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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 2,551

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Of course. What Americans need in a leader for 2016 is plausible deniability.

Yesiree, bob. What do Americans, faced with a jobless recovery, declining wages, ecosystem collapse, staggering corruption in the corporate and defense sectors, racial tension, urban decay, financial sector malfeasance going unpunished even as it continues to bankrupt Main St. USA, and raft of other serious societal problems really need and demand? How about a continuously duplicitous, insincere-sounding 'leader' with a passable quantity of plausible deniability to provide a veil over her ongoing work on behalf of the 1%?

I can hear the roars of approval from here.


Tom Petty is a true gentleman and a real rock star.

This is exactly the message that (white) southerners need to hear. The Stars & Bars really were an icon of the (white) south for much of the 1970's and 1980's. I loved the Dukes of Hazzard as an eight year old boy, and had no idea back then who "General Lee" was, nor the meaning of the flag painted on the roof of a cool car that bore his name. The Dukes were just "good ol' boys... makin' their way the only way they knew how." To me as a kid, their ways involving moonshine, pretty women, fast cars, and a gentle sort of lawbreaking rebelliousness where no one ever got really hurt and the good guys always prevailed some how were great. Of course, now I can bring feminist, historical, and anti-racist perspectives to the old show in a way that I could not as a kid (and thus I find more and different meanings), but even through all that I do still appreciate the message of rebelliousness with honor and kindness that the Bo & Luke Duke embodied. The show is a part of my past, and I choose to recall its good parts, while also not choosing to watch it or otherwise celebrate it much in the present...

But where I live now, there are some (white) neighbors of mine who still choose to fly or otherwise embrace the Stars & Bars. While I try to challenge them to reconsider its meaning and examine the larger message that the flag inevitably sends, I also can understand where they are coming from. My part of NC has been plagued by poverty and inequality. The Depression started here in the 1920's and didn't really end until the 1950's. I know (white) people whose houses lacked electricity and/or even septic systems in their living memory. Plus, from the 1990's on, NAFTA and other manifestations of globalization and corporate power have further ravaged the fabric of this locale. The textile mills are gone. The furniture factories are gone. Unions were decimated in the early 20th Century here and never regained a foothold. Plus, the southern Appalachian mountains are racially homogenous enough that black people are easily portrayed by racists here as a distant and ominous "other," who unfairly suck tax dollars or other resources away. It's a ridiculous portrayal, but it can gain traction in some of these rural circles.

It's not right for anyone to blame any of societal problems on black people, food stamps, or any other bogeyman of the right wing. Nor is it right for white southerners to celebrate an emblem of slavery and secession. But I can understand how it's easy for some (white) folks to do so, and even how a quite awesome guy like Tom Petty got sucked into it back in the early '80's. Those of us with more political experience and better historical educations need to engage those who are still at it now and point out the real villains (corporations and the whole speculative FIRE economy: Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate). What we must NOT do is dismiss these neighbors of mine as simpleton racists who are inevitably enemies of our causes for justice. They might be making idiotic choices when sharing stupid Kid Rock memes on Facebook, but it's frustration with their own blinkered economic situations and misplaced blame at the roots. And underneath that frustration and misplaced blame is the same hunger for justice that all of us (should) have. Misplaced blame plus a hunger for (personal) justice can be a breeding ground for hate and even fascism, and we have to fight against that.

So anyway, I'm really glad that Tom Petty is being awesome (as usual). He has more cred with my (white) southern neighbors than I ever will. La lucha continua. K&R,


PS- All my parenthetical 'white' notations above are because of the racial homogeneity of my particular mountain locale, and because of course the black folks I know were never fooled by the 'heritage not hate' nonsense by which certain white southerners promulgated the Confederate Battle Flag.

This is not 'liberalism, it is 'authoritarianism."

Hillary's enthusiasm for new and expanded gun control laws is entirely consistent with her support for the PATRIOT Act, her failure to condemn the crackdown against Occupy Wall St., her own condemnation of Edward Snowden, her push for a militaristic and coup-supporting approach while serving as SoS. In all these cases, she supports power and privilege over rights for the people.

