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Member since: Thu Jan 23, 2020, 03:36 PM
Number of posts: 1,868

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Ya basta. Let's really divide the country.

I am starting to believe that due to the right's insistence on their way or the highway on everything from abortion to gun rights to what books can be taught in school, that it may be truly impossible to find common ground with them. Maybe it's time to physically divide the country into left and right. Yes, a gargantuan task, and how would this even be possible? I don't know.

I'm just writing this out of sheer exhaustion from the right's relentless attacks on democracy and individual freedoms, and it's early in the morning and I haven't thought it through—at all. But wouldn't it be nice if we could have our half of the country in which people were elected to office based on their qualifications and experience and intelligence and good intentions and desire to serve their community? A country where social and economic policies are based on common sense and concern for the success of everyone instead of just a few? A country where environmental and health policies are based on science? A country of inclusion, not exclusion, where people of all hues and sexual orientations are valued? A country where education seeks the truth above all things?

This is, I know, just pie-in-the-sky thinking, and I know I'm going to get a lot of "That'll never happen" responses. But damn, I'm just so tired of this, and I wish we Dems could just create our own little Denmark and let the Repubes just go and have their Taliban-esque society if that's what will finally shut them up.

Texas teachers, make that ALL teachers, should stage a walkout and not return in the fall until

assault weapons are banned.

There's only, what, a week and a half left of school in Texas, and Uvalde school district has already announced that their school year is over. But it would still make a giant statement for all teachers to walk out. NOW.

Here's an idea: If we can't get assault weapons banned, then buyers should have to pick up their

newly purchased assault weapon at their local police department. There, they would be interviewed and evaluated by a specially trained police officer, preferably a detective from their Homicide Department. That's all. No fingerprinting (although that would be nice). No official registering of the assault weapon (although THAT would be nice). Just an interview by someone with the training and experience to spot a nut job who should absolutely, positively NOT be allowed to purchase an assault weapon.

There would be no gun show loopholes. All assault weapons sold at a gun show would have to be delivered to the local police station for the purchaser to pick up at a later date and to undergo an interview with a police officer. And the same police department could do stings to catch people selling assault weapons online and attempting to deliver the assault weapon directly to the purchaser.

I think just the prospect of having to go to the police department to pick up their new assault weapon would deter many people from buying one.

I would, of course, rather see all assault rifles banned and make it so that all other guns would require registration and gun owners would need to pass a gun safety class to receive a license to own a gun, just like owning and driving a car. If we Democrats ever get a super-majority, those things would be possible. But these actions, apparently, are not possible as long as Senate Democrats can be blocked by Senate Republicans (and Manchin and Sinema, let's not forget those two gems).

Anyway, just trying to think of something, ANYTHING, that might possibly be possible. I know Republicans everywhere would be ALL up in arms (figuratively and literally) at my proposal, which they would see as anything but modest.

Anyway, . . . may God bless those babies and their teachers who died in Uvalde yesterday (and at Sandy Hook, and at . . .) and their grieving moms and dads and the rest of their family members.

Yesterday, I'm in the shower and my dogs go nuts because someone's at the door. Turned out to be

someone knocking doors and handing out literature for a Republican candidate running for a state House district office. I hadn't answered the door, so they stuck their flyer in the crack of the door where I'd be sure to find it.

I'm really glad I was unable to answer the door because I've been sort of seething with anger at all the Republican outrages of late and I don't know what I might have said to the person. I realize that erupting in anger and going off on that person would have accomplished nothing, except brand me as the crazy liberal Democrat who lives in that neighborhood. Plus, is that how I want to be treated when I go a door-knockin' for Democratic candidates?

Once I calmed down a bit, I realized that I wished that I had had my own literature to hand to the Republican door knocker. Just a list titled "The Top 10 Reasons Why I Do Not Vote Republican." This way, I could maybe, maybe have a teachable moment with the person, if they actually took the time to read it. And I wouldn't come off as a frothing-at-the-mouth crazy person. Plus, if I could be pleasant and "nice them to death" and dispel any illusions they have that Democrats are evil.

I've started my list for next time with a few recent items:

1. Republicans in the House of Representatives just voted against a bill that would provide money to ease the baby food formula crisis, while simultaneously supporting legislation to overturn Roe v. Wade, supposedly to protect the lives of unborn babies.

2. Republicans in the House of Representatives just voted against a bill that would prevent price gouging on gas during times of emergency.

3. Republicans such as Rick Scott of Florida want to "sunset" Social Security and Medicare so that these programs would be voted on every few years. They want to do this just so that these programs can be done away with.

4. Nine Black people were killed and others seriously injured in the Buffalo massacre, yet Republican senators and representatives refuse to enact commonsense gun control laws, including a law we used to have banning assault rifles like the one used in the Buffalo mass murder and other massacres.

There are really hundreds of horrible things the Repubes have done that I could add to my list (the insurrection, their support of twice-impeached, treasonous grifter Trump, their support of Russia instead of Ukraine), but I'm trying to stick to recent news items of which my Republican neighbors are likely ignorant, what with their getting all their news from Fox.

If anyone has any ideas of things I could add, that'd be great. Anyway, just thought I'd share.

I went inside a bank last week here in Montana. A sign on the door read "NO WEAPONS."

At the very least, could we pass a law making it illegal to bring a weapon inside any public building?

And I know that white supremacists like the shooter in Buffalo would not read the sign and say, "Oh, crap! I guess I can't go in and slaughter innocent people like I wanted to. Guess I'll just go home!" so additional measures would have to be taken, like metal detectors, which, I know, expensive.

