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Member since: Tue Jun 29, 2004, 07:38 PM
Number of posts: 31,521

Journal Archives

Question about Spousal Privilege Re: Mateen's wife

I thought spouse's could not be compelled to testify against their spouses even if the communication involved illegal behavior. And I thought this extended to reporting criminal behavior. Looks like I was wrong.

Sources: Grand jury to investigate Orlando shooter's widow

(CNN)Federal investigators digging for clues in the Orlando nightclub massacre are zeroing in on Noor Salman, the widow of gunman Omar Mateen.

What did Salman know of his plans and what might she have done to stop him? Authorities have been trying to pin her down after she apparently gave conflicting statements about what she knew of his intentions in the hours before the attack.

A U.S. attorney plans to bring evidence before a federal grand jury to determine whether charges will be brought, according to two law enforcement officials.

Gun sales surge among gays, lesbians after Orlando shooting

I'm not sure how this data is being collected or tracked (more like anecdotes), but the 233% increase in Pink Pistols membership is quantifiable.


DENVER -- Gun sales are surging in the wake of Sunday’s deadly mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. The tragedy is generating new debate over gun control reform and the right to bear arms. Gun shops typically see a spike in customers after mass shootings. But this time, many are seeing shoppers they’ve never really seen before: More gays and lesbians.


However, what’s different this time around is the clientele. Mike Smith, a firearms instructor in Colorado Springs, is one of many closely tracking the sudden surge in gays and lesbians buying weapons.

“I think right now because of what happened, people are looking for answers,” he said. “You walk into a gun shop and you expect to see people, frankly, who look like me. I think we forget we’re a country of all people, not just people who fit that predetermined mold.”

The Pink Pistols is a national gun club for gays and lesbians. It saw its membership soar from about 1,500 members on Saturday to 3,500 on Monday.

Thank you, Bernie.

Thank you to Melanie, the little folkie who sang this mic drop song at Woodstock. You found the birthday in the sun, too. Its a great song sung with great attitude.

I'm the one
I found the birthday of the sun
But all things change
And I think it's the birthday of the rain
If I never said goodbye
To all that I've known
I would never be alone
But still I will not cry, no
I'm not finished yet
So wipe the smirk from your eyes
Because if I were to hang my head
I'd miss all the rainbows
And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
But you got to know I'm the one
I found the birthday of the sun
And all, all things change
And I'm sure it's the birthday of the rain.
If I never said goodbye
To all that I've known
I would never be alone
But still I'm gonna win
I'm not finished yet, world
So wipe the smirk from your chin
Because if I were to hang my head
I'd miss all the rainbows
And I'd drown in raindrops instead
But you gotta know I'm the one
And I found the birthday of the sun
And all things change they don't stay the same
And now I'm sure it's the birthday of the rain
And all things change
Happy Birthday to the rain

Do the admins have alternative accounts for posting anonymously?

I've always wondered if you three have or had alternative accounts for posting topics anonymously. I don't mean in the sock puppet sort of way. I could see you three having a desire to participate without the baggage of being an owner or admin.

I know I've see Skinner post, but still I wondered.

Just received an email request from Bernie to donate to him and Tim Canova.

Email excerpt:


My response:


eta: Here is a link to Tim Canova's campaign site with a donation link if you wish to donate directly.

Did anyone see this tonight on PBS? The Armor of Light By Abigail Disney & Kathleen Hughes

The Armor of Light

About the Film
The Armor of Light follows the journey of Evangelical minister Rob Schenck, who is trying to find the courage to preach about the growing toll of gun violence in America, and Lucy McBath, the mother of an unarmed teenager who was murdered in Florida and whose story cast a spotlight on the state’s “Stand Your Ground” laws.
Reverend Schenck, a well-known anti-abortion activist and long-time fixture on the political far right, breaks with orthodoxy by questioning whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life. In a series of uneasy conversations, Rev. Schenck is perplexed by the reactions of his friends and colleagues, most of whom are gun owners and adamant defenders of the 2nd Amendment, and who warn him away from this complex, politically explosive issue. Along the way, he meets Lucy McBath, also an Evangelical Christian, who decides to work with him. Lucy is on a difficult journey of her own, trying to make sense of the devastating loss of her murdered son, while using her grief to effect some kind of viable and effective political action where so many before her have failed.

