidentally, RedDirtGirl sent me some pics from the NYC meet-up. I plan to post them tomorrow afternoon / evening, when more people will have the chance to see them.

Last Reminder: NYC Meet-Up TONIGHT

One more update from commentor RedDirtGirl:

Friday NYC Meet-up at Old Town update:

Any time after 6pm at the tavern. As I said, they don’t take reservations, but if I give them a headcount in the afternoon, they should be able to set some space aside.

So far, as of right now, this is what I’ve got:
Me (lurker-instigator) I’ll be there at 6.
Ivan X
Celia and ______
and maybe PsiFighter,
if we are still hanging out when he gets in from…Miami?

MDC and JAFD, we’ll see you at the next one.

Friends & lurkers welcome, of course!

EgyptAir Flight MS804 Update

Despite reports that wreckage from EgyptAir flight MS 804 had been found, the plane is still missing. The airline is reporting that the wreckage that has been recovered is not from their missing aircraft. While it will be impossible to know exactly what happened until wreckage, including the flight recorders, is found, speculation has already begun that it was an act of terrorism. More specifically it has become part of the presidential primary back and forth between Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump. What I find interesting about this is that none of the groups that one would expect to have made claims of a successful terrorist attack have done so yet. There is one erroneous report from a news agency I’ve never heard of claiming that an Islamic State’s news agency has claimed responsibility. It sources this to the Islamic State’s news agency, but provides no links to their statement.  The only place that this unsourced report has been referenced is at the notoriously unreliable Gateway Pundit, where its already been updated to indicate that this has not been verified on the Islamic State’s news agency’s twitter feed. The link to that twitter feed goes to an account suspended page.

Whether or not this one seeming erroneous report proves out as true or not, the lack of claims of responsibility are very interesting. There are complete update timelines at both the Guardian and BBC articles I’ve linked to above if you’re looking for updates from responsible news media outlets. The updates provide information on what is known now, such as the behavior of the plane based on its radar returns, prior to the crash. As soon as more detailed information comes out, we’ll update. Please remember that as is the case with every type of incident like this, information is moving quickly between multiple sources involved with the search and investigation, and anything reported within the first 72-96 hours may or may not turn out to be accurate.

Consider the comments an open thread to talk about whatever.

Phoenix Area Meet-Up This Sunday!

One meet-up leads to another. Message from commentor Prescott Cactus:

PHX Balloon Juice Meet Up
Sunday afternoon (3 to 4pm arrival?)
Oregano’s Pizza Bistro (the one in Tempe just off I-10 on Elliot.)
1475 W Elliot Rd, Tempe, AZ 85284
Phone: (480) 966-0401

Oregano’s does NOT take reservations. Once we have half the party present, they will seat us. They said to expect a little wait. 6 confirmed hoping for 10 total.

@Suzanne: + one
@karen marie:
*Prescott Cactus: + one

Awaiting Responses
@piratedan ?
@demz taters: ?
@Corner Stone: If you get stuck in town, we’d love to have you.

Come on Arizona, anyone else?

Lurkers, friends & significant others obviously welcome.

Leave a comment below if you’re planning to be there, or if you have questions. Or you can email me (click on my name in the right-hand column, or annelaurie at verizon dot net) and I’ll pass your message along to Prescott Cactus (aka Gary).

NYC Meet-Up — This FRIDAY, 5/20, Old Town Bar, 6pm

After previous discussions, Commentor RedDirtGirl has agreed to call the Old Town Bar and make reservations — I estimated six-plus people, so if you plan to be there, leave a comment below and let’s see if we can get a better head count.

The Old Town Bar is located at 45 E 18th St (Phone (212) 529-6732). It’s got a long history, is easy to reach by public transit, the burgers are good, and there’s a quiet area upstairs for conversation.

Somebody be sure to take pictures, send ’em to me and I’ll post them afterwards, so the rest of us can be properly envious!

And speaking of meet-up envy… readers from other areas have expressed interest in getting together, and this should be a great time of year to do so (after the worst potential weather delays / before everyone goes on vacation). All it takes is a willingness for at least one person to propose a date and maybe a venue, and wishes can come true!

Here’s a list of potential party people, from the comments:

Pittsburgh area – GEG6

Los Angeles – James E Powell (‘after the 6/7 primary’), Ruemara (‘Comic-con-ish’), BillinGlendale CA

Phoenix area – Prescott Cactus, Suzanne, PirateDan

San Francisco – Major Major Major Major

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Amir Khalid (one never knows… )

Public Service Reminder: Democratic Debate Tomorrow Evening, 9pm EST

Just in case anyone needs to adjust their busy weekend schedules. Per Politico:

The debate will last two hours and begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time…

CBS News says there will be no opening statements. Candidates will have 60 seconds to respond, 30 seconds for rebuttals and follow-ups, and 60 seconds for closing statements.

The debate will air on CBS and stream for free at www.cbsnews.com/live/. No cable subscription is necessary. CBS will also air the debate on its radio affiliates, meaning anyone with network TV, radio or Internet access can take it in…

There will be four people involved in moderating the debate, with Dickerson taking the lead as the principal moderator. Dickerson–known for acerbic questions asked on “Face the Nation” every Sunday–will get help from his CBS News colleague Nancy Cordes, the network’s congressional correspondent. Two local journalists will also pitch in on the panel with Cordes: KCCI’s Kevin Cooney and the Des Moines Register’s Kathie Obradovich. Cooney has been a stalwart of local politics and breaking news for decades and is retiring this month

US News & World Report also plans to stream the debate, here. And I’m assuming the Guardian will liveblog the event as usual, although my weak search skills can’t find a direct link.

Further details, from Politico:

With only three candidates on stage, CBS News plans to delve deep into the issues with each candidate and have taken advantage of the smaller pool by doing some intense research.

Moderator John Dickerson and his team met with each of the campaigns for more than an hour to discuss the major issues at play in the race, sources on the campaigns said, describing the pre-interview as “informational in nature.”…

“[Dickerson] and his team were very interested in getting to better know the senator’s stand on a wide spectrum of issues, what he would do about income inequality in this country,” said Bernie Sanders’ spokesman Michael Briggs. He said they discussed issues where there are real differences between the candidates — including gun control, the death penalty and raising taxes on the middle class. “John Dickerson’s a smart, impressive guy who cares a lot about the issues,” Briggs said. “I’m sure we’ll see a smart, issues-oriented debate.”…

“The beauty of having just three candidates is that you can spend more time on each issue and with each candidate,” [CBS News correspondent Nancy] Cordes said. ” You don’t feel like you need to jump from topic to topic so quickly that you never get to explore what it is that the candidate would do and how they deal with perhaps some of the drawback of the plans they have proposed. We can go beyond the 35- or 45-second talking point you hear in their stump speech all the time.”