Open Thread - Captain Obvious Edition, Friday, June 17, 2016

“Semi-automatics have only two purposes. One is so owners can take them to the shooting range once in awhile, yell yeehaw, and get all horny at the rapid fire and the burning vapor spurting from the end of the barrel. Their other use – their only other use – is to kill people”
― Stephen King, Guns

All mass shooters have one funkin' thing in common.

Spitting, Stalking, Rape Threats: How Gun Extremists Target Women

As Jennifer Longdon steered her wheelchair through the Indianapolis airport on April 25, she thought the roughest part of her trip was over. Earlier that day she'd participated in an emotional press conference with the new group Everytown for Gun Safety, against the backdrop of the National Rifle Association's annual meeting. A mom, gun owner, and Second Amendment supporter, Longdon was paralyzed in 2004 after being shot in her car by unknown assailants, and has since been a vocal advocate for comprehensive background checks and other gun reforms.

As Longdon sat waiting for her flight, a screen in the concourse showed footage of the press conference. A tall, thin man standing nearby stared at Longdon, then back at the screen. Then he walked up to Longdon and spat in her face. No one else blinked.

Longdon was shocked and embarrassed, she told me, but she didn't falter. "Wow, aren't you a big man," she said as he turned and walked away. Instead of calling for security, she wheeled herself to a restroom to clean herself off. She was tired—she lives with constant physical pain—and didn’t want to miss her flight.

"Should I have done something more? Quite honestly, in the scheme of things it was a little man and a little moment," she said. "He felt to me like a coward and a bully."

I agree with Jennifer Longdon. The most vociferous gun advocates have become a collection of small scared people. They want so badly to intimidate the rest of us.

"Open Carry" Intimidation

When we see pictures on the news, of third world countries, of men toting around assault rifles in public and brandishing them at peace activists and government officials, we automatically think terms like "intimidation," "extremist," "rebel," and "terrorist." Yet, for some reason, when we see nearly the exact same thing in America, somehow a certain subset of people think "freedom" instead. See HERE of a telling comparison I've made.

A couple days ago, four members of the Arlington, Texas, chapter of Moms Demand Action privately met at a restaurant over lunch to talk about their program. Some pro-gun extremists found out, so they decided to intimidate the ladies by showing up with their fellow gun lovers. But they didn't just show up -- they came armed to the hilt with hunting rifles and assault rifles. Look at that image and tell me that isn't intimidation. The picture to the right which was taken by one of the Moms Demand Action members. There were forty pro-gun extremists, and some of them even brought along some small children, I guess to give the impression of a "family event" for their armed ambush.

See below for another image that was posted on the Facebook page of those extremists. As stated on the "Moms Demand Action - TX" Facebook page:

Moms, restaurant employees and patrons were all shocked. One patron commented to one of our organizers," I grew up with guns, but no one would ever do this. This is like Deliverance."

Small arms and global health

Introduction

The term “small arms and light weapons” is often taken to mean all types of firearms, from handguns to shot guns and assault rifles. More specifically, however, the term refers to “any weapon that can be carried or transported and managed by a single person” and as such also includes hand grenades, land mines and even small surface to air missile launchers.

In the past few years, firearms-related death and injury have been called everything from a “scourge” (1) to an “epidemic” (2), a “disease” (3) and a “preventable global health problem” (4). The biological analogies are not accidental or far-fetched. Among people aged 15–44 years, interpersonal violence and suicide rank third and fourth, respectively among the world’s leading causes of ill-health and premature mortality, while war-related injuries rank sixth (5). A large proportion of these occur through the use of firearms.

A public health response

Violence is not simply a social ill or a social justice problem. It is an important health problem — and one that is largely preventable. Public health approaches have much to contribute to solving it.

Small Arms and Light Weapons: A Public Health Approach

The World Health Organization has identified violence as pandemic. “Weapons are bad for people’s health ... Yet health professionals have been slow to recognize that the effects of weapons are, by design, a health issue, and moreover constitute a global epidemic mostly affecting civilians.” While the specific effects of small arms in the context of conflict and violence are still being investigated, there is no doubt that their global impact
is considerable.

