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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 11:47 AM
Number of posts: 14,094

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ISTM that those who support Roy Moore are really Margaret Atwood's 'Sons of Jacob'...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Handmaid%27s_Tale

The Handmaid's Tale is set in the Republic of Gilead, a theonomic military dictatorship formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America.[5]

Beginning with a staged attack that kills the President and most of Congress, a fundamentalist Christian Reconstructionist movement calling itself the "Sons of Jacob" launches a revolution and suspends the United States Constitution under the pretext of restoring order.[7] They are quickly able to take away women's rights, largely attributed to financial records being stored electronically and labelled by sex. The new regime, the Republic of Gilead, moves quickly to consolidate its power, including overtaking all pre-existing religious groups, including Christianity, and reorganize society along a new militarized, hierarchical model of Old Testament-inspired social and religious fanaticism among its newly created social classes. In this society, human rights are severely limited and women's rights are even more curtailed. For example, women are forbidden to read, and anyone caught in homosexual acts would be hanged for "Gender Betrayal."...

...Bruce Miller, the executive producer of The Handmaid's Tale television serial, declared with regard to Atwood's book, as well as his series, that Gilead is "a society that’s based kind of in a perverse misreading of Old Testament laws and codes".[15] The author explains that Gilead tries to embody the "utopian idealism" present in 20th-century régimes, such as Cambodia and Romania, as well as earlier New England Puritanism.[16] Both Atwood and Miller stated that the people running Gilead are "not genuinely Christian".[17][15] The group running Gilead, according to Atwood, is "not really interested in religion; they're interested in power."[18] In fact, in her prayers to God, June (Offred), reflecting on Gilead, prays “I don't believe for an instant that what's going on out there is what You meant…. I suppose I should say I forgive whoever did this, and whatever they’re doing now. I’ll try, but it isn’t easy.”[19] Margaret Atwood, writing on this, says that "Offred herself has a private version of the Lord's Prayer and refuses to believe that this regime has been mandated by a just and merciful God."[20]

Christian churches that do not support the actions of the Sons of Jacob are systematically demolished, and the people living in Gilead are never seen attending church.[15] Christian denominations, including Quakers, Baptists and Roman Catholics, as well as Jews, are specifically named as enemies of the Sons of Jacob.[18][15] To this end, the book includes a scene in which a Catholic Christian nun is "forced to renounce her vow of chastity in order to become a child-bearing handmaid."[17] Likewise, a Catholic Christian priest was hanged from a bridge for refusing to renounce his faith.[21] Atwood pits Quaker Christians against the régime by having them help the oppressed, something she feels they would do in reality: "The Quakers have gone underground, and are running an escape route to Canada, as—I suspect—they would."[20]
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Nov 14, 2017, 08:09 PM (0 replies)

Why doesn't Massachusetts have Chicago's purported problems with guns from neighboring states?

For those unfamilar with our geography, New Hampshire and its liberal gun laws are
about an hours' drive or less from a large chunk of Massachusetts' urban
population, and Vermont and Maine are only a little farther away-
straight up I-95 or Route 3 in Eastern MA, likewise I-91 from the Springfield area.

Any would-be straw buyer is only a day trip away from a big haul,
if they are so inclined.

Yet Boston and environs have far lower violent crime and murder rates than Chicago,
and the most antigun MA politicians will all tell you that our gun laws work.

It's obvious- Indiana gun laws *aren't* driving violent crime in Chicago,
and anyone telling you otherwise is either snowing you or simply mistaken.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Nov 9, 2017, 03:49 PM (9 replies)

Puerto Rico: US officials privately acknowledge serious food shortage

Source: The Guardian

Federal officials privately admit there is a massive shortage of meals in Puerto Rico three weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) say that the government and its partners are only providing 200,000 meals a day to meet the needs of more than 2 million people. That is a daily shortfall of between 1.8m and 5.8m meals.

“We are 1.8 million meals short,” said one senior Fema official. “That is why we need the urgency. And it’s not going away. We’re doing this much today, but it has to be sustained over several months.”