The Armor of Light follows these allies through their trials of conscience, heartbreak, and rejection, as they bravely attempt to make others consider America’s gun culture through a moral lens. The film is also a glimpse at America's fractured political culture while demonstrating that it is, indeed, possible for people to come together across deep party lines to find common ground.


It was a really weird documentary about a born again, pro-life, anti-abortion, lobbyist Christian Minister who finds himself puzzled at his conservative congregations, friends, and colleagues were so often pro-2nd Amendment. The film follows him as he engages other Christians in a transparent attempt to turn them away from their pro-2nd orientations.

He claims that he is only concerned with the theological and moral crisis of gun ownership and gun violence, but it all leads to promoting restrictive legislation.

Everyone in the film (pro and anti) speaks in platitudes.

FWIW, I still recommend watching it.

"57% of Democrats and Democratic-leaners want Sanders to campaign until the Convention"


Since the primary season began, Sanders has won more than nine million votes and finished ahead of Clinton in eighteen states. (Clinton has won more than twelve million votes and won twenty-three states.) Sanders continues to attract large crowds—on Thursday he will be campaigning in West Virginia—and he seems likely to win more primaries in the coming weeks, including in West Virginia, on May 10th, and Oregon, on May 17th. If he were to end his campaign now, many of his supporters would be furious, and even some Democrats who aren’t necessarily backing him would be disappointed. According to new poll from NBC News/Survey Monkey, fifty-seven per cent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners want Sanders to campaign until the Convention, and just sixteen per cent think he should drop out now. Eighty-nine per cent of Sanders’s supporters said they wanted him to keep going until July. More surprisingly, perhaps, twenty-eight per cent of Clinton’s supporters agreed.

Georgia governor vetoes 'campus-carry' concealed gun bill

Full disclosure: I work and teach on GA campus and I didn't care how this turned out either way, but most of my colleagues were dead set against the legislation.

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday he has vetoed a bill allowing concealed handguns on college campuses, rejecting the proposal that was easily approved by a legislature controlled by his own party in an election year.

The bill would have allowed anyone age 21 and over to carry a concealed handgun with the proper permit on a public college or university campus. The veto decision comes weeks after Deal rejected a bill shielding opponents of gay marriage. That measure was backed by conservative groups but blasted by more than 500 Georgia companies as discriminatory.

Deal's decision to kill the bill isn't a complete surprise. After it passed the legislature, he asked members to pass follow-up bills addressing concerns about access to on-campus daycare centers, spaces where high schools students can take college-level courses and where disciplinary hearings are held. They declined, saying the original bill was carefully considered.

Deal, who is in his second and final term, said last week that he would "do what's in the best interests of as many Georgians as possible."

Veto Signing Statements Public Record -- I don't think I need to truncate to 4 paragraphs

Veto Number 9

HB 859 seeks to amend O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127.1, which relates to the carrying of weapons within school safety zones. It would add an exception to the prohibition of carrying or possessing a weapon in such school zones, to “any licensed holder when he or she is in any building or on real property owned or leased to any public technical school, vocational school, college or university or other public institution of postsecondary education,” except for “buildings or property used for athletic sporting events or student housing, including, but not limited to fraternity and sorority houses…”

Some supporters of HB 859 contend that this legislation is justified under the provisions of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides in part that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Identical words are contained in Article I, Section, I, Paragraph VIII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia. It would be incorrect to conclude, however, that certain restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms are unconstitutional.

In the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller, United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, writing the opinion of the Court, reviews the history of the Second Amendment and sets forth the most complete explanation of the Amendment ever embodied in a Supreme Court opinion. While the subject matter of HB 859 was not before the Court in the Heller case, the opinion clearly establishes that “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Justice Scalia further states that “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on…laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings…”

Georgia, like most jurisdictions, has set forth statutory provisions defining what constitutes those “sensitive places” and has imposed specific rules relating to the presence of weapons in those places. Indeed, the Georgia Code section which HB 859 seeks to amend is called the “Georgia Firearms and Weapons Act.”

Since the right to keep and bear arms in sensitive places such as those enumerated in HB 859 is not guaranteed by the Second Amendment nor the Georgia Constitution, the inquiry should then focus on whether or not those places deserve to continue to be shielded from weapons as they are and have been for generations in our state.

