Link roundup, 10/15/15

Ron Paul is selling a home-school curriculum. No seriously, I’m not making this up.

Ben Carson has been pitching nutritional supplements to cure cancer, marketed through a pyramid model.

Today’s GOPLifer throwback from 2011: The Biggest Loser

Guns don’t kill people. Toddlers kill people – at a rate of about once a week.

The new Tesla introduces an “auto-pilot” mode, a precursor to the self-driving car.

Just in time for Halloween, a list of issues Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick wants to Legislators to prepare to take up in next session.

Donald Trump is threatening not to perform his shtick at the next GOP debate if his demands aren’t met.

Former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is planning to enter a plea on banking law violations. Those crimes are related to a years-long effort to cover up accusations that he molested boys on the wrestling team he coached.

Just for reference, here’s the speech Hastert made urging the impeachment of Bill Clinton while he was paying hush money to the boys’ families.

For those keeping track, each of the last three Republican Speakers prior to Boehner were either convicted of a crime or of House ethics violations.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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138 comments on “Link roundup, 10/15/15
  1. 1mime says:

    Tutta,
    I listened to an interesting interview this morning on the Diane Rehm Show that I think you would enjoy. It dealt with the loss of conversation due to digitization which I know is important to you. Here’s a link if you want to follow up:

    http://www.npr.org/books/titles/443481033/reclaiming-conversation-the-power-of-talk-in-a-digital-age

  2. 1mime says:

    This is OT but it is so interesting (and relates to Lifer’s last link round-up) that I’m going to post it anyway.

    “Big brother’s going to be watching you, soon!”

    http://theweek.com/articles/583478/office-robot

  3. Rob Ambrose says:

    Canada votes today. Will be an interesting proxy in terms of voyer turnout.

    I made a prediction a while back that social media has become a game changer in the past year or so re: political activism. Canadians have similar behaviors as Americans, and I think an unprecedented turnout among millenials there will imply a similar one in America.

    Social media is reaching millions of people, for free. It means we all need to think a little more critically, as there is no authority or fact checkers on Facebook. But I also predict it will have a significant democratizing effect. Good ideas will organically rise to the top without having to go through the traditional media filter, which is too often tied up with moneyed interests.

    Be interesting to see the outcome today.

    • 1mime says:

      The question in America is always, “will the younger voters turn out”? I think this is even more important this year given how inspiring Bernie Sanders has been for Millennials. If Bernie, despite great enthusiasm and support, is not selected as the Dem Presidential nominee, will the Millennials be so bummed that they won’t turn out for the General Election? This can be a fickle group, after all.

      As for me, should Bernie surge and earn the Dem nomination, I will support him with everything I’ve got. Same with Hillary. I am going to vote Democrat for a long time given the Republican Party’s platform.

      Let us know how things turn out in Canada, Rob.

      • 1mime says:

        Speaking of the insane Republican fixation on voter fraud (hey, the GOP’s gotta do what it can to suppress the vote, right?), Kansas has doubled down on crazy. Their ultra conservative Sec. of State (Kobach) is on a mission to punish voter fraud. “Kobach has long warned about the danger voter fraud poses to the integrity of elections in Kansas even though voter fraud is incredibly rare.” In their last election, he uncovered three (3 – that’s right – 3!) cases of voter fraud which in KS can be prosecuted, and he, by god, is goin’ after ’em! Here’s the fun part – all three were Republicans (-: (-: And, their reasons make pretty interesting reading.

        Be careful what you ask for, Mr. Kobach!

        http://talkingpointsmemo.com/fivepoints/kris-kobach-voter-fraud-cases

  4. Griffin says:

    I know posting this is going to cause everyone to point and laught at me but it’s being alleged that Bernie Sanders was a fairly effective politician who, despite not getting many bills through, used bizarre bipartisan coalitions to further his agenda by using legislative amendments. Some left-leaning blogs are even calling him “the Amendment King”.

    http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/bernie-gets-it-done-sanders-record-pushing-through-major-reforms-will-surprise-you

    I don’t know what to make of this. You’d think he would be bragging about it if it were true but then again that would hurt his image of not using political dirty tricks to get what he wants. If it’s true than it honestly makes me like him a lot more to know he could be an effective legislator ala LBJ if he were president (which he won’t be, but still).

    • 1mime says:

      No way, Griffen. Those who laugh at others, are small people. This is valuable information. I certainly had never seen this legislative achievement list. I have great admiration for Bernie Sanders and your post is very helpful. Good job!