The scale of the food crisis dwarfs the more widely publicized challenges of restoring power and communications. More than a third of Puerto Ricans are still struggling to live without drinking water.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/11/puerto-rico-food-shortage-hurricane-maria



Fearless prediction: The Orange Cheeto will expend much more energy tracking down the whistleblowers
cited than getting food on the ground and distributed in Puerto Rico...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Oct 11, 2017, 01:09 PM (17 replies)

WaPo:Tim Kaine's claim the Las Vegas shooter was only stopped because he lacked a silencer

X-post from Editorials & Other Articles:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1016194090


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/10/04/tim-kaines-claim-the-las-vegas-shooter-was-only-stopped-because-he-lacked-a-silencer/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_factchecker-355am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.05236bbcb021

“He was only stopped finally because he did not have a silencer on his weapon. And the sound drew people to the place where he was ultimately stopped. Can you imagine what this would have been if he had silencers on these weapons?”
— Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), interview with The Washington Post, Oct. 2, 2017

...The Facts

First of all, there are relatively few reports of suppressors being used in crimes. In 2015, 125 suppressors were recovered from crime scenes where a trace was requested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) — when nearly 265,000 pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns were recovered. The Violence Policy Center, which opposes the proposed law, argues that this shows the success of current restrictions. “The limited information available suggests that the current regulation of silencers under the NFA is working to keep criminal use of the devices rare,” the group says.

...Hearing damage begins to occur at about 85 decibels, which is the sound of a hairdryer. Various reports have indicated that the Las Vegas shooter had AR-15-type rifles. A 30-decibel reduction means an AR-15 rifle would have a noise equivalent of 132 decibels. That is considered equivalent to a gunshot or a jackhammer. A .22-caliber pistol would be 116 decibels, which is louder than a 100-watt car stereo. In all likelihood, the noise level is actually higher...

...But in any case, the evidence does not support Kaine’s claim that the shooter was “only stopped” because he did not have suppressors on his weapons. That’s exaggerated and could leave a misleading impression on people only familiar with silencers in the movies. The crowd under attack might have had trouble establishing the location of the shooter if he had silencers, but he fired from a hotel filled with guests who almost certainly would have heard 132 decibels from the floors above and below the attack.


They gave Kaine two Pinocchios- when will people learn that giving out inaccurate information about guns
only provides a means for the NRA, et al for dismissing any accurate information one does provide?

We must be more truthful than them!
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Oct 4, 2017, 04:07 PM (6 replies)

WaPo:Tim Kaine's claim the Las Vegas shooter was only stopped because he lacked a silencer

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/10/04/tim-kaines-claim-the-las-vegas-shooter-was-only-stopped-because-he-lacked-a-silencer/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_factchecker-355am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.05236bbcb021

“He was only stopped finally because he did not have a silencer on his weapon. And the sound drew people to the place where he was ultimately stopped. Can you imagine what this would have been if he had silencers on these weapons?”
— Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), interview with The Washington Post, Oct. 2, 2017

...The Facts

First of all, there are relatively few reports of suppressors being used in crimes. In 2015, 125 suppressors were recovered from crime scenes where a trace was requested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) — when nearly 265,000 pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns were recovered. The Violence Policy Center, which opposes the proposed law, argues that this shows the success of current restrictions. “The limited information available suggests that the current regulation of silencers under the NFA is working to keep criminal use of the devices rare,” the group says.

...Hearing damage begins to occur at about 85 decibels, which is the sound of a hairdryer. Various reports have indicated that the Las Vegas shooter had AR-15-type rifles. A 30-decibel reduction means an AR-15 rifle would have a noise equivalent of 132 decibels. That is considered equivalent to a gunshot or a jackhammer. A .22-caliber pistol would be 116 decibels, which is louder than a 100-watt car stereo. In all likelihood, the noise level is actually higher...

...But in any case, the evidence does not support Kaine’s claim that the shooter was “only stopped” because he did not have suppressors on his weapons. That’s exaggerated and could leave a misleading impression on people only familiar with silencers in the movies. The crowd under attack might have had trouble establishing the location of the shooter if he had silencers, but he fired from a hotel filled with guests who almost certainly would have heard 132 decibels from the floors above and below the attack.


They gave Kaine two Pinocchios- when will people learn that giving out inaccurate information about guns
only provides a means for the NRA, et al for dismissing any accurate information one does provide?
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Oct 4, 2017, 04:02 PM (27 replies)

Internet posts do jack shit to help bring about gun control. Only sustained retail politicking works

Expressing sorrow and outrage on the internet is like pissing yourself in a dark suit:
It gives you a warm feeling but most won't notice.

Convincing people that already agree with you is merely the illusion of action- getting the fence-sitters and
uninvolved to work with you is the only way forward for gun control (or any other issue, for that matter)

The NRA, Gun Owners of America, et al, are not going away and will never agree with you.
Out-organizing, outspending, and out-voting them is the only way to defeat them.


