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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Member since: Mon Sep 24, 2012, 12:07 PM
Number of posts: 2,089

Journal Archives

Sweden resisted a lockdown, and its capital Stockholm is expected to reach 'herd immunity' in weeks

Source: CNBC

Unlike its neighbors, Sweden did not impose a lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The strategy — aimed at building a broad-base of immunity while protecting at-risk groups like the elderly — has proved controversial.

But Sweden’s chief epidemiologist has said “herd immunity” could be reached in Stockholm within weeks.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/22/no-lockdown-in-sweden-but-stockholm-could-see-herd-immunity-in-weeks.html

Trump and most of the DU community agree on something, sadly

Oh, the irony


"Yesterday I took responsibility for content that appeared on my page that was clearly racist and offensive. I will not excuse the content of the photo. It was offensive, racist and despicable. I was seeing it for the first time. I was unaware of what was on my page. I was appalled that they appeared on my page," Northam said at a lengthy press conference at Virginia's Executive Mansion.
"I believe now I am not either of the people in that photo. It is disgusting, offensive, racist," Northam said.

. . . .

President Donald Trump took multiple shots at the Democrat on Saturday night, tweeting, "Democrat Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia just stated, 'I believe that I am not either of the people in that photo.' This was 24 hours after apologizing for appearing in the picture and after making the most horrible statement on 'super' late term abortion. Unforgivable."

Polls are Packed in Georgia!

In 30 years I have never seen my polling place so packed for ANY election. I’m in Georgia’s 6th in a location that has been transitioning from red to purple. 30+ min lines in the rain when normally there is no wait.


The Supreme Court Is Headed Back to the 19th Century

So I have tried to keep to the posting rules of limiting my excerpt to no more than 4 paragraphs (on edit - I couldn't do it - five paragraphs below). Please go read the whole thing. It is far more powerful as a fully conceived thesis. Warning, this deals with a violent and disturbing part of our history.


When the Louisiana State Militia finally arrived at the Colfax courthouse on April 15, 1873, all it could do was bury the bodies. Two days earlier, a large force of white supremacists had taken control of the courthouse from the mostly black faction protecting it. J. R. Beckwith, the U.S. attorney for New Orleans, told Congress that in the aftermath the ground was “strewn with dead negroes,” their bodies plundered by whites who had come to watch the bloodshed. The dead remained “unburied and mutilated,” Beckwith said, until federal troops arrived days later to shovel them into a mass grave.

Seventy-two men were ultimately indicted for their role in the Colfax massacre, charged under the Enforcement Acts of 1870, which were passed to help the federal government suppress the Ku Klux Klan. But their convictions were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, which concluded that the federal government lacked the authority to charge the perpetrators. Justice Joseph Bradley, a Grant appointee, wrote that the United States had not clearly stated that the accused, in slaughtering more than 100 black men, had “committed the acts complained of with a design to deprive the injured persons of their rights on account of their race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” And it wouldn’t have mattered if they had, argued the Grant-appointed Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, because the Fourteenth Amendment’s powers did not cover discrimination by individuals, only by the state. “The only obligation resting upon the United States is to see that the States do not deny the right,” Waite wrote. “This the amendment guarantees, but no more. The power of the national government is limited to the enforcement of this guaranty.”

The decision in Cruikshank set a pattern that would hold for decades. Despite being dominated by appointees from the party of abolition, the Court gave its constitutional blessing to the destruction of America’s short-lived attempt at racial equality piece by piece. By the end, racial segregation would be the law of the land, black Americans would be almost entirely disenfranchised, and black workers would be relegated to a twisted simulacrum of the slave system that existed before the Civil War.

The article then illustrates the direct line from this decision, to Plessy v. Feurguson to the decisions to allow internment of the Americans of Japanese descent, to the current Muslim immigration restrictions just recently allowed to stand by the Roberts Courts, echoing the same absurd "facially neutral" analysis used by the court in its darkest days to uphold racist policies of the executive and legislative branches.

The Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of due process, however, did not go to waste. As the Republican Party abandoned its black constituency in the South, it became more dependent on, and shaped by, its corporate benefactors, which profited handsomely from being granted rights and protections denied to black Americans. As the historian Nell Irvin Painter has written: “The Court increasingly used the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to protect corporations from state regulation rather than the civil rights of persons.” In case after case, “the U.S. Supreme Court had come to embrace the logic of corporations,” Painter wrote in Standing at Armageddon, her history of the Gilded Age. “These decisions outlawed virtually any attempt by states to limit maximum hours of work, of unions to strike, and of the federal government to curb or regulate monopolies or to curb the accumulation of vast fortunes.”