Fact-Based Policy: The Public Health Approach

The public health approach to the problem of small arms provides a useful conceptual framework for developing “fact-based” and effective solutions. It begins with a careful analysis of the problem and an examination of the causal factors that contribute to it. It thus measures the effects of small arms not by counting weapons but by exploring their effect on population health. Approaching the small arms problem in this manner also forces the erosion of some of the barriers that have been artificially constructed by disciplines and by politics to ensure that appropriate solutions are crafted and evaluated. Primary prevention includes social development approaches to crime prevention and strategies aimed at changing the “culture of violence.” In addition, scholars maintain that until there are fundamental structural changes in weapons industries and cultural values, measures to reduce the misuse of (and illicit trade in) small arms will be limited. However, while addressing root causes is undeniably important, public health also focuses on the vector/vehicle of injury. In this case, it focuses on the instrument—the weapon itself.

Wouldn't it be nice to only have a small arms crisis in the USA?

Can We Do Anything About Murderous Assault Weapons?

The murderer in Orlando on Sunday used a Sig Sauer version of the AR-15 assault weapon. The story is so awfully familiar.

The mass murderers in San Bernardino who killed 14 and wounded 21 used AR-15 assault rifles. In Aurora, Colorado, a man with an AR-15 killed 12 and wounded 58 in a movie theater. It was an AR-15 that slaughtered 20 children and 6 faculty members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. A database compiled by Mother Jones magazine shows that assault weapons were used in seven of the eight high-profile mass shootings since July 2015.

An assault weapon is a gun that incorporates the features of a modern military rifle or submachine gun, enabling the shooter to fire numerous bullets very rapidly, and yet keep control of the gun. Because it’s a semiautomatic copy of the U.S. military’s M-16 rifle, the AR-15 is designed with a pistol grip so it can be fired rapidly from the shoulder or hip; it is designed with a barrel shroud so the non-trigger hand can keep the gun stable during rapid fire; it is designed to accept very large capacity magazines so there is little pause to reload.

The parts or features of an assault weapon are not there to look scary (as the NRA suggests); they are there to make it possible for the shooter to do scary things. With these features, any deranged person can empty a 30-round magazine as fast as he or she can pull the trigger while maintaining control of the gun—and then quickly insert another fully-loaded magazine. Which is exactly what happened in Orlando.

It is obvious that AR-15s and other assault weapons should and can be banned. They are banned or substantially restricted in seven states, and President Clinton signed a law that banned assault weapons in 1994. But that law was limited to 10 years and the conservative Congress of 2004 let it lapse.

Mandatory Gun Insurance – A Practical Plan To Make America Safer

Since the 2nd Amendment says we can't require gun owners handle their guns responsibly, let's allow the marketplace make it in their interest to do so.

In 1996, Barry Loukaitis shot and killed a teacher and two students at Frontier Middle School in Moses Lake, Washington. At the time, he quoted a line from a Stephen King novel Rage:

"This sure beats algebra, doesn't it?"

A year later, Michael Carneal, from Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, killed three girls in a pre-class prayer circle. A copy of King's Rage was found in his locker.

It hit Stephen King hard.

“That was enough for me," wrote King in an op-ed for The Guardian. “I asked my publishers to pull the novel. I didn’t pull Rage from publication because the law demanded it; I was protected under the First Amendment, and the law couldn’t demand it. I pulled it because in my judgment it might be hurting people, and that made it the responsible thing to do."

King made set an excellent example. If the Constitution prohibits the government from regulating guns, we need to find a way to motivate gun owners to want to do it themselves. Let the marketplace work like King's pangs of conscience did. How do we start? Require all guns to be insured.

Gun insurance would work very much like car insurance. You would need it to buy a gun, and the policy would have to include liabilty coverage in case that gun injures someone. If a gun owner has no accidents, his premiums go down. Someone who wants to "open carry" his weapon would pay more than someone who keeps it locked at home. Assualt weapons would be more expensive to insure than hunting rifles because they they have a greater capacity to do harm. But it wouldn't be government making these decisions, which would be unconstitutional - it would be insurance companies, competing with one another to keep premiums reasonable.

WEAPONOMICS: THE GLOBAL MARKET FOR ASSAULT RIFLES

INTRODUCTION

Small arms are estimated to be responsible for between 200,000 - 400,000 deaths around the world each year. Approximately 20,000 – 100,000 of these firearm deaths occur in conflict settings (Small Arms Survey 2005, Kopel, Gallant and Eisen 2004, and Lacina and Gleditsch 2005). As economic commodities, firearms are subject to the forces of demand and supply and are actively traded on legal and illicit markets. The small arms market may be viewed as a function of the incentives and constraints faced by buyers, suppliers and regulators. This paper introduces cross-country, time-series data on assault rifle prices thus making it possible to quantitatively examine the nature of the small arms market.

