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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 11:47 AM
Number of posts: 14,804

Journal Archives

Lexington (Massachusetts) man backs off proposed town ban on ‘assault weapons’

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/03/17/lexington-man-backs-off-proposed-town-ban-assault-weapons/8y9tnikn1w7aERm1RK2JDM/story.html

A Lexington man who proposed a local ban on “assault weapons” has switched gears after polling his fellow Town Meeting members, and will instead move forward with a nonbinding resolution urging state legislators to strengthen Massachusetts gun laws...

...About 150 gun advocates from Lexington and across the state spoke out at a Board of Selectmen’s meeting earlier this month against Rotberg’s proposal to ban certain types of semi-automatic weapons in town...

...But after hearing from about half of the town’s 201 elected Town Meeting members in an informal survey, Rotberg found that while some wanted to press forward with the ban, a “more sizable and vocal group wanted no part of the motion as presented.”



The disinterested reader will note the proposed bylaw got little support and
was opposed 30-2 by speakers at the earlier meeting:


https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/03/09/gun-rights-advocates-decry-proposal-ban-semi-automatic-weapons-lexington/IluT5ejbIhwzk2ieWGxK9J/story.html

Once again, the purported 'silent majority' that supposedly wants more gun control turns
out to not actually exist...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Mar 22, 2016, 11:43 PM (2 replies)

GOP Politicians Planned And Participated In Key Aspects Of Refuge Occupation

http://www.opb.org/news/series/burns-oregon-standoff-bundy-militia-news-updates/republican-gop-politicians-coalition-western-states/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

On a cold January morning, a posse led by a former Army company commander named Matt Shea rolled into the Harney County Courthouse and wanted to speak to the sheriff.

But this wasn’t a group of militants, or outlaws. They were state lawmakers from four western states, including Oregon. Most of them were members of a group called the Coalition of Western States, or COWS...

...They were hoping to talk directly with Sheriff David Ward and convince him to support the armed militants at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Instead, COWS members would meet that day with a Harney County deputy and a sheriff from another county, an FBI agent and other local officials...

...COWS representatives visited the refuge, which was closed to the public. The lawmakers acknowledge they fed the militants information gathered from that meeting, and militant leaders talked openly about what they learned from those disclosures.


Can we say "RICO act violations"? Good! I *knew* we could.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Mar 18, 2016, 09:03 PM (7 replies)

It Took a FOIA Lawsuit to Uncover How the Obama Administration Killed FOIA Reform

https://news.vice.com/article/it-took-a-foia-lawsuit-to-uncover-how-the-obama-administration-killed-foia-reform


By Jason Leopold
March 9, 2016 | 9:50 am

The Obama administration has long called itself the most transparent administration in history. But newly released Department of Justice (DOJ) documents show that the White House has actually worked aggressively behind the scenes to scuttle congressional reforms designed to give the public better access to information possessed by the federal government.

The documents were obtained by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports journalism in the public interest, which in turn shared them exclusively with VICE News. They were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) — the same law Congress was attempting to reform. The group sued the DOJ last December after its FOIA requests went unanswered for more than a year.

The documents confirm longstanding suspicions about the administration's meddling, and lay bare for the first time how it worked to undermine FOIA reform bills that received overwhelming bipartisan support and were unanimously passed by both the House and Senate in 2014 — yet were never put up for a final vote.

Moreover, a separate set of documents obtained by VICE News in response to a nearly two-year-old FOIA request provides new insight into how the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also tried to disrupt Congress's FOIA reform efforts, which would have required those agencies to be far more transparent when responding to records requests.


Those documents can be found at the following link (*.pdf files):

https://freedom.press/sites/default/files/foia_final_release.pdf
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Mar 13, 2016, 07:19 PM (8 replies)

"An A-to-Z Guide to Bullshit Alternative Medicine on YouTube"

A very, very funny piece with some truly jaw-droppingly stupid videos:

http://gizmodo.com/an-a-to-z-guide-to-bullshit-alternative-medicine-on-you-1762739184
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat Mar 5, 2016, 08:48 PM (2 replies)

Zika is expected to infect 1 in 5 Puerto Ricans, raising threat to rest of U.S.

Source: Washington Post

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Zika has landed forcefully in America, in one of its poorest and most vulnerable corners, a debt-ridden territory lacking a functioning health-care system, window screens and even a spray that works against the mosquitoes spreading the virus in homes, workplaces, schools and parks.

There are 117 confirmed cases of the virus in Puerto Rico, four times the number at the end of January. The island territory, which has a population of 3.5 million people, is “by far the most affected area” in the United States, Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Friday. The number will almost certainly rise sharply in coming weeks, making it ever more likely that the virus will spread to the continental United States...

The growing outbreak has laid bare how deeply Puerto Rico’s debt crisis has cut public programs, including basic health and environmental control services needed to fight the virus. Most homes and public schools — and even some medical facilities — don’t have window screens. A specialist in birth defects at Puerto Rico’s top hospital has trouble obtaining basic supplies, such as toner for his office printer. There are hundreds of abandoned houses — not only in low- and middle-income neighborhoods but also in gated communities — because owners have fled to the mainland as a result of the economic crisis.

...Experts say urgent action is needed before mosquitoes reach their peak with the start of the rainy season in April. Experts from the CDC estimate that 700,000 people — about 20 percent of the population — could be infected across the island by the end of the year, based on previous outbreaks of dengue and chikungunya, related viral diseases.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/zika-is-expected-to-infect-1-in-5-puerto-ricans-raising-threat-to-rest-of-us/2016/02/29/c1288e30-db62-11e5-891a-4ed04f4213e8_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_zikapuertorico_2pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory



Scary stuff.

If this article is correct, expect the number of Zika cases to explode in Florida over the next year-
they've already had scattered outbreaks of dengue fever, which is spread by the same
mosquito species, Aedes aegypti
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Mar 1, 2016, 12:29 AM (6 replies)
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