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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 47,690

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We live, let’s imagine, in a city where children are dying of a ravaging infection.

We live, let’s imagine, in a city where children are dying of a ravaging infection. The good news is that its cause is well understood and its cure, an antibiotic, easily at hand. The bad news is that our city council has been taken over by a faith-healing cult that will go to any lengths to keep the antibiotic from the kids. Some citizens would doubtless point out meekly that faith healing has an ancient history in our city, and we must regard the faith healers with respect—to do otherwise would show a lack of respect for their freedom to faith-heal. (The faith healers’ proposition is that if there were a faith healer praying in every kindergarten the kids wouldn’t get infections in the first place.) A few Tartuffes would see the children writhe and heave in pain and then wring their hands in self-congratulatory piety and wonder why a good God would send such a terrible affliction on the innocent—surely he must have a plan! Most of us—every sane person in the city, actually—would tell the faith healers to go to hell, put off worrying about the Problem of Evil till Friday or Saturday or Sunday, and do everything we could to get as much penicillin to the kids as quickly we could.

The rest

Bernie Sanders gets the NewYorker profile treatment, is dubbed "The Populist Prophet"

The Populist Prophet
Bernie Sanders has spent decades attacking inequality. Now the country is listening.

some snippets:

At the Portland rally, I met a group of five friends who were drawn to Sanders because of his commitment to banish money from politics: he has sharply criticized the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision, in Citizens United, to permit unlimited campaign spending by corporations, and has lamented the outsize influence exerted by billionaires. Several of the friends praised Sanders’s pledge to raise the federal minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. One member of the group, Erin Kiley, a millennial who owns Portland Flea-for-All, a marketplace of vintage and artisanal goods, said that she developed “a huge political crush on Bernie” in 2010, after Sanders delivered an eight-and-a-half-hour speech on the Senate floor to protest the extension of tax cuts instituted during the Presidency of George W. Bush. Sanders’s gruffness, didacticism, and indifference to appearances—both he and his wife, Jane, told me how much he loathes shopping—are central to his appeal. All the friends described Sanders as “authentic,” a word that many people would be hesitant to apply to Hillary Clinton. Kiley acknowledged that Sanders’s unvarnished qualities might turn off some voters, but noted that in the current election cycle “the whole spectrum of candidates is less schmoozy, polished, and warm.” She went on, “Everyone seems a little off the wall. Howard Dean was thrown off the national stage for being angry. But people like Trump because he’s an asshole and says whatever he wants.” Kiley’s friend Dawn York, who runs a vintage-clothing shop, said, “Most candidates are robotic and rehearsed.” She saw “a real person in Bernie.”

Sanders has been known as a democratic socialist for decades. This didn’t matter much to Kiley or York, or to most other Sanders supporters I met during the next few weeks; mainly, they were impressed that he hadn’t shed the term. York thought that, because of Sanders and his “social-media-driven fans,” socialism was “getting a bit of a P.R. makeover.” She noted that sites like Reddit and Twitter were circulating videos of “Bernie explaining why he identifies as a socialist, and what it means to him, in a really positive light.” She added, “The word had a retro connection to Communism and was originally thrown at him as a damning label by his opponents. But for his supporters it isn’t a deterrent.”


In mid-September, Sanders spoke before the weekly convocation attended by the student body at Liberty University, the evangelical school in Lynchburg, Virginia, founded by the Reverend Jerry Falwell. Unlike many liberal élites, Sanders does not seem to prefer talking to people who share his views; because he is not an especially convivial person, he does not require conviviality from others. Sanders relishes the opportunity to enter enemy territory, where he believes that he can find secret allies.

At Liberty, he began by acknowledging that his positions on women’s reproductive rights and gay marriage are strongly at odds with the views of many evangelical Christians. He did not make knowing jokes about these differences: as usual, Sanders was dead serious. The students were poker-faced but polite. He sought common ground by adding new valences to one or two of his standard arguments. When he called for federally mandated, paid family leave to bring America in line with the rest of the world, he dwelled a little on the preciousness of the bond between mother and baby. He was rewarded with applause. But the occasion also played to the prophetic side of Sanders—the register in which he can sound like an Old Testament preacher. Unlike his slicker rivals, Sanders is most at ease talking about the moral and ethical dimensions of politics. “We are living in a nation and in a world—the Bible speaks to this issue—in a nation and in a world which worships not love of brothers and sisters, not love of the poor and the sick, but worships the acquisition of money and great wealth.” His voice broke—all those stump speeches had been leaving deep scratches on the record. But his outrage was unmuffled. Staring at the crowd, he quoted the Hebrew Bible, his fist punctuating nearly every word: “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.” ♦

Read it all:

What did YOU do in school today?

Where Your Taxes Go

'You know stuff happens."

More, plus some great commentary:

This is just nuts. how can we possibly be proud of this sort of "exceptionalism." It's a tragedy.

Teach your children well

by digby

Yes, this is what every parent wants their child to see every day when they go to school:

“So when you have a gun-free zone at a school, it’s like an invitation, if you are crazy and want to shoot people, that’s where you go. I would do the opposite. I would have and encourage every school in American put stickers on every window going into the school saying, ‘We are armed. Come in at your own peril. We have concealed carry for teachers who have it and we also have armed security and you will be shot.’”

