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Member since: Tue Apr 5, 2005, 08:55 AM
Number of posts: 6,548

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Obama’s executive order on guns is mostly political theater

The executive order has been carefully crafted to survive a court challenge. It does not erase the distinction between business and private firearms sales. Rather, it broadens the definition of a business and provides for stricter enforcement of restrictions on business sales by hiring additional personnel to conduct background checks.

Yet, even the president has admitted that the executive order is “not going to prevent every mass shooting”.

There is evidence that unregulated private sales – over the internet and at gun shows – are a source of guns for individuals who are ineligible to purchase or possess a firearm. However, the weapons used in recent mass shootings in San Bernardino and Umpqua Community College in Oregon were acquired legally at federally licensed gun stores or through private transactions that likely wouldn’t be affected by Obama’s new rules. In other words, the president’s executive order would not have stopped these shooters.

The president’s executive order and its focus on the “gun-show loophole” is largely political theater. Act II will be his upcoming town hall meeting on CNN.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/obamas-executive-order-on-guns-is-mostly-political-theater/

More Mexicans are leaving the US than coming across the border

During the most recent Republican debate, Donald Trump declared “people are pouring across the southern border.”

Trump is right that the United States has been a major immigrant destination since the 1960s, but if he is referring to Mexican flows today, he is wrong.

According to sociologists Frank Bean and Gillian Stevens, Mexican migration to the United States is “the largest sustained flow of migrant workers in the contemporary world,” and Mexico is the single largest contributor of migrants to the United States since 1965.

But here’s what Trump ignores: a recent Pew Report shows that more Mexicans are leaving than coming to the United States – reversing a decades-long trend.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/more-mexicans-are-leaving-the-us-than-coming-across-the-border/

Young Americans: Connected to the world, but not to politics

They are connected to one another like never before. And they are as disconnected from American politics as ever.

They're avid volunteers for community causes, yet most hardly seem to care about government or campaigns. They see a government that's not deserving of their trust, resistant to change and barely caring about their needs. They don't think their vote counts.

They are the young. Old enough to vote, numerous enough to pick a president or a Congress. And they don't seem to care.

"I don't pay taxes. I don't pay for my health insurance," said Emilia Pascarella, a sophomore at Penn State University. "I don't feel I'm being affected."

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/young-americans-connected-to-the-world-disconnected-from-politics/

Studying gun violence is the only way to figure out how to stop it – but we don’t

It seems that not a week passes without a new report of a mass shooting in the United States.

The gun epidemic, long simmering, has in the past few weeks seemed to reach a new phase in the public discourse. The shootings in San Bernardino, California occasioned a nearly unprecedented front-page editorial in The New York Times, the country’s “paper of record,” together with comments, once again, from the president, urging congress to act on regulating firearms and firearm violence.

The top-level data on the problem are at this point familiar. There are about 32,000 gun deaths a year in the United States, approximately the same number as deaths from motor vehicle accidents. The number of firearm deaths has been stable essentially since 2000. There are another 180,000 or so people injured by firearms annually in the country. These numbers far outstrip the consequences of firearms among our peer high-income countries, with stricter gun regulations.

What ails us? Why do we continue to accept these consequences of firearms when other countries do not?

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/studying-gun-violence-is-the-only-way-to-figure-out-how-to-stop-it-but-we-dont/

It’s time to repeal the gun industry’s exceptional legal immunity

Gun violence has been a problem for a long time, but the recent shootings in Paris and San Bernardino have focused new attention on the issue.

Americans no longer just worry about someone shooting up a school or workplace for personal reasons. The threat of terrorism has added an alarming new dimension to the problem.

Coming up with effective and realistic solutions is not easy. Guns pose a tricky dilemma, because they can be used to do good or bad things. They can be used to commit heinous crimes, but they can be used to protect lives as well.

The challenge for lawmakers is to come up with ways to reduce the risk of criminal misuse of guns while preserving and even promoting the likelihood of guns being used in beneficial ways.

MORE HERE: http://yonside.com/its-time-to-repeal-the-gun-industrys-exceptional-legal-immunity/

Gay marriage bans must recede into history

My latest Detroit News blog post.

As late as 1967, it was illegal in many states for a white person to marry a black person. Depending on the year and where you lived, state anti-miscegenation laws also prohibited marriage between whites and native Americans, Asians, Filipinos or native Hawaiians.

That’s because, until the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, states could and did reserve the right to define marriage that way. The era of anti-miscegenation laws ended only when the high court ruled that they violated the 14th Amendment of the Constitution — the same amendment cited by U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman when he struck down Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban.

Whether Friedman’s decision will hold up to further scrutiny is hard to say. Implementation of it is on hold, thanks to a stay order issued by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

There are, however, compelling ethical and legal reasons why Friedman’s ruling should be upheld. Chief among them: There are times when “the will of the people” should not be honored by the courts.

More here: http://blogs.detroitnews.com/politics/2014/03/27/end-gay-marriage-bans/

For those on Facebook, some handy tips for teabaggers

From Anglo-Saxons for Obama: https://www.facebook.com/AngloSaxonsForObama

Please go to the source links and use the "share" button.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=422992991134178&set=pb.268963819870430.-2207520000.1382986492.&type=3&theater

Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=422978164468994&set=pb.268963819870430.-2207520000.1382986492.&type=3&theater

Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=422400444526766&set=pb.268963819870430.-2207520000.1382986492.&type=3&theater

Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=422397751193702&set=pb.268963819870430.-2207520000.1382986492.&type=3&theater

My Huffpo right-wing talking point takedown: Debt Limit Follies Need to Stop Now

Debt Limit Follies Need to Stop Now

Would the U.S. have defaulted on its debt payments if Congress had refused to raise the debt limit? Probably not right away. But the risks were real and presented a level of danger we should never again inflict upon ourselves.

Conservatives like to say a debt-limit freeze could be manageable. They point out that the government takes in more than enough tax money each month to more than cover the interest on the debt. So, in theory, the government could make "hard choices" to pay bond holders before it pays for other things. It also, theoretically, could have borrowed more money as old debt was retired.

That sounds logical, but it ignores some pesky realities. Those involve serious technical problems, as well as economic and political complications.

Technical problem number one: It is not clear that the U.S. Treasury or the president have the legal authority to prioritize payments in order to put bond holders at the front of the line. So, in order to do that, somebody might have to break the law.

MORE HERE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-melton/debt-limit-follies-need-to-stop_b_4149318.html?utm_hp_ref=detroit&ir=Detroit


From Florida's SYG law:

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

From the jury instructions:

If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony

Same-sex marriage opponents are going to lose

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.’’ – Thomas Jefferson

That Jefferson quote is among his best-known statements in favor of privacy and personal liberty. It’s unclear that our third president would have extended this logic to approving marriage for homosexual couples. But I would like to think he would.

As a straight, married man, gay marriage “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg,” and that leaves me no reason to oppose it. In fact, when one considers the range of personal, financial, and societal benefits offered by marriage, I think it should be available to as many people as possible.

The main reason for opposing gay marriage comes down to religion and, honestly, not much else. One does not have to dig very far into the websites of anti-gay marriage organizations to find passages that cite Bible verses or rely on a quasi-religious defense of “traditional values” to make their case.

More here: http://blogs.detroitnews.com/politics/2013/04/01/gay-marriage-opponentswill-lose/

^^ This is my latest blog post for the Detroit News.
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