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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Feb 9, 2017, 12:31 PM
Number of posts: 7,582

Journal Archives

Gun-Maker Slammed for 'Children's Assault Rifles' Based on AR-15

"At first glance, this comes across as a grotesque joke," said one gun control advocate. "On second look, it's just grotesque."

Jessica Corbett
January 26, 2022

Gun control advocates on Wednesday sharply condemned an Illinois-based company for recently unveiling the JR-15, a long rifle inspired by the AR-15 but marketed for children.

Although it is under 2.5 pounds and 20% smaller than the standard version, the JR-15 "operates just like Mom and Dad's gun," WEE1 Tactical said in a statement. The weapon "functions like a modern sporting rifle," but its "lightweight and rugged polymer construction and ergonomics are geared towards children."

WEE1 Tactical launched the JR-15 earlier this month at an annual trade show sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is based in Newtown, Connecticut—where a gunman with an AR-15 murdered 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

"The callousness of the National Shooting Sports Foundation to promote a children's version of the same type of assault rifle that was used in a horrific mass shooting of 20 first graders and six educators in our shared community is just the latest proof that the organization, and the gun manufacturers it represents, will do anything in pursuit of continued profits," Po Murray, chairwoman of the Newtown Action Alliance, said Wednesday.


( Murika Proud. )

Want to Solve Wildfires and Drought? Leave it to BEAVERS!


Beavers offer lessons about managing water in a changing climate, whether the challenge is drought or floods

January 20, 2022

It’s no accident that both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology claim the beaver (Castor canadensis) as their mascots. Renowned engineers, beavers seem able to dam any stream, building structures with logs and mud that can flood large areas.

As climate change causes extreme storms in some areas and intense drought in others, scientists are finding that beavers’ small-scale natural interventions are valuable. In dry areas, beaver ponds restore moisture to the soil; in wet zones, their dams and ponds can help to slow floodwaters. These ecological services are so useful that land managers are translocating beavers in the U.S. and the United Kingdom to help restore ecosystems and make them more resilient to climate change.

Scientists estimate that hundreds of millions of beavers once dammed waterways across the Northern Hemisphere. They were hunted nearly to extinction for their fur in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe and North America but are making comebacks today in many areas. As a geoscientist specializing in water resources, I think it’s important to understand how helpful beavers can be in the right places and to find ways for humans to coexist with them in developed areas.


( I mean come on, they're so cute too. )

Trauma Lingers For Students Who Experienced Repeated Seclusion And Restraint

by Jillian Atelsek, The Frederick News-Post/TNS | January 25, 2022

FREDERICK, Md. — It was the first day of third grade, and James had been in school for 19 minutes.

By 9:20 a.m., the 8-year-old was locked in a padded, closet-sized room. He’d remain there, alone, for nearly three hours.

Though Maryland law is clear that no child may be kept in seclusion for more than 30 minutes, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) seemed to have found a loophole. In their logbook, staff recorded James’ seclusion time that day in half-hour chunks, according to discipline records provided by his mother and examined by The Frederick News-Post: 9:20 to 9:50. Then 9:51 to 10:21. Then 10:22 to 10:52. On and on until 12:08 p.m.

“From what he explained, sometimes they would pull him out and then shove him back in,” said James’ mom, Beth. “Sometimes they would open the door and then just close it again.”

( I can't begin to put in words how distressing this is to me. They don't know what they're doing and their response should be seen as criminal, IMO.)

Symposium: What would US intervention in Ukraine really look like?

Scholars, journalists, former military and intel officers weigh in on the wide-ranging costs of military aid and a clash with Russia.

January 24, 2022


A New York Times article late Sunday reports that the Pentagon has handed Biden several options that would shift American military assets much closer to Mr. Putin’s doorstep, including troops and warships and other military assets to allied countries in the region.

Responsible Statecraft asked a host of military and international relations scholars and journalists, as well as former military and intelligence officers, what it would look like if the United States decided to intervene to defend Ukraine. We asked them to answer the following prompt:

“Many in Washington, including media pundits, are saying the U.S. may have to get involved militarily— directly or indirectly — to defend Ukraine should Russia invade. Yet they do not expand on what that would actually mean in practice, or in costs. Based on your experience and expertise, if Washington decides to defend Ukraine against a Russian invasion, what kind of costs and repercussions would such a conflict incur (long and short-term), for the United States and for the region?”


A Free South : The Black Arts Movement and the politics of emancipation.