This, combined with the vast disenfranchisement of voters, has allowed a minority party to once again impose its will upon the oppressed.

With Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, there is no discriminatory voting restriction the justices will be unable to sanction, no immigration law born in animus they will be unable to approve, no expansion of corporate power they will be unable to accept, no grant of presidential immunity they will be unable to uphold, no financial or environmental regulation they will be unable to strike down, no religious objection to an antidiscrimination law they will be unable to recognize, no worker protection they will be unable to repeal, no limitation on abortion they will be unable to allow, and no abuse of power by law enforcement they will feel compelled to restrict. While the Roberts Court will never explicitly endorse a white man’s government in the way the Redemption Court did, in pursuit of other cherished ideological goals it will be asked to pave the road for a white man’s government by another name.

We are at yet another turning point in our history. It is easy to brush this off and say our democracy will survive, as it always has, but this ignores the sacrifices and pain and death our ancestors had to suffer every time the Republicans and their founders sought to subvert justice and liberty.

Do two things. Read this article and pass it along. Then Vote. If you can only do one, Vote.

Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web


Here are some things that you will hear when you sit down to dinner with the vanguard of the Intellectual Dark Web: There are fundamental biological differences between men and women. Free speech is under siege. Identity politics is a toxic ideology that is tearing American society apart. And we’re in a dangerous place if these ideas are considered “dark.”

I was meeting with Sam Harris, a neuroscientist; Eric Weinstein, a mathematician and managing director of Thiel Capital; the commentator and comedian Dave Rubin; and their spouses in a Los Angeles restaurant to talk about how they were turned into heretics. A decade ago, they argued, when Donald Trump was still hosting “The Apprentice,” none of these observations would have been considered taboo.

. . . .

What is the I.D.W. and who is a member of it? It’s hard to explain, which is both its beauty and its danger.

Most simply, it is a collection of iconoclastic thinkers, academic renegades and media personalities who are having a rolling conversation — on podcasts, YouTube and Twitter, and in sold-out auditoriums — that sound unlike anything else happening, at least publicly, in the culture right now. Feeling largely locked out of legacy outlets, they are rapidly building their own mass media channels.

. . . .

But they all share three distinct qualities. First, they are willing to disagree ferociously, but talk civilly, about nearly every meaningful subject: religion, abortion, immigration, the nature of consciousness. Second, in an age in which popular feelings about the way things ought to be often override facts about the way things actually are, each is determined to resist parroting what’s politically convenient. And third, some have paid for this commitment by being purged from institutions that have become increasingly hostile to unorthodox thought — and have found receptive audiences elsewhere.

Long form article, interesting read. Reminds me a lot of DU!

How to Buy a Gun in 15 Countries

Really interesting article in the NYTimes today about what it takes to buy a gun in different countries. I'm on the record for supporting your right to buy a gun but adding a lot more oversight and regulation for the protection of society. In this article, I particularly like the approach Japan takes, with some changes (I would strike item 1, increase the frequency of of the classes in item 2, strike item 5, and I don't understand item 7):


Japan 1) Join a hunting or shooting club. 2) Take a firearm class and pass a written exam, which is held up to three times a year. 3) Get a doctor’s note saying you are mentally fit and do not have a history of drug abuse. 4) Apply for a permit to take firing training, which may take up to a month. 5) Describe in a police interview why you need a gun. 6) Pass a review of your criminal history, gun possession record, employment, involvement with organized crime groups, personal debt and relationships with friends, family and neighbors. 7) Apply for a gunpowder permit. 8) Take a one-day training class and pass a firing test. 9) Obtain a certificate from a gun dealer describing the gun you want. 10) Buy a gun safe and an ammunition locker that meet safety regulations. 11) Allow the police to inspect your gun storage. 12) Pass an additional background review. 13) Buy a gun.

Deputies respond to active shooter at Florida high school

Source: NYPost

CBS 4 Miami texted with a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland — near Fort Lauderdale — who said they’re hiding in the closet.

“All of a sudden there was a really loud noise… people are crying in the closet,” the student wrote to CBS 4.

The outlet reported a number of people could be seen from their newscopter being loaded into ambulances on a stretcher.

Coral Springs police advised students and teachers in the locked-down school should remain barricaded until officers reach them.

Read more: https://nypost.com/2018/02/14/deputies-respond-to-reports-of-active-shooter-at-high-school/

There were 14 school shootings in January, 2018 (https://www.madisondodgeronline.com/opinion/2018/02/09/fourteen-school-shootings-have-happened-as-of-february-1st-2018/). I do not know how many have happened so far in February.

NRA: "But now is not the time to talk about school shootings" (said after every school shooting).