Very little about Hillary is 'liberal.' True liberalism is a spirit of inquiry, a questioning of authority, a faith in fundamental rights that are truly inalienable, and a commitment to enlightenment processes of open debate as a path toward higher truths. When has Hillary embodied these?

So of course she supports gun control.

Don't be surprised when Americans fail to rally to this particular authoritarian banner, despite its ostensible liberal label. Support for new gun control measures may be a mile wide according to certain cleverly-phrased polls, but it's never more than an inch deep. In 2016, people will be voting about the economy and other core issues. Guns are just red-meat media fodder, and Democrats would do best to say that they support enforcing the current laws and move on.


This is exactly why many of us RKBA'ers argue that gun control is a slippery slope.

I will oppose any gun control measure that I think could start us down this path.

I honor the American tradition of the whole Bill of Rights.


Um, that is EXACTLY the point of the Bill of Rights

First off, the Bible is a collection of Bronze Age myths which some people believe are communicated to us by God as absolute truth, but others believe were the unfortunate result of superstition, patriarchy, and ergot fungus on stored grains. Much as some might wish to make the Bible the law of the land, it is not.

The Constitution, on the other hand, IS the law of the land. It was written less than 300 years ago by the people who founded this nation. It enumerates very specific powers of, and limitations upon government. One of the limitations stated in the Bill of Rights is that the "right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

If you don't like this limitation, the Constitution has a process for further amendment. You can try to undo the Second Amendment, but people like me will be on the other side of the issue, organizing and advocating in its defense.

As for interpretation, that's up to the Supreme Court. Lately, they have been better about the Second Amendment than you seem to wish. I don't always agree with their decisions in other cases, (particularly Fourth and Fifth Amendment cases as of late) but in this system, what they say goes.

SO no, it's not "me, personally."


The fact that Scalia dissented indicates that he has gone totally off the rails.

Scalia, a supposed free-speech advocate (I still rather like his 1989 Texas v Johnson opinion re flag burning) was the lone dissenter here. Thus he was supporting a law that would have compelled doctors to give an untruthful and unwanted scripted speech to the patients they are supposed to serve. He is a senile old fool these days, choking on his bile, hypocrisy, and bitterness.

Retire already, Scalia: you have no business 'interpreting' (i.e- trampling) the Constitution any longer!



Black artist will burn, bury the Confederate flag across the South on Memorial Day

Black artist will burn, bury the Confederate flag across the South on Memorial Day
by David A. Love | May 22, 2015 at 12:16 AM

Can you think of a better way for a black man to spend Memorial Day than to burn a Confederate flag?

As was reported in the Orlando Sentinel, an artist will do exactly that, with plans to make it happen in all the states throughout the former Confederacy.

John Sims, an artist from Sarasota, Florida, is honoring the constitutional right of self-expression by staging burnings and burials of the Rebel flag, that troublesome symbol of the Old South that many, particularly African-Americans, associate with slavery, white supremacy and state-sponsored terrorism and lynchings.

“We are in America, and people have the right to fly whatever flag ,” Sims said. “And I have the right to bury whatever flag, and to burn whatever flag.”

Sims noted that the Dixie flag, which the South flew during the Civil War, is associated with many toxic memories of the American experience, especially from the black perspective. “There’s a notion of ‘Southern Heritage’ and who owns , but a very important part of Southern culture is the African-American experience.… The Confederate flag is a flag of terror from its use by the Klan in the ’20s to the anti-civil-rights movement in the ’50s and ’60s,” Sims said.

“The flag is almost too toxic to handle, and for those who do, I’m suspicious of their engagement. Are you in denial?”


To be sure, a number of people will disapprove of Sims’ form of artistic expression, but their own sentiments in support of that flag are misplaced and indefensible.

Although the Confederacy lost the Civil War and surrendered 150 years ago, some white folks refuse to let it go. Still fighting a war to keep blacks down and poor whites in poverty — because the slave system did not need white labor — they simply cannot escape the nineteenth century. As Euan Hague wrote in Politico Magazine in April, the passion for the Confederate flag has not ended for many Americans. Neo-Confederate sentiments seemed to be in relative hiding until the 1980s and 1990s.

