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Corey Booker: [redacted] remarks are a “bullshit soup of ineffective words.”

2019-08-05

per the Washington Post:

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” [redacted] said. “Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.”

If that was all he had to say, it would have been OK.  But he went on to blame “fake news”, video games, mental illness, and call for “red flag” laws to prevent people with adjudicated mental illness from owning guns.  Which would be good, but none of the mass shooters were recognized as ill before going on their rampages…  He dropped any mention of background checks, although he had brought this up in his tweets.

At a minimum, universal background checks for all gun sales and transfers are needed.  The handguns used in crimes in places like Chicago are often bought out of state; Indiana has looser gun laws than Illinois, and there is a lively trade in cheap handguns flowing from Indiana to Chicago.  People who live in Chicago who want guns take advantage of the lack of background checks for private gun sales in Indiana.  A similar dynamic exists in several large cities, like New York in relation to  New Jersey.  So universal background checks may actually make a slight difference.

Restrictions on sales of rifles with semi-automatic actions and removable magazines would have the most impact, if combined with mandatory buy-backs of those already in circulation.  This would be political dynamite in the US and extremely expensive if successful buy-backs were implemented.  I suspect that extremists would cause havoc if there were any attempt to remove such rifles from private hands in the US.  This was done in Australia and New Zealand successfully, but there were far fewer rifles in circulation and a much less fractious population affected.

On the other hand, loosening restrictions on weapons of war would be welcomed by extreme gun enthusiasts.  Allowing sales of hand grenades and grenade launchers, bazookas, recoilless rifles, suppressors (popularly known as “silencers”), even obsolete tanks, would make future massacres much more interesting.

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

 

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The truth behind the lies of [redacted]: Racism, malignant narcissism, and sociopathy characterize his every action.

2019-07-24

In the Washington Post, an article on the aftermath of the infamous “go back to your country” tweets describes the president’s thought processes when singling out the four first-term congresswomen of the colored persuasion for abuse.  He instinctively saw the four as being isolated and different in a particularly racialized sort of way that allows a European to assume someone of African descent would somehow be amenable to “going back” to Africa.  He calculated that they would be vulnerable to bullying and he then struck with or without considering the consequences, assuming that his backers, virtually the entire Republican Party, would follow along with him and without protest.

Since he has a limited imagination and limited vocabulary, he fell back on his usual catalogue of insults, but with a twist.  Having been told of the Somali origin and Muslim faith of the one immigrant among the four who were told to “go back” (perhaps he only, at first, intended to refer to her alone) he decided to key on the items his advisors most abhorred: the instances in which she betrayed an insufficient degree of respectfulness to Israel by blurting out, “It’s all about the Benjamins” (with which the recipients of Sheldon Adelson’s largesse would agree) and confessing that there might be divided loyalties among the Israeli-American right wing, which there honestly might.  Her transgression was more in the fact of who she was while she was saying it than in what she said, if you follow me.

To make a long story short, he told her, in most precisely bullying tones, to go back to her own country, as if that were even possible to say nothing of desirable, wise, or productive.  To make this absurd demand, he ignored all the sweat and tears she had poured into qualifying as a US citizen while a refugee, and all the devotion to the principles of free speech, equality of opportunity (remember that?), and respectful dissent that shes espoused.  He displayed his ignorance in a particularly ugly way by dismissing her political philosophy as if it were merely represented by blind hatred of the US.

She does have something to say that can’t be so easily dismissed.  It is essential to objectively examine her proposals for potential usefulness and practicality and objectively determine their effects on constitutional norms.  “To form a more perfect union” should become, abstractly, the moving target at which the Constitution fires, again and again, each time getting closer to the heart of justice.

There’s no end to the extremity of the lows that the president will not go to get a reaction from his base.  Heaping cruelty on cruelty, always with a veneer of common-sense explanation for the disruption, is the norm.  He told an entire research division of one of his distressed departments they had to pack up and move to Kansas City “because the cost of living in Washington DC was too high”; something like two thirds of them quit rather than accept a forced transfer from Washington DC to Kansas City.

