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Nuclear Unicorn

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Member since: Wed Sep 16, 2009, 07:33 PM
Number of posts: 18,555

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Gay Poet Persecuted in Iran Looks For New Home In Israel

Gay Poet Persecuted in Iran Looks For New Home In Israel

Three months ago Israel granted a temporary visa to Iranian poet Payam Feilli. It was then that Feilli’s personal hell came to an end. After decades of persecution, the poet finally made it to only place he could ever imagine living outside of his native Iran.

Feilli, who is openly gay, fled to Turkey in 2014 after getting blacklisted and detained by Iran’s morality militia. Today Feilli is safely ensconced in the Israeli metropolis of Tel Aviv where he can publish his writings without the threat of censorship or intimidation.

Coming of age in Karaj (Iran’s fourth largest city) in the post-Islamic Revolution era, Feilli found life as a gay man in the mullah-run illiberal theocracy unbearable. Since 1979, Khameinite clerics masquerading as civic administrators have married Quranic mandates with state law, plaguing the country with puritanical Shiite religious morality. To this day, homosexuality is not just a cardinal sin, but a capital offense punishable by death or flogging.


With the iron fist of state law, the Islamic Republic’s moral ministers made Feilli pay a heavy price for his apparent insolence. Strochlic explains:

In 2011, he was arrested the first of three times. The first two he was detained by plainclothes agents for nearly a month, and the third lasted for 44 days. That last began in February 2014: He was at home alone when three bearded men forced their way into his house, wrapped him in tape, blindfolded him, and brought him to a garden where he was kept in a shipping container.


May your new home bring you health, love and happiness.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Fri Mar 4, 2016, 10:39 AM (0 replies)

Experiment Shows Differences Between Children With Guns in the Home and Those Without

Experiment Shows Differences Between Children With Guns in the Home and Those Without

An experiment held in Iowa by police officers and parents had some interesting findings.

Police put a fake gun which could not be fired in a room and then let eight children into the room. It took a child just 15 seconds to find the gun. With parents and law enforcement watching, the children were passing the fake weapon around, aiming it and attempting to shoot it.

While the result might not be surprising to most, the children who didn't touch the weapon were children whose families have guns inside the home and have explained the dangers and responsibilities of guns.


Video at the link (though it is cringe-inducing).

Children can and should be taught to respect firearms.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Thu Mar 3, 2016, 07:01 PM (16 replies)

NY Assembly Bill A09340

A09340 Summary:

BILL NO A09340

SAME AS No Same as


COSPNSR Jaffee, Gottfried, Lavine


Amd §270.00, Pen L

Relates to the sale of ammunition for assault weapons; class E felony.

Go to top

A09340 Actions:
BILL NO A09340

02/23/2016 referred to codes

Go to top

A09340 Text:




February 23, 2016

Introduced by M. of A. SIMON -- read once and referred to the Committee
on Codes

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to the sale of ammunition for
assault weapons

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
bly, do enact as follows:

1 Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 270.00 of the penal law, as
2 amended by chapter 180 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as
3 follows:
4 4. Sales of ammunition not prohibited. Nothing contained in this
5 section shall be construed to prevent, or interfere in any way with, the
6 sale of ammunition for revolvers or pistols of any kind, or for rifles,
7 shot guns, or other arms, belonging or which may belong to any persons
8 whether as sporting or hunting weapons or for the purpose of protection
9 to them in their homes, or, as they may go abroad; and manufacturers are
10 authorized to continue to manufacture, and wholesalers and dealers to
11 continue to deal in and freely to sell ammunition to all such persons
12 for such purposes. Provided, however, the sale of ammunition for assault
13 weapons, as defined by subdivision twenty-two of section 265.00 of this
14 title, shall be limited to two times the capacity of an authorized weap-
15 on over a one hundred twenty day period. For purposes of this subdivi-
16 sion, "authorized weapon" shall mean a weapon registered in accordance
17 with subdivision sixteen-a of section 400.00 of this chapter. Notwith-
18 standing any law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the violation of
19 this subdivision shall constitute a class E felony.
20 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


It's my understanding that the ammunition used by so-called assault weapons will also work with numerous guns that would not fit the definition of "assault weapon."