Today, the symbols of the Confederacy are all around us. The state of Texas just went before the U.S. Supreme Court and defended the placement of the flag on Texas license plates.

Recently, students at the University of Texas at Austin passed a resolution to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from its prominent spot on campus. And at the University of

North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Students for Education Reform are demanding the renaming of Saunders Hall — a university building which honors Confederate colonel and KKK Grand Dragon William Saunders — to Hurston Hall, in honor of Zora Neal Hurston, the first black UNC student prior to integration.


Although defenders of that flag may want to convince us that it has nothing to do with slavery, or segregation, or hating black people, we know better. After all, aside from serving as an official flag of the Confederacy and a symbol used by groups such as the Klan, the Confederate battle flag played a prominent role against the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. After the Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision, states such as Georgia reintroduced the flag in protest, while other states incorporated the secessionist symbol into the state flag, and others flew the battle flag on top of the state house. After Georgia changed its flag in 2003, Mississippi remains the only state flag to incorporate the Confederate emblem.

(more at link)


I think that this is wonderful, particularly Sims' statement that "We are in America, and people have the right to fly whatever flag ...And I have the right to bury whatever flag, and to burn whatever flag.” Too many white southerners try to pretend that they can revere the Confederate flag and also be patriotic Americans. Sorry racists, you can do one or the other, but not both.


Nonsense, Mike. And you should know better.

Bt was used as a spray by organic growers for more than 40 years without observable resistance increasing among target insect pests. Why? Because natural Bt has a very short persistence in the environment. Depending upon weather conditions, within 24-48 hours, the BT has degraded into carbon dioxide, water, etc.

Splice a Bt gene into a corn plant, on the other hand, and you wind up with something quite different. The Bt is in every single cell, all the time. Stems? Bt. Roots? Bt. Corn kernels? Bt. Even root exudates and pollen? Bt. This is NOTHING like an organic farmer using a Bt spray one to three times a season (probably rotating at least once in there to a pyrethrum or spinosad to further reduce resistance), which is why Bt resistance was NOT a problem for more than four decades prior to the widespread adoption of GMO crops.

And about that "matter of knowingly committing to a short term solution for a long term problem?" Funny how all the costs are borne by farmers (especially organic growers who are losing an important tool from an already quite limited repertoire), yet all the profits and other benefits accrue to Dow, Monsanto, Syngenta, etc. Funny how that works, eh?

I think you need to reexamine your bias here if you wish to retain a shred of credibility on the biologist / scientist front.


In so doing, he would alienate true progressives, who value the whole Bill of Rights.

Gun control is a losing issue.

Your statistics include suicides. While any suicide is a tragedy, is the gun really to blame? A tall building, an oncoming train, piped car exhaust, or a tank of nitrogen could just as easily be employed toward the same end.

We already have more than 20,000 gun laws on the books at various local, state, and federal levels. Is that not control? What level of control would you deem sufficient? How many more laws would make you happy?

The Bill of Rights is pretty clear about the "right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Yet you want a Democratic candidate to call for further infringements. This will alienate voters who value and respect the Bill of Rights as a cornerstone of our government. Many of us are Bernie fans because he generally shares this respect, although (on-edit) I see down-thread that he voted in favor of an Assault Weapons Ban, which is a pointless gun control measure that I disagree with entirely.

We have a gun control proponent candidate in Hillary. Aren't you in her Third Way camp anyway? Why are you proposing to give (bad) advice to Bernie?


There should be only two categories of products:

1) All products that require disposal or recycling should require a refundable deposit (similar to but larger than those for soda cans at present in many states). Manufacturers would be responsible for receiving and properly recycling these materials once they are collected. From cars, to computers, to plastic water bottles to plastic tarps: the state holds the deposit until they are redeemed, then the manufacturer (or an association of manufacturers) recapture the resources of said materials.

2) Products and packaging could only forego the required deposit and return requirements if they are 100% biodegradable within one year of exposure to the environment.

If it's not either quickly and safely biodegradable or recyclable, with the attendant funding and cradle-to-grave plan for such recycling, we don't need to be manufacturing it.

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