By Elias Rodriques
January 10, 2022

In the 1960s, the Free Southern Theater, an organization founded by a group of activists with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), traveled to a church in a predominantly Black, rural corner of Mississippi. There they staged Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, an absurdist drama about characters conversing as they wait for someone who never arrives. The play may have seemed like a strange choice—who would imagine that Beckett might connect with rural Black Americans in the throes of the civil rights movement?—but it found at least one admirer in civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer. “I guess we know something about waiting, don’t we?” Hamer said from the audience.

Everyone agreed, and as they discussed the play, the conversation eventually turned to slavery and prisons. “We had this incredible discussion with people who barely had a sixth-grade education,” Denise Nicholas, an actress in the Free Southern Theater, said later. And drama—even high-modernist, experimental drama—functioned as political education.

This was the Free Southern Theater’s goal. As cofounder John O’Neal recalled of its creation:


(Tweet) Be A King @BerniceKing: I want to encourage us today concerning voting rights legislation


( Is she awesome or what? The fight continues. )

Joint Statement of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races

January 14, 2022

The People’s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America consider the avoidance of war between Nuclear-Weapon States and the reduction of strategic risks as our foremost responsibilities.

We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. As nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that nuclear weapons—for as long as they continue to exist—should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression and prevent war. We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented.

We reaffirm the importance of addressing nuclear threats and emphasize the importance of preserving and complying with our bilateral and multilateral non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control agreements and commitments. We remain committed to our Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations, including our Article VI obligation “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.



In wondrous synchronicity, on Sept. 8, 2022, we will be commemorating the 65th anniversary of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda’s Declaration for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. On Sept. 8, 1957, in front of the 50,000 youth members in attendance at a Soka Gakkai youth festival, Mr. Toda entrusted all Soka Gakkai youth with the mission to abolish nuclear weapons. He famously declared: “We, the citizens of the world, have an inviolable right to live. Anyone who jeopardizes that right is a devil incarnate, a fiend, a monster.”[2]


Unions are not only good for workers, they're good for communities and for democracy

High unionization levels are associated with positive outcomes across multiple indicators of economic, personal, and democratic well-being

Report • By Asha Banerjee, Margaret Poydock, Celine McNicholas, Ihna Mangundayao, and Ali Sait • December 15, 2021

We know that unions promote economic equality and build worker power, helping workers to win increases in pay, better benefits, and safer working conditions.

But that’s not all unions do. Unions also have powerful effects on workers’ lives outside of work.

In this report, we document the correlation between higher levels of unionization in states and a range of economic, personal, and democratic well-being measures. In the same way unions give workers a voice at work, with a direct impact on wages and working conditions, the data suggest that unions also give workers a voice in shaping their communities. Where workers have this power, states have more equitable economic structures, social structures, and democracies.
Income and economic protections


The "War" on the War on Corporate Crime

After FTC Pledges to Fight Corporate Crime, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Accuses Agency of "Going Rogue"

Rick Claypool
Dec 2, 2021

One day after the FTC announced it is launching a criminal referral program to combat corporate crime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce accused the agency of “going rogue.”

FTC chair Khan’s statement announcing the program accurately observes, “Research shows that corporate actors can treat even seemingly high penalties as a cost of doing business, and the stock market price of defendant corporations generally rise in response to the announcement of a fine – suggesting that underenforcement and a lack of deterrence may be pervasive,” citing research by Public Citizen and others.

Chamber president and chief executive Suzanne Clark told The Wall Street Journal, “It feels to the business community that the FTC has gone to war against us, and we have to go to war back.”

FTC spokesperson Peter Kaplan made clear the agency does not intend to back down:


( Are we in any way surprised? No.You can read more details about these "lovely" people at the link. )

The Nonprofit College That Spends More on Marketing Than Financial Aid

Baker College graduate Bart Bechtel holds his diploma at his home in Essex, Maryland. Credit: Mary F. Calvert, special to ProPublica

by Anna Clark, ProPublica, and David Jesse
Detroit Free Press
Jan. 12, 2022

Baker College promises students a better life. But few ever graduate, and even those who do often leave with crushing debt and useless degrees. No one — not the board, nor the accreditors, nor the federal government — has intervened.


From humble beginnings as a small business school in Flint, Baker rose to become the largest private college in Michigan, forging a presence in online learning and in Michigan towns where many students thought a college degree was beyond their grasp. For decades, the school’s marketing touted low costs and employment rates of nearly 100% for job-seeking graduates — making the dream seem both affordable and achievable.

But for many, the Baker reality is neither, an investigation by the Detroit Free Press and ProPublica found.


( Astonishing level of fraud. )
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