YES, THEY WANT TO TAKE YOUR GUNS AWAY
We do indeed know there are ways to stop gun violence in the United States, yet we adamantly refuse to name them. The perennial national conversation about guns is predictably stale because its contestantsthose favoring a largely unfettered right to personal gun ownership and those opposing itare talking past each other. Prevarication characterizes the debate, as each side adheres to a core principle that, for reasons of propriety and political calculation, it is unwilling to admit publicly.
For the gun-control side, the unspoken belief is that nothing short of all out confiscation will have an appreciable effect on decreasing gun deaths. Then again, its not that unspokengun-control advocates just prefer tergiversation to clarity. Democratic candidates, officeholders, and liberal websites frequently invoke the example of Australia, for example. After a 1996 shooting rampage killed 35 people, the Australian government outlawed an array of firearms and instituted a compulsory buyback program that effectively eliminated private gun ownership. Since then, gun violence has dropped precipitously.
Rarely in American gun-control advocates references to the Australian policy, however, do they acknowledge that the program amounted to confiscation. ...
Holding up Australia as a model of sensible gun policy without mentioning how that government forced its citizens to turn over their weapons is like praising Chinese population-control efforts without mentioning the one-child policy.
These advocates of gun control note the efficacy of the confiscations they only hint at while sidestepping the fact that none of the restrictive measures they explicitly endorsebanning so-called assault weapons, limiting the size of magazines, or requiring background checks on the private transfer of firearmswould have prevented these mass shootings, committed as they were by individuals using legally obtained firearms that did not fall under the definition of assault weapon.
To understand why, we must first recognize the incompatible nature of the values at stake. Those advocating for stricter gun laws believe that the harm produced by private gun possession outweighs whatever benefits it entails.
Hobby Lobby invests in contraceptive, abortion drug manufacturers
It's peculiar how a group of individuals who are so devoted to their religious beliefs that they demand the very laws of the nation be rewritten to accommodate them can be so lax about those same religious beliefs if ignoring them will net them a little dough.
Several of the mutual funds in Hobby Lobby's retirement plan have holdings in companies that manufacture the specific drugs and devices that the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, is fighting to keep out of Hobby Lobby's health care policies: the emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella, and copper and hormonal intrauterine devices.
So the company demands it not have to pay for any employee insurance that might purchase such things, but investing in their manufacture? Not a problem.
Oh, but it gets worse. The assertion from Sharia Lobby is that whether or not those contraceptives actually cause abortions, the company owners have a religious belief that they do, so the law must not only be rewritten to eliminate the possibility of the company spending money on abortifacients but rewritten to allow the company to deny insurance for anything that the company feels is an abortifacient. What's still all right, at least from the investor side of things, is actual abortions.
What fkn hypocrites!
X p GD
Via @nprbooks: The Case For Tammany Hall Being On The Right Side Of History
Back in 1900, when Americans in cities counted on ice to keep food, milk and medicines fresh, New York Mayor Robert Van Wyck's career ended when it emerged that a company given a monopoly on the ice business was doubling prices while giving the mayor and his cronies big payoffs.
Van Wyck was one of a long list of scoundrels associated with the political machine known as Tammany Hall, which influenced and at times dominated New York's Democratic Party for more than 100 years. Among its more notorious figures were William "Boss" Tweed, who went to jail for corruption, and George Washington Plunkitt, who's remembered for insisting there's a difference between honest and dishonest graft.
Historian Terry Golway has written a colorful history of Tammany Hall, which takes a more sympathetic view of the organization than many historians. He says the Tammany machine, while often corrupt, gave impoverished immigrants critically needed social services and a road to assimilation. According to Golway, Tammany was responsible for progressive state legislation that foreshadowed the New Deal. He writes that some of Tammany's harshest critics, including cartoonist Thomas Nast, openly exhibited a raw anti-Irish and anti-Catholic prejudice.
Golway tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, "What I'm trying to do in this book is present this other side of Tammany Hall. ... Every history of Tammany Hall is told as a true-crime novel, and what I'm trying to suggest is that there's this other side. I'm arguing, yes, the benefits that Tammany Hall brought to New York and to the United States [do] outweigh the corruption with which it is associated. I'm simply trying to complicate that story... Tammany Hall was there for the poor immigrant who was otherwise friendless in New York."
