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appal_jack

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,813

Journal Archives

I have no love for Bezos

Union-busting billionaires need to wake up and smell the coffee before guillotines reduce their caffeine habit once and for all as far as I can tell from the direction of late capitalism USA.

But the enemy of my enemies can fuck some shit up when it's a billionaire against the Gropenfuhrer, the Saudis, and fascism-enabling rags like the Enquirer, so I'mma just stand back and watch the fireworks.

-app

I'd vote for the full Carol Kane treatment.



-app

Trump's EPA refuses to regulate pair of chemicals linked to cancer and multiple illnesses

Source: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/1/30/1830891/-Trump-s-EPA-refuses-to-regulate-pair-of-chemicals-linked-to-cancer-and-multiple-illnesses?detail=emaildkre&fbclid=IwAR002EMaZOS0xpSrVsULWPIn4F7UWGv2F-9ATl1hz7v2CpyYU9Ski9rSKN0

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are man-made compounds that do not occur naturally. They’re created during the manufacture of Teflon and in the creation of a type of fire-fighting foam mostly used by the military. Wide use over a period of decades means that they’re present in drinking-water systems in many areas of the country, particularly in regions containing military bases or chemical plants. They’re also directly linked to multiple kinds of cancer, to high blood pressure, heart disease, and a host of ailments. And ... the EPA is not going regulate them, despite requirements that such chemicals be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Preventing the regulation of these chemicals has been a long-term project for the Trump EPA. In 2018, then-EPA administrator Scott Pruitt blocked a public study of the chemicals. Preventing that study’s release meant that, in the most technical sense, the agency wasn’t required to move, even though other studies had already demonstrated the danger, and legislators, both Democratic and Republican, were urging the EPA to take regulatory action. And it wasn’t as if the EPA study hadn’t found a problem with these chemicals. It had. But Pruitt and Trump fought to keep those results under wraps, refusing to release the report for months before finally allowing it to escape in June.

(snip)

Failure to regulate the chemicals means that water companies will not be required to test for PFOS and PFOA. There will not be a required standard to meet. And, most critically for Team Trump, it will be much more difficult to take legal action against chemical companies such as 3M, which is responsible for generating the chemicals in bulk, or the military for the health damage the chemicals have already created. Across the country, communities had been looking forward to the regulation of these chemicals as a start toward remediating the high levels that remain in the drinking water of millions. Instead, there will be neither regulations nor funds to begin that effort.


This is the family of chemicals in which "Gen X" originates. Gen X and the halogenated firefighting chemicals used on North Carolina's military bases in the eastern half of the state has rendered drinking water unsafe for too many communities.

These halogenated hydrocarbon chemicals persist, bioaccumulate, and harm health for generations. Purposely ignoring their presence and deleterious health effects is a crime against humanity.

-app

This, exactly.

If a certain wing of the Democratic Party would spend half as much energy engaging Bernie Sanders' IDEAS as it does worrying about what Sanders does as an INDEPENDENT who consistently supports the best Democratic initiatives, we could be moving forward a lot more effectively.

-app

Or, I could be reading & paying attention...

This OP does not exist in a vacuum. Emma Gonzalez has in fact specifically called for particular new gun laws. See, for example:

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/emma-gonzalez-parkland-gun-control-cover

There, Emma writes,

We need to digitize gun-sales records, mandate universal background checks, close gun-show loopholes and straw-man purchases, ban high-capacity magazines, and push for a comprehensive assault weapons ban with an extensive buyback system.

It would also benefit us to redefine what assault weapons are so that when we call for a ban against them, it’s clear that we aren’t trying to ban all guns. No one needs to use an assault weapon to protect themselves while walking home at night. No one should be allowed to use an AR-15...


Let's dissect this quote a bit, shall we?

-"We need to digitize gun-sales records" - Classic first step in national registration, which historically (Australia, Canada, etc.) has often been followed by confiscation or heavy-handed "buybacks" at the least.

-"mandate universal background checks," - Sounds good, but basically means national registration if said background check is tied to a particular firearms purchase.

-"close gun-show loopholes and straw-man purchases, " - Straw purchases are already prohibited by Federal law, so that is literally a straw man. And while gun control activists love to make hay about the "gun show loophole," all it boils down to is a legal sale of private property between two individuals who are meeting up of their own accord. While this surely is at times an avenue by which criminals obtain firearms, it is a small problem compared to thefts of firearms, etc.