How would the seller know which type of weapon the ammunition is being bought for?
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Thu Mar 3, 2016, 04:54 PM (12 replies)

Apparently the Democratic party's presumptive nominee will be meeting with an NRA lobbyist

Is the NRA still a "terrorist" organization?

If it makes those inclined to answer "yes" feel any better, I still have no intention of voting for Hillary. I know that such persons have a tendency to assume the NRA maintains a Svengali-like hold on the minds of 2A supporters but I am here to reassure you that such is not the case.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Thu Mar 3, 2016, 08:35 AM (10 replies)

From the other group: Consistent link between violent crime and concealed-carry gun permits

Consistent link between violent crime and concealed-carry gun permits

The first study to find a significant relationship between firearm crime and subsequent applications for, and issuance of, concealed-carry gun permits has been published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

The paper, “Firearm Violence and Effects on Concealed Gun Carrying: Large Debate and Small Effects,” found there is a consistent link between violent crime — especially crimes that involve guns — and an increase in the number of people issued carry permits over two time periods examined in the study, said Jeremy Carter, an assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

While the link is consistent and robust, Carter said the magnitude of this association is relatively low.

“It seems the level of debate surrounding violence and concealed carrying far outweighs any observed effects,” Carter and his co-author, Michael Binder, an assistant professor at the University of North Florida, conclude. “We acknowledge that other factors are just as — if not more — important and highlight the need for more refined research to parse out any plausible relationships.”

“From a theoretical perspective, the finding of firearm crime as a predictor of concealed carrying is the first such demonstrable relationship and provides evidence that should solicit further investigation,” the study says.


This seems to be a chicken-or-egg issue.

Is crime up because CC permits are up or are CC permits up because people want protection from criminals? It seems to me one good way of isolating that answer would be to see what percentage of CC permit holders are being arrested for these crimes.

Sadly, for a blog named "scienceblog" that question is not asked. We're simply treated to a correlation-equals-causation anti-scientific post with no hyperlink to the original study being cited.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Mar 2, 2016, 11:22 AM (11 replies)

Clinton supporters no longer have the right to complain about refusals to vote for Hillary

I have served on numerous juries where a Sanders supporter has stated they refuse to vote for Hillary if she is the nominee. The alert comment is always something along the lines of, "This is DEMOCRATIC Underground. Saying you won't vote for the DEMOCRATIC candidate is a violation of the TOS."

But then we get the incessant barrage of posts making Sanders supporters out to be racists. Never mind Sanders' decades long support for civil rights going back all the way before it was cool, Sanders has been slapped with everything short of outright being called a Klansman.

And his supporters are also being insulted. Any effort to remind others of Sanders' work for civil rights is waved away and the supporters are told they are insulting African Americans -- as if actual racists would count work in the civil rights movement as a point of pride. Now they're being told they are reducing African Americans to less than a complete person.

Wow. Just effing -- wow.

And that claim is getting dozens of Recs.

You want to see a real racist? Look no further than David Duke. Who has he thrown his lot in with? Which candidate makes him nod his head approvingly.

Hint: It rhymes with "Donald Trump"

We on DU note this fact and count it as yet one more reason as to why Trump is not qualified to be president. Surely, someone who draws the accolades of someone as unsavory as David Duke cannot possibly represent anything except baser motivations.

But Sanders supporters -- the ones being accused of reducing African Americans to lesser persons kinda like how David Duke does -- are being told they need to line up behind Hillary.

How about this Clinton supporters: If you're so absolutely certain that Sanders supporters are as racist as you claim then you should be demanding they do not support your candidate. The next time a Sanders supporter says they won't vote for Clinton instead of alerting you should show some integrity and just say, "Thank you" unless you would also welcome the David Duke bloc.

I dare you. I double-dog dare you.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Mar 2, 2016, 08:29 AM (9 replies)

Hillary Clinton 2016: DC Lobbyists Set To Raise Cash For Hillary Victory Fund

Hillary Clinton 2016: DC Lobbyists Set To Raise Cash For Hillary Victory Fund

By Andrew Perez @AndrewPerezDC AND David Sirota @davidsirota On 02/29/16 AT 6:32 PM

The Democratic National Committee’s recent move to end its ban on contributions from federal lobbyists was widely seen as a boost to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which has ties to the Washington lobbying community. Clinton already appears to be taking advantage of the shift.