Thu, Oct 22nd, 2015
Republican Legislation Will Use Religion to Defund Planned Parenthood and Obamacare
There are myriad reasons for Americans to have animus for the media, and one will add that those same Americans should hold their political representatives in contempt for covering over a gross violation of the Constitution on a fairly regular basis. It is stunning that no matter how simple and straightforward the Founding Fathers and Constitutions framers prohibited establishing religion by government fiat, there has been a very successful crusade to pass federal and state laws founded on some bizarre bastardized version of the Christian religion. Tomorrow, House Republicans are slated to pass filibuster-proof legislation founded on religion.
Now, it does not matter if it is the President of the United States, womens reproductive rights advocates, or even religious Republicans favorite target, Planned Parenthood, they portray the religious attacks on womens rights as ideological. ... Passing legislation to control womens sexuality and deny their constitutional right to choose their reproductive health is NOT ideologically driven; it is driven by religion.
Tomorrow, the religious Republicans in the House are expected to pass a bill that will use the reconciliation process with the Senate to, as a Catholic website steeped in mendacity wrote: put a quick end to the Planned Parenthood abortion business that was caught red-handed, on video, selling dead babies and their body parts. Apparently, it is not just religious Republicans that lie pathologically. The Catholics are still livid that after the House approved a Planned Parenthood defunding measure in the resolution to keep government open, the dirty Senate Democrats defeated the bill and went ahead and funded the government instead of shutting it or Planned Parenthood down.
One really wonders why Catholics, like evangelicals, never pick up their holy bible and take a look at, and contemplate, the ninth commandment that forbids lying. ...
The religious right has been on a crusade to destroy Planned Parenthood since Reagans first term when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) persuaded them to make abolishing contraception and abortion its cause célèbre to inspire Christians to elect more Republicans. This present attack, based on heavily-edited, and universally discredited, videos depicting Planned Parenthood as ripping fully-formed live babies apart and selling off the body parts is just the weapon du jour in the religious assault on women. The proof Republicans are pandering to the USCCB and evangelical fanatics is that three of the Republicans condemning Planned Parenthoods practice of donating fetal tissue for research the loudest voted for the legislation that allows it to do so.
In 1993, the United States Congress passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act which allowed research on human fetal tissue regardless of whether or not the tissue came from a voluntary abortion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voted for that bill, and so did Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Fred Upton (R-MI). Now, all three of the cretins have joined the USCCB and extremist evangelicals in condemning the practice as patently illegal and plotting the demise of Planned Parenthood for adhering religiously to that law.
It is not very often, if ever, that Republicans, or any of their conservative cohort, tell the truth; it just is not a part of their character. However, for some mysterious reason a few of them are abandoning their penchant for mendacity as of late. First it was House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) coming clean about the Benghazi Select Committee illegally using taxpayer money for the RNCs 2016 presidential campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Then it was the typical lying Mormon Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) being honest and confessing that he could find no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood despite a very thorough and comprehensive investigation. Now, unbelievably, an anti-choice activist was honest in boasting that the attacks on Planned Parenthood, and womens reproductive rights in general, have absolutely nothing to do with abortion and everything to do with controlling when women have sexual relations; something evangelicals and Catholics consider a mortal sin unless it is in servitude to a man or to produce offspring.
When Republicans and their evangelical base were desperate to restrict womens access to any form of birth control, one of the complaints was that just the idea of a woman, married or not, having consequence free sex was an abomination that religious Republicans would not allow or condone. In their minds there has to be a severe, usually an 18 year and nine month, consequence for any woman who has sexual relations; even when their man demands being serviced and the woman is ill. Now, a representative of one of the anti-choice cabals planning to harass Planned Parenthood clinics around the nation this weekend has admitted that the crusade against Planned Parenthood is a purely religious assault founded on ending the corrupt sexual ethic of promoting sex not intended for procreation.
The spokeswoman for Citizens for a Pro-Life Society explained why evangelicals, the personhood movement, anti-choice fascists, Catholic bishops, and their Republican facilitators are so intent on destroying Planned Parenthood, and it is not about banning abortion or protecting zygotes and fetuses. Monica Miller is one of this weekends harass Planned Parenthood rally organizers who was honest and angry when she said,
Planned Parenthood from the top to the bottom is a corrupt organization corrupt in its view of the sanctity of life and corrupt in its view of human sexuality. I say even if Planned Parenthood didnt perform one single abortion, just the mere fact that its sexual ethic is corrupted means right there, should be the reason right there, that they should not receive any federal money. The kind of sexual ethic that Planned Parenthood promotes is sex for recreation, sex for mere pleasure.