      • Griffin says:

        You’re too good for the internet 1mime. I’d recommend you get out of here while you still have your soul but I don’t want for the nicest commenter on the world wide web to leave.

      • 1mime says:

        I kill ’em with kindness, Griffin, enjoy the nice commentators, and spar as necessary. My only regret is that I would enjoy meeting many of you but unless someone hosts a “meet”, we’ll remain online friends. For me, the internet blogs are an interesting way to exchange ideas (and, occasionally “barbs”). It fills my time and broadens my thinking, although I’ll admit that I beliefs and opinions are pretty well formed. Still, one can always learn something new and this gang is certainly a diverse, interesting lot. As long as posts are thoughtful (or fun), on point (I am bad about straying), and are properly documented when they should be, civility reigns and we all learn something.

        Thanks for the lovely thought.

      • texan5142 says:

        1mime is peachy keen in my book.

      • 1mime says:

        Gee whiz, guys, you are putting a big smile on my face! Thanks so much! TX, you make me laugh just when things start getting too serious….and you manage to put a little zinger in there, to boot! And Turtles always finds these outrageously fun action photos…cracks me up! Everybody contributes and I’m glad to be a part of the group.

      • RightonRush says:

        Yep, Ms. Mime is a super intelligent lady and an asset to this blog.

      • 1mime says:

        Thanks so much! It’s a blog filled with nice people…

  5. 1mime says:

    For those of you who are just curious, you may enjoy a 6-hour PBS series by Neuroscientist David Eagleman, simply entitled “The Brain with David Eagleman”. The first episode was Wednesday, October 14 (and is archived by PBS), and the episodes air weekly on Wednesdays, through November 18. Set your DVR! A 44 year old neuroscientist, author, researcher, inventor and lecturer, TV host and BIG Thinker (TED Talks, etc)….According to his colleagues and other admirers, “Eagleman is noted for his ability to distill complex ideas in provocative ways.” The program can be streamed online as well. How wonderful to know that there are people in the world who are intelligent and using that gift to improve and expand the world for all. What a wonderful, healthy, distraction from the pettiness of our political stage.

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/health/article/Hot-neuroscientist-TV-host-is-the-brain-behind-6575984.php

    http://video.pbs.org/program/brain-david-eagleman/

  6. flypusher says:

    I’m going to give some kudos to Donald Trump here. He is absolutely 100% right in calling out Jeb! for his ridiculous claim that W “kept us safe” on 9/11. It’s kind of a “only Nixon could go to China” moment. I get that Jeb! doesn’t want to throw his brother under the bus, and that a whole lot of GOPers have this reality impairment condition, but this type of revisionist BS needs to be killed with fire. W might have been the worst possible choice for President in such a situation, and the effects of his FUBAR will probably outlast everyone reading this blog.

  7. flypusher says:

    Is Jeb! the next one out?

    http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/fec-bush-214869

    Can’t pay your people? A sure-fire symptom of a dying campaign. So is Rubio the establishment’s only hope?

    • Griffin says:

      Since the first debate its been obvious Jeb! would lose in a general election, probably even without the many disadvantages the GOP is facing. He’s been out of politics for too long, is a terrible communicator, has terrible (and not moderate) policy positions, lacks any sort of charisma, and now he’s been humilated by Trump. Rubio has always been their only hope it’s just that they took too long to recognize it. If they don’t stand united behind his campaign real soon the Base just might steal this election and that’s pretty much the Dems only hope of taking the House of Representatives.

      Actually… here’s to Ted Cruz for the 2016 GOP nominee! He’s your only hope trust me as a liberal (libtard amirite lol) I’m terrified of him because I know he would cause the people to WAKE UP and TAKE BACK THE COUNTRY from the DEMORATS who control it so trust me on this one and nominate Cruz (Trumps fine too)!

      • 1mime says:

        You may be correct, Griffen, but I can’t go with ya on Cruz. Too risky. I’d vote for Trump first. (ugh)

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Mime I think he’s saying that, as a liberal, he wants Ceuz or Trump nominated because they both ensure a Democrat win

      • 1mime says:

        I understood that, but I am not certain that would happen. Hillary is more damaged than is evident even though she’s well qualified for the office. In this election, being qualified doesn’t seem to be a significant factor. More Dems will turn out to vote against Cruz, but not so sure they will turn out “for” Hillary. Bernie is great but will be the Dem’s “Cruz” and will increase conservative voting. This is going to be an unusual election and I don’t think anyone can accurately predict the outcome. Ted Cruz is the worst possible outcome for our country so I hope he has no shot but I’ve seen stranger things happen over my years of watching politics. Who would have thought Jeb Bush would be in the doldrums at this point? Or that Trump would still be leading the group?

