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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,780

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Thoughts/Prayers Are NOT Enough - We're going to talk about guns-Just TRY To Shut Us Up.

We’re going to talk about it.

We’re going to talk about it because our thoughts and prayers are not enough. They were not enough after Columbine (15 dead), or the Amish schoolhouse (6 dead), or Virginia Tech (33 dead), or Tucson (6 dead), or Aurora (12 dead), or the Wisconsin Sikh temple (6 dead), and they are not enough now that another 28 once living, breathing people have been added to the tally. To offer only thoughts and prayers is to say “Well, that’s a damn shame. Sure hope it doesn’t happen again.” We have done this every time. And every time, it’s happened again. So we’re going to talk about it.

We’re going to talk about guns.

There shouldn’t be a requirement to wait a certain amount of time before we can talk about guns. The time to talk about food safety is after an e. coli outbreak; the time to talk about preparedness and global warming is after a hurricane socks New York, which is usually not socked by such things. Those are appropriate problems to talk about because they are problems right freaking then, and if the time to talk about guns isn’t after some guy uses one to kill 20 little kids, when is the time?

It isn’t disrespectful to try to learn from the deaths of those 27 innocent people, or from the 28th guilty one, who is only one of thousands of people who used a gun to kill himself this year. It would be far more insulting to look at their deaths and shrug, and hope maybe people get less unbalanced.


much more talk about guns:

The power of the National Rifle Association, in one graph


Too Young For This

A group of boys wearing Newton sweatshirts enter the funeral for six-year-old Jack Pinto at the Honan Funeral Home near Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Monday, Dec. 17.


MARINE CORPS CAPTAIN MAKES HISTORIC PROPOSAL INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE | Over the weekend, U.S. Marine Corps captain Matthew Phelps proposed to his partner Ben Schock insider the White House. The historic proposal is the first to take place in the White House between two members of the same sex (though not the first in the LGBT community). Photos of the special moment have gone viral, and the couple says they are “blown away by the amazing love and support we have received.”

more plus bigger pics:

KRUGMAN: "Boehner-McConnell position still a joke---just marginally less funny than previous joke"

So what are Republicans proposing? A “deal” that offers even less revenue, no stimulus, and comes at the price of big social insurance cuts. Why should Obama be interested?

OK, there might be something here if Rs were willing to take the debt ceiling off the table. But they aren’t; they’re only willing to extend things for a year. And here again, this is worse than Obama’s threat point: if there’s going to be a debt ceiling confrontation, he wants it early in his term, when he knows public opinion is on his side and there isn’t another election looming.

Oh, and my second point: Republicans are still demanding big spending cuts, but aren’t willing to specify any cuts in particular. Obama is supposed to do all the work. This from a party that ran against him for cutting Medicare in both 2010 and 2012, and will surely do the same in 2014 if given a chance. There’s just no way Obama can support Medicare cuts now unless the Republicans explicitly commit themselves to specific cuts in advance.

The Boehner-McConnell position, then, is still a joke, just marginally less funny than the previous joke.


Time to profile white men?

Time to profile white men?
My interview with MSNBC ignites a conservative media firestorm -- and exposes America's dangerous double standard


Yesterday, during a cable news discussion of gun violence and the Newtown school shooting, I dared mention a taboo truism. During a conversation on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes, I said that because most of the mass shootings in America come at the hands of white men, there would likely be political opposition to initiatives that propose to use those facts to profile the demographic group to which these killers belong. I suggested that’s the case because as opposed to people of color or, say, Muslims, white men as a subgroup are in a such a privileged position in our society that they are the one group that our political system avoids demographically profiling or analytically aggregating in any real way. Indeed, unlike other demographic, white guys as a group are never thought to be an acceptable topic for any kind of critical discussion whatsoever, even when there is ample reason to open up such a discussion.