Small arms are attractive tools of violence for several reasons. They are widely available, low in cost, extremely lethal, simple to use, durable, highly portable, easily concealed, and possess legitimate military, police, and civilian uses. As a result they are present in virtually every society.

Despite being a key component in conflict, small arms have only recently begun to receive academic attention. So far research has been almost exclusively case-study driven making it difficult to draw general empirical lessons. Book length treatments of small arms which follow this trend include Boutwell and Klare (1999) and Lumpe (2002). Brauer (2007) surveys the small arms literature in the forthcoming Handbook of Defense Economics and concludes that the small arms market has not been well examined theoretically, or empirically. The first tentative steps
towards generalizable models of the small arms market are currently underway. Brauer and Muggah (2006) develop a conceptual theory of small arms demand as a function of means and motivation, an adaptation of the standard determinants (income, prices and preferences) of neoclassical consumer demand theory.

Free market capitalism, funk yeah!

Fully Loaded

They are all white, all middle-aged, and all men. A few live openly lavish lifestyles, but the majority fly under the radar. Rarely is there news about them in the mainstream media or even the trade press. Their obscurity would seem unremarkable if we were talking about the biggest manufacturers of auto accessories or heating systems. But these are America's top gunmakers—leaders of the nation's most controversial industry. They have kept their heads down and their fingerprints off regulations designed to protect their businesses—foremost a law that shields gun companies from liability for crimes committed with their products.

With this investigation, Mother Jones set out to break through the opacity surrounding the $8 billion firearms industry and the men who control it. While the three largest companies disclose some financials, the rest are privately held. Some are further shrouded by private-equity funds or shell corporations based in overseas tax havens. We mined manufacturing data and import statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). We also examined obscure press clippings, court documents, private industry reports, and tax records from the Treasury Department. Together, the 10 companies we investigated produce more than 8 million firearms per year for buyers in the United States, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total market. (None of the companies responded to our requests for further information.)

Many of these companies' top executives have donned the jacket bestowed to members of the Golden Ring of Freedom, an exclusive club for $1 million-plus donors to the National Rifle Association. Several have been the focus of criminal investigations and lawsuits over everything from arms trafficking and fraud to armed robbery and racketeering.

As the debate over gun laws has grown louder, sales have soared. In the year following the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, the three largest gunmakers—Sturm Ruger, Remington Outdoor, and Smith & Wesson—netted more than $390 million in profits on record sales. Shares in publicly traded Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson jumped more than 70 percent that year, benefiting institutional investors such as Vanguard, Blackrock, and Fidelity. The hedge fund that owns Remington Outdoor—maker of the assault rifle used in Newtown—saw the annual return on its investment grow tenfold.

Impact on Development

The misuse of small arms and light weapons has severe implications for development—and particularly for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Armed violence can trigger forced displacement, erode social capital, and destroy infrastructure. It can impede investment in reconstruction and reconciliation. Armed violence can undermine public institutions, facilitate corruption, and be conducive to a climate of impunity. Armed violence contributes to and is sustained by transnational crime, including the trafficking of persons, drugs, and arms. When associated with interpersonal and gender-based violence, it unravels the fabric of families and communities and leaves lasting psychological and physical scars on survivors.

Armed violence is not only a cause of underdevelopment, but also a consequence of it. Risk factors associated with armed violence and underdevelopment include:

  • weak institutions.
  • systemic economic and horizontal inequalities.
  • exclusion of minority groups.
  • unequal gender relations.
  • limited education opportunities.
  • persistent unemployment.
  • organized crime.
  • availability of illicit firearms and drugs.

Economic Impact of Armed Violence

The annual global economic costs of armed violence run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. There are many ways to calculate the financial, fixed, and human capital costs, whose true extent is ultimately shaped by the duration, severity, and spatial distribution of armed violence.

If the consequences of armed conflict are taken into consideration, the overall costs of armed violence escalate higher still. Violent civil conflict decreases the GDP growth of an average economy by at least two per cent per year.

Contingent valuation approaches yield a global cost of ‘insecurity’ generated by conflict of up to USD 70 per person, or a global annual burden of USD 400 billion.
The economic cost of non-conflict armed violence in just 90 countries, measured in terms of lost productivity, is USD 95 billion and may reach as high as USD 163.3 billion, or 0.14 per cent of the annual global GDP.

Compare These Gun Death Rates: The U.S. Is in a Different World

The mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday was appalling in scale: 49 killed in a single attack. But it’s not unusual for dozens of Americans to be killed by guns in a single day.