        What is most amazing are all the people who are supporting both of these men for President of the United States. That’s sobering and disappointing.

    • 1mime says:

      I don’t think so, Fly. He’s got a ton of PAC money for the general election, should he be the nominee, but the way campaign finance laws work, in the primary their funds are more limited.
      I just can’t see Rubio taking the nomination away from him…just seems to have less substance. Likable, but not Presidential. He should run for FL Governor instead. One thing is sure, he won’t be a Senator if he’s not the nominee. He pledged to give up that position. We’ll see. So many of these younger politicians (and a few old ones too) only know politics. That is their resume.

  8. 1mime says:

    Re: Toddlers and gun violence. In my ongoing research on this topic, I ran across this Atlantic Magazine piece that was offers a neat summary of the situation. It’s not as recent as I’d like but the basic info unfortunately, is still applicable. There is a lot of information about studies on the issue and the percentage of deaths resulting from gun violence that could be expected by each initiative. Even though the percentages were small, in aggregate, the programs could save many lives. Expansion of background checks to include personal sales, better and more analysis and research by entities such as the CDC; better reporting of gun violence statistics (doctors and hospitals) are a few valid efforts that could be helpful if they had not been legally forbidden by Republicans over the years.

    What’s interesting is what the research says about commonly held ideas, and what is potential if Congress would support those initiatives that are more likely to be successful even though they are more narrowly focused.

    As we all know: key is Republican and NRA obstructionism.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/02/gun-violence-in-america-the-13-key-questions-with-13-concise-answers/272727/#reduce

  9. 1mime says:

    By now, everyone here has figured out I’m not a big football fan (geaux Tigers play tonight)….Responding to Lifer’s link on “The Biggest Loser”….

    Politico featured Arco-may Ubio-Ray (I’ll stop doing that soon, promise) and the article clearly indicates big problems in his campaign -inadequate campaign structure for a presidential bid; too few public appearances (which is really strange as even Breithart confirms that Rubio has missed more votes in Congress than any other Presidential candidate – over 81 – good buddy Cruz missed 61, and Sanders missed 6!….what is Rubio doing with his time?); “stretching” the truth (money raised, his plaintiff tale about his family leaving Cuba because of Castro – only thing is, they left 3 years before Castro’s uprising); his underwhelming performance while in FL Legislature (well, he did get elected, that’s “something”); and his reputed weekly phone calls to Sheldon Adelson to “update” the mogul on what he is achieving…Really? Some might call that “sucking up”….especially since Adelson has not yet committed to Rubio….but, he might…which raises an interesting question:

    Since Rubio is not raising money on parity with other GOP front runners, how much would Adelson’s backing mean in terms of his ability to make independent decisions? He certainly isn’t benefitting from “time in grade” (Congress) since he’s gone so much, which, in combination with the rest of his resume, makes one wonder if he’s just a cute, young guy who can give good speeches…..

    An interesting reader comment to the article posited this possibility about what Rubio’s “real” strategy is (assuming he in unsuccessful in his Presidential nomination) – In 2016, FL elects a new governor………………

    http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/rubio-wake-up-call-214890

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/02/exclusive-nonpartisan-analysis-shows-donald-trump-right-marco-rubios-no-show-voting-record/

    • Griffin says:

      Rubio has the best chance of taking the nomination for the same reason Romney did, he is pretty much their only hope of beating the Democrats in 2016 because he probably has Florida in the bag and hasn’t made himself into a complete raving loon at this point (though taking the positions he has on abortion and Planned Parenthood has probably already sunk his chances). Of course he’s facing a stronger and better organized base than Romney was so who knows if the GOP base will chicken out at the last second and nominate Rubio.

      “makes one wonder if he’s just a cute, young guy who can give good speeches…..”

      Meh I personally think he comes across as insufferably fake and smug, falling somewhere between Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz on that front.

      • 1mime says:

        You must be a Sanders fan since you want “real”.