Perhaps the most enlightening evidence of the historical significance of prohibiting weapons on a college campus is found in the minutes of October 4, 1824, Board of Visitors of the newly created University of Virginia. Present for that meeting were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, along with four other members. In that meeting of the Board of Visitors, detailed rules were set forth for the operation of the University which would open several months later. Under the rules relating to the conduct of students, it provided that “No student shall, within the precincts of the University, introduce, keep or use any spirituous or venomous liquors, keep or use weapons or arms of any kind…”

The approval of these specific prohibitions relating to “campus carry” by the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the principal author of the United States Constitution should not only dispel any vestige of Constitutional privilege but should illustrate that having college campuses free of weapons has great historical precedent.

That college campuses should be a “gun free zone” is a concept that has deep roots in Georgia as well. In the 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly, HB 60 was passed and I signed it into law. That bill greatly expanded the areas where licensed gun owners could take their weapons. At that time, campus carry was considered but not adopted.

While there have been alarming incidents of criminal conduct on college campuses in which students have been victimized during the past two years, do those acts justify such a radical departure from the classification of colleges as “sensitive areas” where weapons are not allowed? The presumed justification is the need for students to provide their own self-protection against such criminal conduct. However, since students who are under 21 years of age would be ineligible to avail themselves of such protection under the terms of HB 859, it is safe to assume that a significant portion of the student body would be unarmed.

As for the buildings and places referred to in this legislation, I will simply call “colleges.” In order to carry a weapon onto a college, there is no requirement that the armed individual actually be a student, only that they possess a license to carry a weapon. Since most, if not all, of our colleges are open campuses, this bill will allow any licensed gun owner to bring a concealed weapon onto the campus and neither police nor other law enforcement personnel will be allowed to even ask the individual to produce evidence of his license.

If the intent of HB 859 is to increase safety of students on college campuses, it is highly questionable that such would be the result. However, I understand the concerns of the authors of this legislation and the parents and students who want it to become law. They apparently believe that the colleges are not providing adequate security on their campuses and that civilian police are not doing so on the sidewalks, streets and parking lots students use as they go to and come from classes.

I have today issued an Executive Order directed to the Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia and the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, requesting that they submit a report to me, the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House by August 1, 2016, as to the security measures that each college within their respective systems has in place. I hereby call on the leaders of the municipalities and counties in which these colleges are located, along with their law enforcement agencies to review and improve, if necessary, their security measures in areas surrounding these colleges. Since each of these municipalities and counties receive significant revenue by virtue of the location of these colleges in their jurisdictions, I believe it is appropriate that they be afforded extra protections.

Since much of the motivation for HB 859 is the commission of crimes involving the use of firearms on college campuses, I suggest to the General Assembly that it consider making the unauthorized possession and/or use of a firearm on a college campus an act that carries an increased penalty or an enhanced sentence for the underlying crime.

From the early days of our nation and state, colleges have been treated as sanctuaries of learning where firearms have not been allowed. To depart from such time-honored protections should require overwhelming justification. I do not find that such justification exists. Therefore, I VETO HB 859.

That last paragraph is pretty strong for a conservative GA governor. I'm not sure a few tweaks will satisfy him next year.

Hillary doesn't need or want Bernie's supporters votes in the general election.


Do What You Want: An Open Letter to the Bernie or Bust Movement on Behalf of the Democratic Party

Trevor LaFauci April 25, 2016
Dear Friends,

Over the past month, you've been in the news quite often for your political stance in which you've stated that the only candidate you will support this election cycle is Senator Bernie Sanders. This stance has drawn a range of reactions from people like Huffington Post's H. A. Goodman that support your dedication to your candidate to those like political comedian Bill Maher who have advised you to "not be assholes." Despite Bernie Sanders' recent willingness to support Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee if certain conditions are met, a number of you have continued your stance to support Sanders and Sanders alone. Polls have come out showing that you represent one-quarter of Senator Sanders' supporters. If we were to extrapolate that number out, it would mean over 2 million Democratic voters would be sitting out the 2016 general election, potentially creating an extremely close race or even a Republican victory. With so much at stake, you all are probably tired of all the advice you've been given so I'll do my best to cut to the heart of what I'd like you to know:

The Democratic Party doesn't want or need your vote.



Folks Who Have Seen Your Kind Before

Like I was saying.

edited to add: HRC and her supporters are saying and acting as if they don't want my vote. I've never said I won't vote for HRC or "Bernie or Bust", but I understand that point of view on a personal level. When HRC blows off any Bernie supporter, they they are blowing me off, too.

I've only been in Seattle for three days

And I think I'm in love with Seattle.

What a great city.

Comicon added some nice flavor to the convention area.

And it's restaurant week, too.
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