Gun homicides are a common cause of death in the United States, killing about as many people as car crashes (not counting van, truck, motorcycle or bus accidents). Some cases command our attention more than others, of course. Counting mass shootings that make headlines and the thousands of Americans murdered one or a few at a time, gunshot homicides totaled 8,124 in 2014, according to the F.B.I.

This level of violence makes the United States an extreme outlier when measured against the experience of other advanced countries.

Around the world, those countries have substantially lower rates of deaths from gun homicide. In Germany, being murdered with a gun is as uncommon as being killed by a falling object in the United States. About two people out of every million are killed in a gun homicide. Gun homicides are just as rare in several other European countries, including the Netherlands and Austria. In the United States, two per million is roughly the death rate for hypothermia or plane crashes.

In Poland and England, only about one out of every million people die in gun homicides each year — about as often as an American dies in an agricultural accident or falling from a ladder. In Japan, where gun homicides are even rarer, the likelihood of dying this way is about the same as an American’s chance of being killed by lightning — roughly one in 10 million.

In the United States, the death rate from gun homicides is about 31 per million people — the equivalent of 27 people shot dead every day of the year. The homicides include losses from mass shootings, like Sunday’s Orlando attack, or the San Bernardino, Calif., shooting last December. And of course, they also include the country’s vastly more common single-victim killings.

To give you a sense of how unusual America’s gun violence problem is, consider the daily death toll compared with other Western democracies.

Let’s stop pretending like gun advocates care about the Constitution

When Edward Snowden leaked that the NSA was indiscriminately spying on all Americans by monitoring their emails and phone calls, there was very little blow-back toward the Obama Administration. The media quickly chose their preferred narrative that implied Snowden was a traitor instead of honing in on the fact that the government was clearly violating the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

Yeah, Sure, Let's Give Away Friggin' Assault Rifles As Raffle Prizes 'Cause One Mass Shooting A Day Just Isn't Enough

Aaaargh. The blood had barely dried on the Pulse bathroom walls when upstanding husband, father, Christian, "unapologetic conservative" gun-lover and Tennessee GOP Rep. Andy Holt had defiantly announced he'll give away not just one as previously planned, but TWO AR-15s - the assault rifle used in all our favorite mass killings - as a door prize for his upcoming Hog Fest and Turkey Shoot fundraiser, where people are encouraged to bring their own rifles and ammo and oh boy yes there will be shooting! Holt, who thought the Oregon takeover by the Bundy crew was just the ticket and has sponsored several gun bills to allow weapons on college campuses because what could possibly go wrong, continues to echo the NRA blather that events like the massacre in Orlando have absolutely nothing to do with the ease with which any deranged confused hateful soul can acquire a high-capacity semi-automatic military weapon to mow down scores of innocent people. "It's not about the gun," he says. "It has everything to do with the position and condition of that person’s heart that’s behind the gun pulling the trigger."

When asked, he admitted he's not clear on just how to determine that aforementioned position and condition, but by God he's working on it. Tossing a tantalizing pinch of racism into his stew of bluster and idiocy, he added, "The only thing wrong with the AR-15 is that it’s black and it looks real scary," and next thing you know we'll be banning the same model of airplane used on 9/11. Wait....He says he's received death threats from "the left wing" and he's "sick and tired of the media and liberal politicians attacking our right to keep and bear arms," which is why now he's urging everyone who doesn't have a gun to go out and get one, and if they have one, to get another, because, yeah, GUNS! On the other side of the planet, in the wake of Orlando and all the rest, Samantha Bee is likewise sick and tired of bellicose asshats like him. On her show last night, she said it's all well and good to talk of love after such atrocities, but more to the point we have to love each other enough to be willing to "solve our fucking problems." Her meltdown is glorious to behold. Bonus: Here are the 50 senators whose votes allowed the Orlando shooter to do what he did.

It’s An Honor To Continue Being Valued Over Countless Human Lives

Look, I’m not the type who needs constant validation, and I have never sought preferential treatment from anyone. I just try to focus on doing what I do and not get too caught up in what people think or say about me. But I have to admit, it’s been hard to ignore all the support and appreciation I’ve been receiving lately, particularly over the past several years. That’s why I want to take this opportunity to let all of you know what an absolute honor it is that you continue to value me over countless human lives.

I don’t want to get too sentimental or anything, but it really means the world to me how often you as Americans, through your words and your actions, make it known that I am more important to you than the lives of your fellow citizens.

Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

You see, I’m just a humble lightweight, magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle; I never expected this kind of outpouring of affection. But time and time again, you’ve shown me how much I matter to you. To see so many people—people who could be working to protect and care for human lives—actively devoting their time and energy to making sure I’m the one who’s protected and cared for instead—it’s beyond touching.

That's what I'm funkin' sayin'.

The thread is open.

Stick 'em up for C99!

Have a great weekend!

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gulfgal98's picture

Last Sunday morning, we were driving to Orlando for a conference that my husband was attending when we heard the news about the massacre at the Pulse. When we heard that 50 people had been killed and about 50 more wounded, my first thought was how could just one lone gunman do that much harm? The idea that anyone can buy a weapon of war designed for only one purpose and that is to kill a lot of people in a short time is still beyond comprehension.

The entire city of Orlando was in shock and in lock down mode. Several blocks surrounding the crime scene were closed for two days. What happened in Orlando is indicative of just how warped our values have become in this country. People's lives have less value than the right of some nut to be able to purchase a weapon of war. It is pathetic.

Thank you for this very timely OT.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

NCTim's picture

The gun lobby has bamboozled gun owners and created a monster. It is fascinating, and lethal, pyschological manipulation. I was dumbfounded when the constitutional posers did not object to the patriot act or domestic spying. It seems a better fit for the slippery slope argument.

C99 is a pretty passive place, but I anticipate ruffling someone's feathers. Oh well, I find the gun rights people just as odious as the right to life people. They are both supposedly conservative values and often the same people (death penalty too). The cognitive dissonance is alarming.

What the funk?

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

NCTim's picture

Why is there less accountability for gun owners than automobile owners? Shouldn't they be responsible for safe operation of their gun and accountable for anything that happens with said gun?

I have an excuse for not attending this thread as much as a usual Friday. Sweetie and I no longer share sleeping arrangements. Sweetie sleeps almost sitting up and uses a bi-pap, so I sleep in the adjacent bedroom. I have been sleeping on a trundle bed and my back has been bothering me. There is a queen size frame, mattress and box springs upstairs. I bought it when one of the kids shared a rental house during college. My sister-in-law and husband have come to visit. I am going to take advantage of the extra hands to clear out the trundle bed and some old kiddie furniture, so I can set up the queen and hopefully get better sleep.

I will check in and I am not intimidated by tired, corporate, arguments about gun control. I understand that boys need their phallic sublimation and fully appreciate guitars, motorcycles, ... But golf and guns, meh.

Funk your gun stroking.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

riverlover's picture

We know that you need your sleep now more than ever. Splurge on new sheet and pillows. They can carry you for a long time. Best wishes. Tell Sweetie that we are thinking of her. No smile here.

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NCTim's picture

Notice the Small Arms Survey articles, Impact on Development and Economic Impact of Armed Violence. Then think about your favorite conservative bullshit artist and how they use economics and gun arguments. It is alright to call them derogatory names, I approve.

Funking idiot.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

riverlover's picture

I am a gun-free household. I have been for over 20 years. There was a 22 pistol here when my neighbors, a family of four, were brutally tortured and murdered. It was just before Christmas, news black hole, for days. We were scared, not knowing why that family was targeted. The pistol came out. We had a three year old and a one year old in the house. Precious cargo, worth protecting. But it felt wrong. As it turned out, I, carrying our precious cargo, witnessed the murderer riding his fucking bike on the way to rob and kill those people. Snowy, subzero, and I noticed a fucking biker, wavy tracks in the snow by the side of the road. I passed him, with my precious cargo, but thought it odd enough to call the police several days later. And became a Witness, in a later trial of the fucking Mother, who did use the family's credit cards on a shopping spree the Day After. But a "placed" fingerprint was found on a gas can in the house, there was an attempt to burn down the house after the killings. I testified as a witness to the crime setup. The Mother was found guilty as accessory, went to prison. A fucking wannabe feebee was caught later, by placing that fingerprint, his ticket to higher places. So I have been a bystander victim of gun violence. PTSD to prove it.

My occasionally-suicidal husband who had bought the gun in Wisconsin and transported it back to NY when we returned could not qualify for a permit. So an illegal pistol. In his right mind, he decided, and did, literally deep-six it, to disappear it from him, our kids, any thief. Gone, gone.

Here in Ithaca, we used to have Ithaca Gun, another manufacturer of fine weapons. It went belly-up, the manufacturing facility on a prime piece of real estate, overlooking one of Ithaca's gorges was dismantled. The ground was/is? a Superfund site because of lead contamination. They test-fired into the ground of the gorge side. So yes, damage, damage, people's lives, the earth, we all suffer. And Congress does not give a shit. Sorry for the rant.