      • Griffin says:

        Well sure I like Sanders but it’s widely acknowledged that one of Hillary’s largest problems is that she doesn’t come across as a “real person”. She’s getting better about it but this is not exactly a fringe position pretty much everyone agrees (even her own campaign) that this a problem for a politician to have (like it was for Mitt Romney). I think Rubio comes across as even more inauthentic as Clinton though so in a match up between the two Clinton would crush him on pretty much all fronts.

  10. 1mime says:

    Gotta admit, I’m on a roll here. NYT is clearly stimulating the few brain cells I have left (-:

    Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer prize winning author and journalist. His book on the struggle following the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, was a tough, outstanding read – “The Worst Hard Times” . Unsurprisingly, he lives in Seattle. Less surprising, he is progressive in his thinking.

    Today he writes about Democratic Socialism. Stay with me here (-: He explains that the United States is a wonderful blend of capitalism and socialism, surprising many who value our “way of life” with noses up on any positive mention of socialism (it is communist, you know). It turns out that many Americans, especially the up and coming younger generation really like some of the Democratic Socialism ideas – their parents may too, but they loathe those who advocate socialism. Interesting contradiction isn’t it? The crowds and money Sanders is pulling in should be sending a message to us…if, we could only “hear”.

    He turns to comments made by Sanders and Clinton about Denmark – a small Democratic Socialistic country which has was recently rated by Forbes magazine as the best country in the world for business. Could there be some lessons there for the behemoth capitalistic society of America? Nah….what could we possibly learn from Denmark!!!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/16/opinion/guess-who-else-is-a-socialist.html?src=me&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most%20Emailed&pgtype=article&mtrref=www.nytimes.com&assetType=opinion

  11. Griffin says:

    Thought you would find this post by a left-leaning econ blogger interesting. Why Austrian school libertarianism is anti-capitalist:

    http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-filthy-anti-capitalist-mentality-of.html

    • 1mime says:

      Since we’re talking economics here, Gail Collins of the NYT, has a piece on falling numbers of American women in the workplace, relative to other countries. The single biggest factor: high cost of childcare and unpaid maternity leave. Japan, a country that is miniscule in comparison, is gaining on us, not only in female employment, but in making child care better and more plentiful. They know that a country’s economic strength depends upon a strong, diverse, productive workforce – including women. America ranks 20th in the world for women in the workplace, down from 7th. What happened? Conservatives will probably say that is due to America’s great economy (unless they are talking about Democratic programs, then our economy ‘stinks’). What the countries who rank above the U.S. understand is that highest productivity occurs when capable people are fairly compensated with favorable work conditions.
      Women bring great value to the marketplace, and our numbers are declining. It is NOT because women don’t want to work, or need to work (the economy is doing better but certainly not robust). Something else is at play. It is tempting to link declining numbers of female employment with the conservative resistance to paid leave and expanded pre-school child care. It also makes one wonder if this statistic and lack of policy support results from conservative belief that women should stay at home and not compete in the marketplace?

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/17/opinion/what-happened-to-working-women.html?emc=edit_th_20151017&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=41048410&_r=0

    • 1mime says:

      Griffin, you got me digging (-:

      Another great article in today’s NYT relates to the use of empirical data for policy development. This year’s Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences went to a respected practitioner in this field, “Angus Deaton, …honored for his rigorous and innovative use of data — including the collection and use of new surveys on individuals’ choices and behaviors — to measure living standards and guide policy.”

      Turns out that Republicans don’t like or want empirical data to guide policy and they have used their power over the budget for years to constrain thirteen main statistical agencies, including the census, the American Time Use Survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American Community Survey, and more. The budgets for these agencies are either capped or reduced despite population growth, inflation, and technological growth.

      A valid question would be “why”? The data from these various reports is highly useful to business and as a tool to understand societal changes as a guide to policy development and budget priorities. Clearly, Republicans don’t want to be bothered by “hard” statistics – or, is it more a matter of not wanting statistical studies whose results they can’t control?

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/17/opinion/nobel-winner-prizes-data-that-congress-disdains.html?ribbon-ad-idx=4&rref=opinion&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=article

      • Griffin says:

        Unfortunately they have been trying to do this for years. Everytime a new report comes out from a government agency (usually the OECD) that trickle-down economics doesn’t work they try to decry it as liberal lies and try to bury it. Unfortunately they are now in a position to do exactly that.