As if we didn't know... Fkn theocratic, self-righteous misogynists
x p GD
By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson
So much for their claim to stand against moral relativism. There is nothing more morally relativistic than a Republican who wants to scare people into doing what they want.
Back to Bachmann: She is wrong. We are not suffering Gods punishment, but our own. This sort of bizarre utterance should never have become so familiar to us that we barely bat an eye anymore. And it neednt have.
... irrational actions in Congress, is obviously a problem for not only the world but for the rest of us, who find ourselves hostage to volatile and unstable right-wing ideologues who rival the Islamic State for extremism. ...
We often say that the GOPs current problems with extremism (in the form of Donald Trump most spectacularly) are self-created, and they are. But we cannot ignore our own guilt in tolerating the intolerable.
For far too long Americans have tolerated this nonsense. ...
How journalism helps lunacy become reality
If the US is to return to a fact-based world, reporters need to recommit to objective reality
by Larry Beinhart
After the second prime-time Republican presidential debate on Sept. 16, The New York Times published an astonishing editorial. It said the candidates must be no longer living in a fact-based world and described what they said as a collection of assertions so untrue, so bizarre that they form a vision as surreal as the Ronald Reagan jet looming behind the candidates lecterns.
It was about time that someone as authoritative as The New York Times editorial board said it as bluntly as that.
One of the things that made the editorial so striking is that the news coverage of the same events, in the same paper as well as in the rest of the media, treated what the candidates said as almost entirely unremarkable.
That prompts interesting questions. Why was this only an editorial? Why wasnt it in the news? Shouldnt it be newsworthy that the leading contenders for the Republican nomination are no longer living in a fact-based world and that what they say is untrue bizarre surreal?
Don Blankenship faces more prison time for lying to Wall Street than 29 deaths at Upper Big Branch
With Don Blankenship, the notorious former Massey Energy CEO, about to go on trial for multiple charges stemming from the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion that killed 29 miners in 2010, Mother Jones' Tim Murphy takes an in-depth look at Blankenship's brutal business practices and consolidation of political power in West Virginia. The whole thing is worth a read, but a couple points stand out for what they say about the state of workplace safety protections in this country:
All but one of the charges he faces, a pattern of violation that the UMWA dubbed "industrial homicide," carry light sentences, adding up to a maximum of six years in prison. What threatens to put the 65-year-old away for decades are two allegedly false statements Massey submitted in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission: "We do not condone any violation of MSHA regulations," and "we strive to be in compliance with all regulations at all times," Blankenship informed investors, even as his company was allegedly outflanking the regulatory system. It's the mining equivalent of busting Al Capone for tax evasion.
"I have all the respect in hell that at least somebody was able to say, 'Wait a minute, that isn't right,'" says Bruce Stanley, who represented Caperton in his suit against Massey. "But he's up for what, a possible 30-year sentence? Well, there's only one count that puts that kind of mileage on it. That's the one that says he lied to Wall Street. When it comes to human lives, he gets maybe a year."
Time and time again, we see how little the law values workers' lives. It's startlingly rare for an executive to face charges for worker deaths, no matter how gross the negligence and contempt for human life. And the laws aren't getting stronger any time soon:
Discovery News video
Vid of elks on a trampoline: why animals play
(Couldn't link vid)
UPDATE X4: The Planned Parenthood Scandal - It's Acorn Part II
I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that I've performed research which proves that the PLANNED PARENTHOOD scandal is just what we all thought it was - heavily edited video manipulated to give a FALSE IMPRESSION about Planned Parenthood. Since it worked so well the last time, certain SCOUNDRELS on the right are now trying to "pull an ACORN" on Planned Parenthood. Please recall that the ACORN VIDEO created by a certain James O'Keefe - you know the one - and which pretty much ran 24x7 on the FOX NEWS channel, was ultimately found by several STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL to be heavily edited:
And yet, ACORN was DEFUNDED by Congress and is now part of Yesterland. -snip-
The good news is that ANYONE can perform my EASILY REPEATABLE research and see for themselves that "Carly" Fiorina (née Cara Carleton Sneed) is a tremendously capable ACTRESS and LIAR. -snip-
... THREE EASY STEPS to see that "Carly" made a BALDFACED lie about Planned Parenthood at the GOP DEBATE.
STEP 1) Visit Factcheck.org, and read what they have to say about Unspinning the Planned Parenthood Video ...
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