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NCTim's picture

I read the Yves Lavigne books. Frightening background on Canadian biker violence.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

NCTim's picture

Ithaca, duh? Years ago, I did a project in Elmira. I would move around between Elmira, Corning, Watkins Glen, Horseheads and Ithaca. I seem to recall a tavern on a hilly street near a record store, but that may say more about me than Ithaca.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

riverlover's picture

years ago. Suspicious. It is being re-built now, likely taller with more upstairs apartments. Ithaca's current trend, up, over, and too expensive.

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NCTim's picture

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre. A convergence of conservative values. Another funkin' tough guy.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

riverlover's picture

whether we are having fun or not. One of my favorite (very worn-out) Tshirts.

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mimi's picture

Hi, NCTim, I know I approve of everything you wrote in this OT, but right now I can't even focus on reading everything, because I have an urgent question, and I don't know where to put it. I think I will put it in yesterday's live thread of Bernie's speech.

Isn't this an internal rebellion of the State Department against the White House?

Dozens of U.S. Diplomats Press Obama to Strike Syria's Assad: Reports

Dozens of U.S. diplomats have reportedly called for airstrikes against the government of Syria's President Bashar Assad in an internal memo that amounted to a scathing critique of White House policy.

The "dissent channel cable" was signed by 51 State Department officers who have been involved with U.S.-Syria policy, an official familiar with the memo told The Wall Street Journal.

The document repeatedly called for "targeted military strikes" against Assad, who with the backing of Russia and Iran has been fighting a collection of rebels — including ISIS — for over five years, the newspaper reported late Thursday.

I can't embed the video in that article.

Seems to me that the State Department is in an "open" rebellion against the White House. What would you call that?

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riverlover's picture

If only the FBI muttered louder, too. Not sure if I like the way State wants to go. This is going to be another strange day. See below for lighter stuff.

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NCTim's picture

The state department, CIA and MIC are analogous to the clergy during days of yore. Many of the career diplomats, spooks and mercenaries are the scions of the rich and products of the 'elite' universities. Sprinkle in a little Christian nuttery and you get something approaching mutiny. Heh, some people actually think the President is in charge. The state department influence peddling is just a symptom of the larger, christofacist moneyd elite world domination agenda. FTA.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

mimi's picture

State department influence peddling ? Nicely worded, but I think it's more than that and the media is playing its enabling role. Again and again.

I give up. Become the enabler, the Good German, and be silent (hopefully). I am a guest in this country. Have to behave. Meanwhile, dear State Department officials, proceed ruining people's lives. We here at the C99p have a simple rule, don't be an asshole, DBAA. May be you think about it and internalize that rule, because so far it seems you are assholes.

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NCTim's picture

What, the fourth estate is in on the agenda?

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

mimi's picture

me dealing with the funk. Have a good day, NCTim. I don't know how you are all coping with your own country. It's an exceptional capability of resilience and endurance, it seems.

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NCTim's picture

I have a liberal definition of funk. Some people prefer some funk like this.

I prefer the Afrobeat, Bluesy R&B and Latin variants.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

gulfgal98's picture

George Clinton supposedly lives in Tallahassee. I had heard he lives out in the country towards Monticello.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

NCTim's picture

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riverlover's picture

Happy thoughts.

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hecate's picture

They're using a process established during the Vietnam War that enables State Department officials to register dissent with prevailing US policy. There were similar letters circulated then, and, later, grousing about the Balkans. It's called the "dissent channel." The letters are theoretically supposed to remain internal, but generally they get loose in the news.

Great OT, Tim.

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mimi's picture

against peace. Quite different usage than apparently it was used during the Vietnam War times, when it was used to dissent against war.

So, prevailing US policies are what Bernie now has to accept and fall in line with? No state department officials who would voice their dissent to the "prevailing US policies" against wars in the Middle East?

I think then there is a need for a "dissent channel" against the "dissent channel".

Consider me disgusted.

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NCTim's picture

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Lookout's picture

oil company reps within the state dept. The issue is a pipeline and profit. At least according to RFK.

Long take by RFK
https://ecowatch.com/2016/02/25/robert-kennedy-jr-syria-pipeline-war/
Short summary
http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160304/1035777990/kennedy-interview-...

So maybe it is a case of corporate profit over people and Obomba?