We might as well be living in a war zone.

Just as a reminder, other countries don't have to do this sort of thing:

Bigger Charts & more info:

These gun zealots keep talking about how it's not the guns it's the mental illness. I'm beginning to see things their way. It is mental illness for people to defend this lunacy. If we're going to start involuntarily committing people the best place to start would be with the Republican presidential candidates.


What If We Made Gun Culture Uncool Like We Did Cigarettes?

“Sorry, I can’t bring my kids to your place if there are unsecured guns in the house.”

“Thanks for coming over. Do you mind leaving your shoes in the hallways and your pistol off my property?”

“I can’t stay over if you keep a gun in the bedroom, especially if we’ve been drinking. Guns make things less safe when the lights go out.”

It’s surprisingly easy to imagine a society where gun ownership is looked down upon, if not scorned outright. This already happened with smoking, at least partly as a result of a public education campaign aimed at young people, and it happened when polite society finally came down against people flying the Confederate flag after the Charleston church shootings this year. Sometimes, when legislative action is difficult or downright impossible, a cultural approach works to curtail dangerous behaviors.


Like cigarettes, guns are big business. Smith & Wesson has a $1 billion market capitalization and a CEO who made $1.9 million last year, Sturm, Ruger & Co. has a $1.1 billion market cap and a CEO who made more than $1.1 million in the latest fiscal year. The National Rifle Association boasts 4.5 million members and regularly takes in contributions approaching $100 million a year, in addition to its program revenues. In short, guns are part of the establishment and people who spend money on them are no more iconoclasts than people who fork over money to Phillip Morris on a daily basis.

Like the tobacco industry, the gun industry has obfuscated about the safety dangers of its products. It has sold a fantasy of self- and home-protection that is out of touch with reality. And like tobacco companies, the industry aggressively markets to young people. A presentation by Smith & Wesson from March 2015 says that two thirds of new shooters are 18-34 years old, that a quarter of first time purchases by a second gun within a year, and that 60 percent of new shooters are buying for personal defense or security.



"Real Black"


Nobody knows how to be a “real black” person like an elderly white media mogul whose business model consists entirely of using pretty blonde things to scare the crap out of other elderly white people.


Florida judge harasses domestic violence victim before jailing her: ‘You haven’t even seen anxiety’

Florida judge harasses domestic violence victim before jailing her: ‘You haven’t even seen anxiety’


“You think you’re going to have anxiety now?” Collins says. “You haven’t even seen anxiety. We had a jury — six people there — ready to try , who has a prior criminal history of domestic violence.”

Collins later asks the woman whether her statements to police following the man’s arrest in April were true. The woman says that they were, then explains, “I’m trying to move on with my life,” saying she was living with her parents and had sold all of her possessions because she was not able to receive child support. Her abuser, she said, lost his job after being sentenced to 16 days in jail on charges of simple battery.

“I’m just not in a good place right now,” the woman says while audibly holding back tears.

“And violating your court order did not do anything for you,” the judge responds. “I find you in contempt of court. I hereby sentence you to three days in the county jail.”

The victim can be heard crying as bailiffs approach. Collins then orders her to turn around in order to be handcuffed.


Combat Vets Destroy the NRA’s Heroic Gunslinger Fantasy

Combat Vets Destroy the NRA’s Heroic Gunslinger Fantasy
The last thing a chaotic crime scene needs is more untrained civilians carrying guns.

By Joshua Holland OCTOBER 5, 2015

“I think there’s this fantasy world of gunplay in the movies, but it doesn’t really happen that way.” —Retired Army Sargeant Rafael Noboa y Rivera

Those who have carried weapons into combat or to make an arrest scoff at the very idea.“It’s insane,” says Stephen Benson. He recalls an anecdote from his first pistol class in basic training. “We put on our issue .45s, and our instructor said, ‘Gentlemen, the first and most important thing you’ve done by putting on that weapon is you’ve increased your chances of being in a gunfight by 100 percent.’ That’s a lesson that a lot of people don’t get. More guns means more gunfights. And the idea that in a chaotic, pressurized, terrifying situation, they’re going to do the right thing is ridiculous.” He adds: “The NRA and the gun manufacturers have been able to lie about this without being confronted.”

Rafael Noboa y Rivera agreed, adding that he’s personally wary of
“untrained yahoos” who “think they’re Wyatt Earp.”

A firearm makes a person almost twice as likely to become the victim of a homicide and three times more likely to commit suicide.

“Despite what we see on TV, the presence of a firearm is a greater risk, especially in the hands of an untrained person,” says David Chipman, the former ATF agent. “Someone can always say, ‘If your mother is being raped by 5 people, wouldn’t you want her to have a gun?’ Well, OK, if you put it that way, I’d say yes, but that’s not a likely scenario. The question is: If you see someone running out of a gas station with a gun in their hand, do you want an untrained person jumping out and opening fire. For me, the answer is clearly ‘no.’

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