But if we can't get the Repubes to pass a bill banning assault weapons, maybe . . . okay, this is me throwing up my hands in despair because I know we could never get them to pass a law making it illegal to bring a weapon inside a public building.

The only solution is to get a super majority in Congress, pass an assault weapons ban, and then keep the super majority forever.

Republicans are the "Take Away Your Freedom Caucus." We must repeat this over and over and over

and across all media, just like they repeated the "Stop the Steal!" and "Tax and Spend Democrats" phrases until they stuck.

If Putin is to be believed (I know, that's a mighty big IF) and he is most concerned about

an existential threat to Russia, then you would THINK that he is just saber-rattling with his veiled threat of using nukes. Yes, that's a dangerous gamble to act on the belief that Putin won't use nukes, but remember the hard calculations Kennedy et al. had to make during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

With that in mind, I think NATO should tell Russia to get out of Ukraine NOW or it will indeed make Ukraine a NATO member. Demand an immediate cease-fire and give Russia a deadline to leave Ukraine. If they violate the cease-fire or fail to meet the deadline to leave, then do it: make Ukraine a NATO member and immediately flood the country with soldiers from all NATO countries and begin providing military air support to Ukraine to enforce a no-fly zone.

To echo President Biden's accurate assessment of Putin: This Fox News cannot remain in power.

We need to shut them down. But how?

I posted this in response to a thread, but this news about light antitank weapons gave me a boost,

so I thought I would post it on its own in hopes of giving others some encouraging news:

The British have sent thousands of light, antitank weapons to Ukraine. These are portable weapons that individual Ukrainians can, and are, using to blast the shit out of the Russians' tanks.

British-provided 'one shot one kill' missiles are helping Ukrainians punch holes in Russian armor

The NLAW anti-tank missiles provided to Ukraine by the UK is proving itself in fighting around Ukraine.
The portable, shoulder-fired missile is easy to use and has earned praise from Ukrainian troops.

British-provided NLAW anti-tank system turning the tide in Ukraine — Scrappy NLAW anti-tank missiles have the punch to eliminate Russian tanks.

The Next Generation Light Antitank Weapon (NLAW) was provided by the British before the war in January. The Ukrainians are setting up counter-attacks and ambushes in the suburbs of Kyiv on Russian armored columns using the NLAW. The NLAW system is proving its mettle.

Since the NLAWs came over before the war started, they were able to be distributed widely to soldiers, and the Ukrainians are taking the initiative to blast Russian armor.


I can so see these weapons as being especially effective in the hands of the courageous and determined Ukrainians. And thank you, Great Britain!

The only thing we have to fear is [Republican voters'] fear itself. Great Vox article on clashing

worldviews of Republican and Democratic voters.

In short, the Vox article (from December 2018) describes how Republican voters view the world as a scary place and see societal changes as highly threatening. Democrats see the world as safer and are not as threatened by societal changes, such as the changing demographics in the US.

A new theory for why Republicans and Democrats see the world differently
Our political divisions aren’t red versus blue, but fixed versus fluid.

“Of the many factors that make up your worldview, one is more fundamental than any other in determining which side of the divide you gravitate toward: your perception of how dangerous the world is. Fear is perhaps our most primal instinct, after all, so it’s only logical that people’s level of fearfulness informs their outlook on life.”

That’s political scientists Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler, writing in their book Prius or Pickup, which marshals a massive trove of survey data and experimental evidence to argue that the roots of our political divides run so deep that they make us almost incomprehensible to one another. Our political divisions, they say, aren’t about policy disagreements, or even demographics. They’re about something more ancient in how we view the world. . . .

The ideological conflict that used to divide the parties was the size of government. The Democrats said bigger, the Republicans said smaller. Importantly, most Americans didn’t have intense commitments on this question. In addition, party elites could compromise across it. Hence, the political conflict spawned by it wasn’t rancorous most of the time.

That changed in the late 20th century, accelerating into the present day. The dividing line between the parties was no longer a philosophy about governing (a political ideology — more or less government). It evolved into differences in philosophy about life (a worldview — is the world a basically safe place to explore, or is it a dangerous snake pit to hunker down against).

If you think the world is dangerous, safety is always the No. 1 concern. When it comes to physical safety, letting your guard down against adversaries could be disastrous. If you think the world is safe, however, discriminating against groups that have generally been down the racial, gender, or sexual orientation hierarchy is the real sin.

The article goes on to explain why Republicans are so susceptible to right-wing propaganda and hate mongering:

Sure, there is partisan media on the left, but its audience is much smaller and it lacks misinformation peddlers like Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones. Why the much higher demand on the right? We think the answer must lie partially in the individual differences between liberals and conservatives.

The most likely reason would be a differential need for what psychologists call cognitive closure. Those we consider having fixed worldviews have a greater need for closure which suggests a greater need to avoid cognitive dissonance. They therefore are more likely to believe information that confirms their worldview. These differences may drive the supply of misinformation coming from political elites to some degree.

What’s for certain is that those who hate their opponents will be more willing to believe the worst about them. And Republican leaders have been bolder about exploiting that hatred of the other side than Democratic leaders have.

The article is not very optimistic about combatting Republican politicians' manipulation of their voters' fear, anger, and hatred, but suggests:

For things to change, something must supplant these primal worldviews as the dividing line between the parties. That impetus must come from the top. Leaders set the grounds of debate. Ordinary people follow their lead. Democrats, for their part, seem to be trying. In focusing on health care and wages in 2018, they are making the dividing line about the size of government. It is a winning strategy.

Long article, but worth the read:

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