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

NCTim's picture

... the career diplomats, spooks and mercenaries are the scions of the rich and products of the 'elite' universities.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

riverlover's picture

donned a new $25 dress, which the dog thinks is good target biting material (discussions have ensued), rescued a suet feeder from the deck (chain broke), in the basement with washer (and dog) discovered that one of my 2 mousetraps had deployed, the other was still armed, yelling a dog "Danger!" about the armed one, while she has scented the dead deer mouse, retrieved trap+mouse, successfully got it outside to deploy mouse into the woods, emailed 5 potential suitors on Match.com AND found a pup-stolen sandal, intact. I keep shoes on windowsills now. And ordered a case of suet blocks, mine are attracting smalls and woodpeckers, including Hairy Woodpeckers and Pileated woodpeckers! Good photo-ops. Keep up suet feeders until I attract black bears. I would like to see fledglings get shown feeders by parents. Earth mother.

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OLinda's picture

to one and all.

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If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

NCTim's picture

How about some mountain funk.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

NCTim's picture

I spouted off here, watered the plants, grabbed a coffee, peanut butter cookie & banana, and came back to keep things stirred up.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

gulfgal98's picture

Today begins day 3 of no AC here in Tallahassee. I can hardly wait to head back to NC on Sunday, that is if the repair guy can fix it by tomorrow. High temps are supposed to reach the upper 90's too. Someone has to be here for the repairman and it is looking more and more like that someone will be me. To say that I am not a happy camper is an understatement. And my husband wonders why I dislike coming back to Tall. Duh!

While we were in Orlando, we boarded our three dogs at a new place that came highly recommended. When we drove up, I could not believe this place. It was like a doggy summer camp and so nice and immaculately kept, but the same price as the old place. The woman who runs it lives right there and was as nice as could be. She had several kiddie pools in the yards and our female springer, Gidget, immediately jumped in one and had a ball splashing about. We will be back there again when we need boarding. Meanwhile, we may have to get a kiddie pool for Gidget. Smile

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

NCTim's picture

You have to work to breath. Funkin' sucks.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

gulfgal98's picture

keep getting slower and slower. I felt like I was walking through molasses this morning. Right now it is 82 but Wunderground says that it feels like 89. Heck it felt a lot hotter than that this morning. LOL

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

riverlover's picture

65 here, wunderground says 75 downtown, where I head, with my dress, and pants on underneath because it's somewhat gauzy, if you know what I mean. Not ready for fluorescent lighting or raking sun. Off the buy a garbage can, and X-tra lids if possible. And I can play old lady and have it loaded into my small car, which will probably mean collapsing back seats, which I am perfectly capable of doing, but hell. I can make eye contact.

Sorry you are the victim of The Wait.

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OLinda's picture

I don't have the tv on that much, but have seen 2 ads, one yesterday and one this morning. I think they are the same ad. I didn't pay that much attention. Ending tagline: Stronger Together.

When Hillary supporters talk about her "win," I've seen them saying she had the most delegates, she won the most states, etc. They often include that she won all of the battleground states. Well, she didn't win Colorado. It wasn't even close. If you see that posted, you can correct it. As far as I know, CO is a battleground. Always has been in the past. I'm sure that's why she is advertising here already.

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OLinda's picture

This one's different. About her work for children. Shows a clip of her talking in 1998 with her Southern Belle accent. I guess this is a taste of what we'll be subjected to here in CO for the next several months. Time to turn the tv back off.

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Lookout's picture

Here's what they think of her at the Children's defense fund.
http://www.democracynow.org/2007/7/24/childrens_defense_funds_marian_wri...

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Well, you know, Hillary Clinton is an old friend, but they are not friends in politics. We have to build a constituency, and you don’t—and we profoundly disagreed with the forms of the welfare reform bill, and we said so. We were for welfare reform, I am for welfare reform, but we need good jobs, we need adequate work incentives, we need minimum wage to be decent wage and livable wage, we need health care, we need transportation, we need to invest preventively in all of our children to prevent them ever having to be on welfare.

And yet, you know, many years after that, when many people are pronouncing welfare reform a great success, you know, we’ve got growing child poverty, we have more children in poverty and in extreme poverty over the last six years than we had earlier in the year. When an economy is down, and the real test of welfare reform is what happens to the poor when the economy is not booming. Well, the poor are suffering, the gap between rich and poor widening. We have what I consider one of—a growing national catastrophe of what we call the cradle-to-prison pipeline. A black boy today has a one-in-three chance of going to prison in his lifetime, a black girl a one-in-seventeen chance. A Latino boy who’s born in 2001 has a one-in-six chance of going to prison. We are seeing more and more children go into our child welfare systems, go dropping out of school, going into juvenile justice detention facilities. Many children are sitting up—15,000, according to a recent congressional GAO study—are sitting up in juvenile institutions solely because their parents could not get mental health and health care in their community. This is an abomination.