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Oct 2, 2017, 01:15 PM (1 replies)

Washington Post: Appeals court order blocks enforcement of D.C.s strict concealed carry law

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/appeals-court-order-blocks-enforcement-of-dcs-strict-gun-control-law/2017/09/28/04734362-a482-11e7-ade1-76d061d56efa_story.html?utm_term=.d50baff2c763


D.C. officials will not be able to enforce the city’s strict limits on carrying concealed firearms on the streets of the nation’s capital under a court order issued Thursday.

The brief statement from a federal appeals court in Washington is the latest setback for the District’s efforts to restrict the carrying of guns in public places to people who demonstrate a “good reason” to do so.

The District’s top lawyer had asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to rehear a challenge to the gun-control law after a panel of three judges ruled against the city in July. But on Thursday, the appeals court declined, without explanation, to revisit the case...

...The order from the D.C. Circuit indicates that none of the court’s 10 judges who reviewed the city’s petition asked for a vote on the request for rehearing.



If I'm reading this correctly, the judges just punted to the Supremes.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Sep 28, 2017, 10:18 PM (1 replies)

CBS: D.C. court rules tracking phones without a warrant is unconstitutional

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/d-c-court-rules-warrant-is-required-for-stingray-cell-phone-tracking/


Law enforcement use of one tracking tool, the cell-site simulator, to track a suspect's phone without a warrant violates the Constitution, the D.C. Court of Appeals said Thursday in a landmark ruling for privacy and Fourth Amendment rights as they pertain to policing tactics

The ruling could have broad implications for law enforcement's use of cell-site simulators, which local police and federal agencies can use to mimic a cell phone tower to the phone connect to the device instead of its regular network...

...D.C. Metropolitan Police's use of such cell-site simulator technology to nab suspect Prince Jones in 2013 "violated the Fourth Amendment," the court decided against the U.S. government on Thursday.

"We thus conclude that under ordinary circumstances, the use of a cell-site simulator to locate a person through his or her cellphone invades the person's actual, legitimate and reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her location information and is a search," the court ruling said. "The government's argument to the contrary is unpersuasive."

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Sep 22, 2017, 02:48 PM (2 replies)

One officer left standing after indictments of Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force members

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-ci-clewell-gun-task-force-20170905-story.html

Baltimore Police Det. John Clewell worked nearly two years on the department’s gun trace task force — an elite unit that raided homes throughout the city searching for firearms in an effort to quell historic rates of violence.

We’re “the ‘make stuff happen’ police,” Clewell told a Northeast Baltimore couple whose apartment he raided in April 2015, according to his own account of the incident in charging documents.

Now Clewell is the only member of the task force who has not been indicted on federal racketeering charges.

The rest of the unit has been accused of robbing suspects, filing false paperwork and committing overtime fraud. Seven members were indicted by a federal grand jury in March; an eighth was indicted in August.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Sep 15, 2017, 10:57 PM (4 replies)

The siting of the biohazard lab in Boston is equally fucked up:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/07/27/boston-university-biohazard-lab-classic-white-elephant-should-stay-that-way/JJjpKtpLe5N7GHjSGKLXML/story.html

Boston University’s Biohazard lab is a classic white elephant. Should it stay that way?
By Adrian Walker Globe Columnist July 28, 2014
4-5 minutes

Boston University’s $200 million biohazard lab in the South End is like no other building in the city.

The lab is visible from Albany Street but its entrance isn’t, which is part of the security plan for a place where scientists could eventually perform research on some of the most hazardous materials on earth. Walls and floors are roughly twice the thickness of a normal building.

It is built to withstand hurricanes, and its director brags that it will be the safest building in town if another earthquake ever strikes.

It is a lab, tucked in a densely populated neighborhood, that would operate with the most sensitive of designations, BSL-4. That denotes a lab that does research on deadly substances, ones with no vaccines or treatment. The pathogens, if mishandled, would almost certainly prove lethal.


https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/12/24/biolab-gets-cdc-green-light-for-level-research-but-still-needs-city-approval/xgYk6jljuTOyohcWRySTNI/story.html

BU biolab gets CDC green light for Level 4 research, but still needs city approval
By Evan Allen and Felicia Gans Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent December 24, 2016
6-8 minutes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory to operate on Boston University’s medical campus in the South End, according to the Boston Public Health Commission.

Scientists in the National Emerging Infectious Diseases lab would have clearance to study the world’s deadliest pathogens, such as Ebola. The biolab still needs to win approval from the city’s health commission before that research can begin.


It's not just the immediate neighborhood that has to worry; it's about a block from the
Southeast Expressway/I-93 and easily visible to commuters when they're
stuck in traffic during rush hour. Anything airborne that got loose
would get distributed rapidly all over the South Shore...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Aug 31, 2017, 02:13 PM (0 replies)
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