-"ban high-capacity magazines," - In the gun control world, this generally means standard-capacity magazines of >10 rounds. Yet, I see no evidence that this would eliminate mass shootings. In fact, there is peer-reviewed science that says exactly the opposite:

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1525107116674926

Let's just put the whole abstract here for study:

Do bans on large-capacity magazines (LCMs) for semiautomatic firearms have significant potential for reducing the number of deaths and injuries in mass shootings? The most common rationale for an effect of LCM use is that they allow mass killers to fire many rounds without reloading. LCMs are known to have been used in less than one third of 1% of mass shootings. News accounts of 23 shootings in which more than six people were killed or wounded and LCMs were known to have been used, occurring in the United States in 1994–2013, were examined. There was only one incident in which the shooter may have been stopped by bystander intervention when he tried to reload. In all of these 23 incidents, the shooter possessed either multiple guns or multiple magazines, meaning that the shooter, even if denied LCMs, could have continued firing without significant interruption by either switching loaded guns or changing smaller loaded magazines with only a 2- to 4-seconds delay for each magazine change. Finally, the data indicate that mass shooters maintain such slow rates of fire that the time needed to reload would not increase the time between shots and thus the time available for prospective victims to escape.


So what will Emma call for when >10 round magazine bans fail to stop mass shootings? Would a five-round magazine capacity (pushing American firearms owners back to mid-nineteenth century technology) suffice? Does she plan for the same limits to apply to police officers? If not, why not? Regardless, as I said above, the solution to these problems lies outside the gun control arena, not in arbitrary limits on the Second Amendment.

Anyway, onward with Emma's quote...

-"and push for a comprehensive assault weapons ban with an extensive buyback system." - This translates as confiscation. A ban with a "grandfather" clause is a ban with a 1-generation delay (sorry, no dice), and an "extensive" (does she mean "mandatory"?) "buyback system" does not read like she plans to offer citizens a choice. Well, she can pound sand. As an individual, she is a survivor who deserves to tell her story. But once she enters the policy arena and calls to deny Americans' their Constitutional rights, she becomes an opponent with bad ideas, nothing more.

I could go on, but the fact is that she is proposing a ban on the most popular centerfire long rifle sold in the USA today and its close mechanical cousins ("No one should be allowed to use an AR-15" ). These rifles happen to be used in less than 0.5% of all firearms-caused murders across the nation.

This is not moderate.

This is not "common sense."

This is, in fact, "ignorant" of the popular will and Second Amendment jurisprudence about the enumeration of this right explicitly protecting firearms "in common use."

So again, I will say that Emma Gonzalez is saying ignorant things that, as policy proposals, will not keep Americans safer, no matter how fervently she and her anti-2A allies wish it to be so. Pursuing these proposals will alienate rural and Second-Amendment-supporting citizens from the Democratic Party, and help to keep at least the Senate under Republican control for the foreseeable future. If you're comfortable with that, bully for you. But I'd like to see a country governed by leaders that respect the whole Bill of Rights WHILE ALSO addressing violent crime in strategic and effective manners.

This is not "knee jerk" on my part in the slightest, thank you very much.

-app




The facts remain.

On-Edit: The link I pasted below is getting gummed-up in DU's HTML editor. It is lawcenter DOT giffords DOT org/gun-laws/state-law/50-state-summaries/preemption-state-by-state/
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I stated above that there could easily be 20,000+ municipal laws on the DISCHARGE of firearms within city limits.

Looking at the Giffords Center clearinghouse on state laws:

fords.org/gun-laws/state-law/50-state-summaries/preemption-state-by-state/

I see that MOST (if not all - I don't plan to comb through all 50) states have exceptions to their preemption laws, and regulations about where and how firearms may be discharged within city limits are pretty routine in what I'd read.

Looking at my home state of NC, there are exceptions to preemption galore:

North Carolina provides for several exceptions to its preemption law:

Cities and counties may enact non-discriminatory regulations or prohibitions of firearms sales at a location if there is a “lawful, general, similar regulation or prohibition of commercial activities” at the location.
1

Cities and counties may enact general zoning plans that prohibit commercial activity within a fixed distance of a school or other educational institution without a special use permit issued for a commercial activity found not to pose a danger to the public health and safety of those attending that school or institution.
2

Cities and counties may regulate or prohibit possession of firearms in, or on the grounds or in the parking areas of, publicly owned buildings, public parks, or recreation areas.
3

A local government may adopt an ordinance to prohibit, by posting, the carrying of a concealed handgun on a municipal and county playground, athletic field, swimming pool, or athletic facility, although a concealed handgun permittee may still secure a handgun within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or area of a locked vehicle. Local governments are expressly prohibited from enacting other ordinances, rules, or regulations concerning legally carrying a concealed handgun.
4

Cities and counties may regulate the transportation, carrying, and possession of firearms by their employees in the course of that employment.
5

Cities and counties continue to have emergency powers as specified by statute (though North Carolina generally prevents cities and counties from enacting prohibitions or restrictions on lawfully possessed firearms or ammunition during states of emergency).
6

Cities and counties may regulate or prohibit the discharge of firearms at any time or place, except when lawfully used to take animals (counties only), in defense of person or property, or when pursuant to lawful directions of law enforcement officers.
7

Cities and counties may regulate the display of firearms on public roads, sidewalks, alleys or other public property.
8

Cities and counties may regulate or prohibit the sale, possession or use of pellet guns.
9


So that's nine categories of exceptions available to every incorporated town and city in NC. That's a lot of potential laws.

Let's just review where we are at, now whopis01:

-You mischaracterized my paraphrasing of former Democratic Representative John Dingell as NRA bs propaganda.