That is a staggering indictment, from the woman Hillary Clinton regularly mentions as her mentor, of a gap between Hillary Clinton's words and her record. It reflects upon a political decision that she and Bill made to leave many children behind in order to ensure a second term. (The "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act," as it was cynically called, was signed in August of 1996, just about three months before the '96 presidential election.)

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

skod's picture

running for over a week now, featuring parents of a disabled child decrying his mocking of the disabled reporter. It's going to be a long season, and I'm glad that we have a DVR- we seldom watch anything live. We are a battleground here in CO and between the presidential tit-for-tat, the droning Republican senate candidate Jack Whatshisname, and the ubiquitous "fracking is good for the environment, don't you get it?" ads, TV is already pretty much unwatchable in real time.

The morning news is an exception, although perhaps not for long. Consider this: this morning, of the 15 top stories teased and reported on 9News at 6am (between 6:15 and 7:00 while I was watching), I counted 11 that involved shootings. 11 out of 15 stories about people perforating other people with guns.

I think that that percentage might be a tad bit high, don't you? The elephant in the room "has a barrel that is blue and cold", to misquote the tune...

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NCTim's picture

Funk Friday.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

NCTim's picture

Shouldn't count the delegates. Aside from a couple of gerrymandered districts there are no D's elected there.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Lookout's picture

How sick are we? Very!

The NRA controlled gov't refuses to even allow research by the CDC into gun violence.
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20160614/lift-ban-on-cdc-researc...

Specifically, the American Medical Association (AMA) said Tuesday that a long-standing ban on federal government research into gun violence must be lifted to better understand and tackle the problem.
The AMA is now pledging to lobby Congress to overturn 20-year-old legislation that has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching the issue.

We refuse to admit we are ill, and so we don't even try to understand our sickness.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

NCTim's picture

GOP won’t stop terror suspects from owning guns because right-wing nuts are a threat — and their base

A week before Christmas, a small-town Ohio police chief spotted an SUV going 20 mph below the speed limit and stopped the motorist on suspicion of texting while driving.

The chief glimpsed a loaded 9 mm Smith and Wesson handgun in a bag between the passenger’s feet — but the routine stop became tense after he noticed the driver’s name on a national terrorist watch list.

Newtown police later said the driver, a right-wing Internet broadcaster named Pete Santilli, was not actually listed in terror database — but the incident sheds some light on conservative reluctance to ban suspected terrorists and the mentally ill from owning firearms.

Put simply: An awful lot of right-wing conservatives believe their Second Amendment rights kick in when their First Amendment talents fail — and they stoke their fears of government overreach with paranoid conspiracy theories that sometimes resemble mental illness.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Lookout's picture

A couple of good stories from Democracy now
http://www.democracynow.org/2016/6/16/let_s_learn_from_australia_semi
6 min

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Damnit Janet's picture

because of "safety". But any fucker can get a gun.

One low dose THC caramel a day is all I can sell at a MMJ dispensary but a clerk at Wal - Mart can sell you any gun you want.

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"Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

NCTim's picture

About a week ago, we were driving through a neighborhood and I saw kids playing with Jarts. It was thrilling.

I deal with medicine rationing constantly. They only send two weeks worth with the refill arriving the day before you run out. Hospice fumbled Sweetie's refills and an antibiotic for an UTI last two week cycle. I had to ration meds to get her through the weekend, got partial refills @ the pharmacy with $42 co-pay and the remainder, no co-pay hospice covered, FedEx the next day.

By the time it all came together Sweetie was out of sorts and sick/infected. She slept 16-20 hours Tue-Sat, lost control of body functions, couldn't control her head well enough to text/head mouse, couldn't nod yes/no and was basically a zombie. If I needed bullets, I could have just run to Wally World, night or day.

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

Damnit Janet's picture

My daughter's birth control can only be doled out a few months at a time which is better than the once a month scrip her friend has.

Anti-biotics... but bullets.. So sorry you had to go through that!!

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"Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

mimi's picture

flash mob dance in Washington DC's mall. It's non violent and very seductive for people to join.

Can't say that I do like what is going on in this country. So sorry for all that medication dispensing idiocy you have to go through.

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Good point. Nice choice of music, too.

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riverlover's picture

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