For making this point, I quickly became the day’s villain in the right-wing media. From the Daily Caller, to Fox News, to Breitbart, to Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze,” to all the right-wing blogs and Twitter feeds that echo those outlets’ agitprop, I was attacked for “injecting divisive racial politics” into the post-Newtown discussion (this is a particularly ironic attack coming from Breitbart – the same website that manufactured the Shirley Sherrod fiasco).


Let’s review: any honest observer should be able to admit that if the gunmen in these mass shootings mostly had, say, Muslim names or were mostly, say, African American men, the country right now wouldn’t be confused about the causes of the violence, and wouldn’t be asking broad questions. There would probably be few queries or calls for reflection, and mostly definitive declarations blaming the bloodshed squarely on Islamic fundamentalism or black nationalism, respectively. Additionally, we would almost certainly hear demands that the government intensify the extant profiling systems already aimed at those groups.

Yet, because the the perpetrators in question in these shootings are white men and not ethnic or religious minorities, nobody is talking about demographic profiling them as a group. The discussion, instead, revolves around everything from gun control, to mental health services, to violence in entertainment – everything, that is, except trying to understanding why the composite of these killers is so similar across so many different massacres. This, even though there are plenty of reasons for that topic to be at least a part of the conversation.



Scalia’s Son: Don’t Label Kids ‘Gay’ Or It’s Harder To Condemn Them

Scalia’s Son: Don’t Label Kids ‘Gay’ Or It’s Harder To Condemn Them
By Zack Ford on Dec 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

Rev. Paul Scalia


Insights into Scalia’s understanding of homosexuality (or lack thereof) can perhaps be found through his son, Rev. Paul Scalia, a Catholic priest in Arlington, Virginia. The younger Scalia has worked with the Church’s Courage ministry, which promotes “chastity” for gay Catholics using principles from ex-gay therapy. He has also spoken openly on the topic, and though he’s proven quite capable of reiterating the Church’s anti-gay teachings, a 2005 article reveals just how distorted the family’s view on homosexuality may be.

Writing about labels, Rev. Scalia compares identifying as gay to other school stereotypes like “preps,” “jocks,” and “geeks,” and argues that it’s unhelpful to young people to encourage them to embrace such labels. Challenging the notion that homosexuality even exists, he tries to distinguish between having “homosexual inclinations” or identifying as “a gay,” suggesting that some kids are “just confused.” Of course, his intention is to reduce homosexuality to “behaviors,” inferring that people with same-sex orientations are simply heterosexuals inclined to a special kind of sin. His true goal with this wordplay is to find a way to justify parents’ rejecting their gay children:

Granted, the more accurate phrases do not trip easily off the tongue. But what is lost in efficiency is gained in precision. Terms such as “same-sex attractions” and “homosexual inclinations” express what a person experiences without identifying the person with those attractions. They both acknowledge the attractions and preserve the freedom and dignity of the person. With that essential distinction made, parents can better oppose the attractions without rejecting the child. And as the child matures, he will not find his identity confined to his sexuality.

Further, opposition to homosexual attractions and actions makes sense only when it is rooted in the full truth of human sexuality. Gay school groups gain approval and support partly because heterosexual unchastity (contraception, masturbation, premarital sex, adultery, and all the rest) has compromised so many. Our culture’s deliberate separation of sex from procreation has destroyed our ability to articulate a coherent explanation of sexual ethics. Parents and educators have damaged the tools that would allow them to explain why homosexual activity is wrong.


"In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun."

........we set out to track mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years. We identified and analyzed 62 of them, and one striking pattern in the data is this: In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun. Moreover, we found that the rate of mass shootings has increased in recent years—at a time when America has been flooded with millions of additional firearms and a barrage of new laws has made it easier than ever to carry them in public. And in recent rampages in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, they not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed.

the rest:

The Ghosts of Christmas...

The Ghost

of Christmas Past.

The Ghost

of Christmas Present

The Ghost

of Christmas Yet to Come.

"Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point," said Scrooge, "answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?"


Our Exceptional President

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