He is sending batteries of Patriot missiles with about 2,300 men and a squadron of F-22 Stealth fighters (probably defensive interceptors) to Saudi Arabia, so he’s sure to expect significant Benjamins from Mohammad bin Salman.  Perhaps he can arrange a few minor assassinations to round out the package deal– the Saudis have plenty of hatchet men.  I wonder how our treasured armed forces feel about hiring out as mercenaries to a King who doesn’t share their vision of democracy nor their religious faith (and I hear some of them are very Christian.)

 

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

The late Justice John Paul Stevens: laws incorporating the view that potential life must be protected from the moment of conception are fundamentally theological, thus amounting to an unconstitutional establishment of religion.

2019-07-20

(photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

This information from the New York Times article about the late Justice Stevens, who was a great (but not perfect) justice.

There is also the argument as follows: assume, for the moment, that the embryo (or fetus) is in fact a living human being with a “right” to life.  However, admit that the woman within whose body it gestates is unwilling to permit it to feed off of her for nine months and then force their way out of her body through a too-small opening…  and consider what would happen to the average person if he/she woke up one morning attached through intravenous lines and a cumbersome carry bag to another human being; and then that average unsuspecting person were told, “you are the only person who can save this other human being, whom you do not know and have not consented to being attached to… If you disengage yourself from this person, they will die, and no-one else can volunteer to take your place.”

Are you in fact, ethically required (not to mention legally) to save the life of another person based on enormous personal sacrifices when you do not know that person and have not given prior consent to this arrangement?  That is what a prohibition on abortion (under whatever circumstances) implies, and it is not so.  You are not required to save a person just because they have picked you to implant themselves within.  You can ethically tell them to take a hike and die, if you’re not willing to make a twenty-year commitment to bear and raise them at this time.

Those people may not like it, but… it’s not their baby.  True stories have been told about virulent anti-abortion activists who, when push came to shove, had an abortion personally (and secretly.)  It has happened.

[redacted]’s Biggest Lie Yet: “They Hate Our Country” (referring to four nonwhite women who hold opinions contrary to His own, and dare to speak up about it.)

2019-07-20

This makes me very angry when I see Him quoted as saying, “They hate our country.”  I wish someone would stand up, preferably one of those accused, and say “That is not so.  I love my country, as evidenced by my running for office and exposing myself to all those haters out there like you.”

“The party of Reagan is dead. What has emerged in its place is something unspeakable.”– Daniel W. Drezner, Fletcher School at Tufts, former Republican.

2019-07-17

This is the peroration of an article by Daniel Drezner in the Washington Post on July 16, 2019 at 2:25 PM.  The article is titled, “What do Republicans stand for in 2019?  The only plausible answer to this question is beyond depressing.”

There’s that “depressing” label again.  There’s enough of this mood, especially expressed by columnists, particularly ex-Republicans, flowing out to sink the most buoyant spirits.

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

This Bears Repeating: Leslie Stahl: [redacted] said that the reason he maligns the press is “to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.” 

2019-07-15

From the latest New Yorker, in an article about the flat-earth movement:

Recently, Lesley Stahl, of “60 Minutes,” revealed that, in an interview after the 2016 election, [redacted] told her that the reason he maligns the press is “to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.”

PS: I changed my mind about not mentioning him at all after going through my drafts and finding all these things that I hadn’t published that were really important…

PPS: [redacted] is almost as good as “He who must not be named.”

(picture courtesy of pixabay.com)

Who does this look like to you?

2019-07-15

I pulled this off of pixabay, credited to reidy68.  It looks awful.  But I couldn’t resist.  Descending to the level of personal insult seems appropriate when you are so frustrated and depressed by the present political administration as well as the alternatives…