On Mar. 21, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and a handful of lobbying titans are scheduled to host a fundraiser for the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account for the Clinton campaign, the DNC and 32 state parties. According to an invitation obtained by the Sunlight Foundation, Podesta’s co-hosts include Steve Elmendorf, Jeff Forbes and Susan Brophy — all of whom were government officials before becoming lobbyists at top D.C. firms. The event with Podesta — whose brother is a corporate lobbyist and fundraising bundler for Clinton — follows a recent fundraising blitz by Clinton in which her campaign raised money from financial, energy and other industries that expect to have business before the next president.


One of the corporations they will be fund-raising with is Valeant Pharmaceuticals --

The Hillary Victory Fund event also lists Ann Castagnetti as a co-host of the event next month. Her husband, David, is a co-founder of Mehlman Castagnetti, where he’s represented clients like Walmart. Clinton was once a Walmart board member, and the company’s heir donated $353,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund. Castagnetti lobbied lawmakers for Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which disclosed Monday it’s being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Clinton even calls-out Valeant in a campaign ad for price gouging.

Why would a company raise money for a candidate that is supposedly going to take them to task for profiteering unless the candidate was cheaper than a federal fine. For $350k instead of potentially tens of millions of dollars it's a bargain at twice the price.

And scathing campaign ad isn't going to bother them. Nobody will remember the ad once it stops playing and it's not like a patient in need of lifesaving medications is going to rebuff them saying, "I remember that company from Hillary's ad. I don't want to line their pockets!"
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Tue Mar 1, 2016, 07:48 PM (2 replies)

The ACA and the General Election

Since single payer -- to quote one "Democratic" candidate -- will, "never, ever happen" what will become of the ACA?

So far 36 states declined to set-up exchanges whatsoever. Of the remaining states that did make an effort half of those exchanges have either closed or are going on life support (assuming they can afford the premiums and deductibles). What's more, the employer mandate has been waived since the law's inception.

Sadly, the GOP has not suffered in the least for their opposition to the law. Sure, they may not have been able to repeal it but that's because Obama obviously refuses to sign the bill killing his quasi-eponymous achievement.

  • What will be the party's platform regarding the outgoing President's healthcare law?

  • Will the waiver of the employer mandate be lifted?

  • What will be done to assist struggling states?

  • What about citizens that refuse/neglect to enroll and how will that issue be characterized during the election?
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Tue Mar 1, 2016, 04:27 PM (1 replies)

The one consistent talking point among Hillary boosters: History

If you bring up the fact she was a "Goldwater girl," sat on the board of directors of Wal-Mart and never met a war she didn't like you will be told, "History doesn't matter!"

If you bring-up the fact that Sanders has consistently spoken-up for workers, the environment, civil rights and anti-imperialism you will be told, "History doesn't matter!"
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Thu Feb 25, 2016, 10:20 AM (29 replies)

Gun control never seems to work-out well for minorities and women. Why is that?

I saw this in GD and, admittedly, it is from 2008; but the italicized excerpt at the end leapt-out at me --

Plainsclothes cops dont recognize NYPDs highest ranking black officer. Order him out of car at gunpoint


Chief Douglas Zeigler, 60, head of the Community Affairs Bureau, was in his NYPD-issued vehicle near a fire hydrant when two plainclothes cops approached on May 2, sources said.

One officer walked up on each side of the SUV at 57th Ave. and Xenia St. in Corona about 7 p.m. and told the driver to roll down the heavily tinted windows, sources said.

What happened next is in dispute.

In his briefing to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Zeigler said the two cops, who are white, had no legitimate reason to approach his SUV, ranking sources said.

After they ordered him to get out, one officer did not believe the NYPD identification Zeigler gave him.

The cops gave a different account:

When one officer spotted Zeigler's service weapon through the rolled-down window, he yelled "Gun!" according to sources who have spoken with the officers.

Both cops raised their weapons and ordered the driver out of the car, sources said.

The police chief was open carrying, as was his legal right but the assumption of the other two officers was that he was a menace.

Tamir Rice was shot and killed while playing with a toy gun.

John Crawford was shot and killed in a Wal-Mart because somebody reported a man holding a gun.

Clarence Daniels was lawfully carrying concealed when he was assaulted.

Those who spread the gunz = fear mantra are getting innocent people hurt and those people are predominantly people of color.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Tue Feb 23, 2016, 08:55 AM (31 replies)
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