-You cited a figure for gun laws across the country that is off by at least one, and probably two orders of magnitude.
&
-You doubled-down on an erroneous interpretation of state preemption laws, without citing a single source.

0 for 3.


-app

Brooks' endorsement should doom the Harris candidacy once and for all.

David Brooks is a neoliberal, a George W. Bush fan, and apologist for the billionaire class at its worst.

I strongly suspect that Brooks' comfort with Harris is due to how neoliberal she is as well. I think that nominating a neoliberal candidate like Harris in 2020 would feed the "both sides are the same" narrative to dangerous levels and possible Democratic losses.

Brooks is (as usual) wrong that Harris' identity and fighting spirit will be enough to carry her candidacy. Many of the same tropes that doomed the Clinton campaign from the start (in her case, private speeches to Goldman Sachs, etc.) will haunt Harris (coziness withe both Steve Mnuchin AND the private prison industry, anyone?). Although Brooks cites the example of Harris being tough against a campaign opponent who had been her own boss, she too often has been tougher on the powerless (single moms of truant kids, black men convicted of minor crimes, potheads, etc.) than she has been against the powerful.

I actually agree with Brooks' that 2020 is not likely Sanders' moment. His history in the 2016 campaign is tainted, whether fairly or not (as a longtime Sandernista, I would lean toward "unfair," but that does not change the reality of it all).

For these reasons, I am leaning strongly toward Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown. Democrats don't just need someone tough, they need someone whose toughness is laser-targeted against billionaire kleptocrats and the staggering inequality that has metastasized across America over the last 40 years or so.

On-edit: If Democrats need further information regarding the MANY reasons why they should not take Brooks word on the color of the sky or anything else, see this excellent column by Drew Magary, of which I will offer but a taste here:


How does this random IDIOT (Brooks) get treated as the definitive word on Serious Matters when’s out here acting like (A) Robert Mueller wasn’t appointed by democratically elected officials, (B) This kind of sweeping inquiry could befall literally any president, and (C) Lincoln would be King Of All Paper Shredders if he got investigated? And he’s the one saying something lacks substance? Fire this man.


-app

While Harris is impressive, will she move us forward in what matters?

Much respect to Ted Lieu, and to Kamala Harris as well. When it came to vetting and opposing Brett Kavanaugh, Harris led the way with a cool and collected competence that I found inspiring.

But for a Presidential candidate, I'm looking for someone who not only opposes Trump with competence, but who can lead on the true crises of the political moment. In my mind, these are the environment (energy, climate, biodiversity, etc.), wealth inequality, reversing decades of overly-punitive, failed criminal justice policies while reinvigorating protection of Constitutional liberties, and rebuilding public infrastructure.

I don't know Harris' stances on most of these issues in detail yet, but on criminal justice and Constitutional liberty matters, she appears to lean in the wrong direction. Here is a clip of Harris from less than five years ago where she dismisses an issue near and dear to you and I both, yuiyoshida:

https://twitter.com/Copmala/status/1087162674549538816?s=04&fbclid=IwAR36kauhnvM30NfnWJ2h1BARxwbMc5msg3YlwOrxeUAEwGdDqaOC8W4LVTg

I'd like to hear a lot more about how Harris' thinking has evolved on this and other 1st/2nd/4th/5th Amendment issues (etc.) before I say either "NeverKamala" or "Kamala2020."

-app

It's not a "loophole," it's how the USA treats private property.

Federal Firearm Licensees (FFL's) are required to conduct background checks of buyers as a requirement of their licensing. Such a license is required of anyone who sells enough firearms that it is part of their routine economic activity and livelihood. You or I, or any other gun owner, can elect to sell a firearm to a private buyer as a means of disposing of our own private property without such licensing. Gun shows just happen to bring a lot of such private individuals together, along with potential buyers. I don't generally attend them, as they also tend to aggregate blowhards and nutjobs, but that's another story...

I'm not particularly in favor of this background check bill changing how individuals may dispose of their private property, but I won't expend a lot of energy opposing it either. Still, there is a growing body of peer-reviewed and published evidence showing that expanding background checks does not measurably reduce crime or gun deaths, such as: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1047279718306161?fbclid=IwAR1Q-PYe6c_oC106rrh3DWARax0nwCG440OH-Au8BUzUJh1CMDjGQ5FSBI8

This bill is doomed to die in the Senate anyway, but I still would rather see Democrats addressing financial regulation, environmental protection, access to education and health care, etc. well ahead of tweaking with Second Amendment issues.

-app

I find Senator Warren to be plenty likable.

And you know what I like most? I like her ideas, her drive to get things done, her competence, her intelligence, and her leadership. Her compassion for and dedication to American workers are also extremely likable traits.

Whatever Politico may dislike perhaps reflects more about them than it does Senator Warren.

-app

(Edit note: I originally misread the OP, and though it was Ms. Schultz leveling the criticisms about 'likability." Thanks to spooky3 for getting me back on track...)
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