CNN Op Ed: Pelosi and the Democrats sold out the Dreamers

Author: Greisa Martinez Rosas would qualify for the Dream Act and serves as the Advocacy Director of United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country

This week, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke in Congress for eight hours straight about immigrant youth. She shared our stories and called for passage of the Dream Act. Yet, while she was speaking, Democratic and Republican party leaders were writing a budget deal that would leave protections for immigrant youth out in exchange for dollars on other projects.


At a CNN town hall one year ago, House Speaker Paul Ryan told my friend Angelica that she would be safe, yet we now live in danger of being picked up and taken to detention centers by Donald Trump's Immigration and Customs Enforcement squads.


Earlier this week, the Senate's Democratic Leader, Chuck Schumer, crafted a deal that, cruelly, will do nothing to stop the pain and the deportations. And Thursday night, Nancy Pelosi failed to whip her caucus to use its leverage to protect us, as 73 Democrats voted with Republicans for the budget deal and secured nothing from Paul Ryan.


Leader Pelosi, House Democrats and the Republicans who say they stand with immigrant youth and the promise of Lady Liberty have a decision to make.


538: The One County in America that Voted both Trump and Obama in a Landslide


In the year since President Trump pulled off his stunning upset of Hillary Clinton, Democrats have blamed the result on all kinds of factors: James Comey’s letter, Russian hackers, voter suppression, Jill Stein’s candidacy and depressed African-American turnout, to name a few. The truth? In an election decided by fractions of percentage points, it’s easy to call just about anything a difference-maker.

But none of that gets at the heart of why so many people who cast a ballot for former president Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 — and who saw Trump as unqualified to be president — nonetheless voted for him. Although it’s far from a microcosm of the nation, there’s one place that I believe illustrates what happened in 2016 better than anything else.

. . .

Contrary to the “Trump Country” stereotype, Howard County isn’t drowning in manufacturing job losses, high unemployment or an opioid crisis. In fact, its unemployment rate the month before the election was just 2.9 percent. The main gripe? Stagnant wages — and a gnawing feeling that people have been working harder and for longer hours while other parts of the country reaped much bigger rewards during the recovery from the Great Recession.

“When Trump said, ‘What the hell do you have to lose?’ a lot more people heard it than just African-Americans,” said Pat Murray, a Democrat who worked 29 years as a press brake operator at Donaldson and now serves on the Howard County Board of Supervisors. “Our wages have been stagnant, and our insurance has gone backwards,” he told me, citing the union-sponsored health plan’s surging deductibles. “We work 50, 60 hours a week because there’s no one to hire.”

Clinton came to be seen as establishment and dishonest in a year when a plurality of voters wanted change. But in a baffling display of obliviousness, she spent much of the fall jetting between big-city rallies, which were often followed by closed-door, high-dollar fundraisers. She spent precious little time making her economic case before people in midsize cities or small towns like Cresco. And even though she outspent Trump $6.5 million to $2.2 million on Iowa’s airwaves, her ads were more about Trump’s antics than about how she would raise voters’ wages or how Trump might lower them — effectively ceding that ground to Trump’s utopian jobs promises and inescapable slogan.

. . .

Howard County wasn’t always a train wreck for Clinton. Ironically, in the epic 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Clinton ran as the candidate of labor and small-town America, rallying union halls, downing whiskey and beer for the cameras, and blasting Obama’s speeches as “elitist and out of touch.” She came in third place statewide and only carried 22 of Iowa’s 99 counties in that year’s caucuses. But Howard was one of the 22 she won.

By 2016, however, Howard County morphed into Sanders territory. The Vermont senator struck a nerve with his calls for a working-class revolution and his attacks on Clinton’s Wall Street ties and shifting rhetoric on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

. . .

To rebuild lost trust and win support, future Democrats face the twin challenges of, first, persuading voters that Trump is on track to negatively affect their livelihoods and, second, reclaiming the mantle of working-class hero that every successful Democratic nominee has embraced since vaudeville ruled the stage at the Cresco Theatre.

“My dad told me, ‘You’ll never be rich enough to be a true-blue Republican,’” Bigley recalled. “Now there’s too much darn money in politics, on both sides.” His advice to his party? “Get out here in the sticks and roll around with us common folks for a week or two.”

This is a really interesting article. I imagine a bunch of folks will want to shout down its points and yell about Russian influence and voter suppression. Those are real issues. But so is the Democratic Party's disconnect with rural voters. I know a lot of these people. Howard County is not an outlier. If average, working Americans buy into this "both sides are elitist" arguments (they are) and just want to "shake things up", we need to do a helluva better job selling our message. Because the Democratic message is the opposite of elitist when it comes to economic issues.
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