        It would be easy to think why they are doing this is mainly because their donors are wealthy and want tax cuts but I think it’s more complicated than that. The Republican Party as of now is a post-empirical party, it does not care for or believe in empirical evidence unless it explicitly furthers their agenda. That’s because they do not see government as a place to pass policies that help people but instead as a platform to further their ideology and make sure people think the right way. They are increasingly becoming America’s answer to the hardline Marxist parties in the Eastern world.

      • 1mime says:

        Exactly. Don’t fund a program that doesn’t reinforce your ideology. Hence – don’t support affordable pre-school because more women would work with less stress, or don’t support affordable, accessible contraception because “welfare moms and abortion” are such great marketing ploys, etc, etc.

        Griffen, I can’t recall if it was you, Crogged, or Stephen (sorry guys) that had such a super post on what they felt public education needed to be like in order to meet changing times. (Last NYT post, I promise!) David Brooks may have completely turned the corner after his come to jesus piece on Republicans recently. This thoughtful essay looks at what public education could be and how it would benefit not only our children’s intellectual development, but would engender a “wiser” individual while being much more relevant to our American economy and society.

        He should be Obama’s “education czar” (-: (I mean, why not?)

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/16/opinion/schools-for-wisdom.html?ribbon-ad-idx=3&src=me&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most%20Emailed&pgtype=article

  12. 1mime says:

    The Week offers two interesting, opposing views on 2016 elect-ability for the Presidential nomination for each party. Which do you think is most likely? Archo-may Ubio-ray? or Eb-Jay Ush-bay; OR, Ernie-Bay Anders-Say or Illary-Hay linton-Clay?

    http://theweek.com/articles/583229/democrats-2016-strategy-assumes-america-lurching-left-are-wrong

    http://www.theweek.com/articles/583480/republicans-have-serious-electability-problem–marco-rubio-not-answer

  13. Bobo Amerigo says:

    I also had a good laugh this morning:

    “But with great wealth comes great pettiness”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/16/opinion/democrats-republicans-and-wall-street-tycoons.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

    Krugman, discussing Wall Street’s switch to R’s this cycle, indicating “Wall Street insiders take Democratic pledges to crack down on bankers’ excesses seriously.”

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      When I clicked on his blog post, “On Thoughtful Conservatives”, up popped a really lovely photo of a unicorn.

      More giggles!

    • 1mime says:

      Anything (legislation, policy), and anyone (candidates), who are on the receiving end of WS and Republican criticism/attacks must be doing something right, or they wouldn’t be perceived as threats. Kind of helps one figure out how to vote, doesn’t it?

      • 1mime says:

        Politico offers an excellent historical perspective on the splinter caucuses that have formed in Congress over decades, why they formed and what were the outcomes. The author seems unable to find much hope for reining in the Freedom Caucus as their motivations are not party driven, but ideology driven. What can be done to change peoples’ minds if they hear only their own message and their constituents are driven by the same ideology? How could the Constitutional checks and balance possibly work under this scenario? More tellingly, how much damage will this group of young, self-absorbed men inflict before somehow they are toppled.

        The government runs out of sufficient revenues to meet daily obligations on Nov. 4th. Bear in mind that the Treasury Department has been juggling funds for months. The current budget hasn’t been passed and the federal debt ceiling hasn’t been raised. We still don’t have a decent bill to finance our nation’s infrastructure repair and maintenance of our roads, bridges, and waterways even as public safety is compromised. We don’t hear dialogue on immigration or the income disparity, or wage increases, but Congress has plenty of time and taxpayer money to conduct 8 Benghazi committee hearings, and pass more and more restrictive legislation to restrict women’s rights. The Iran Agreement was quietly launched yesterday and there is much to do to monitor and guide this effort but this, too, is being ignored as is the deleterious affects of climate change.

        This is the world’s ‘greatest’ nation? This is how Democracy is modeled for aspiring countries around the globe? This is how our elected officials care for all our nation’s people?
        This is what the people of America allow?

  14. unarmedandunafraid says:

    I like to check out the Kansas news occasionally. Just to see how things are going in the state. Found this.

    http://www.kansas.com/news/state/article39112191.html

    So many questions.

  15. BigWilly says:

    “I tell you, I am absolutely baffled why minority voters struggle to get on the GOP bandwagon.”

    I wonder what will happen when we release millions of low level, non-violent, offenders back on the street? I haven’t really seen any discussion with the people who live in the neighborhoods that will be most impacted by such policy.

    As long as its not my neighborhood. I’d hate to have to buy a weapon in order to protect myself.

    • Tuttabella says:

      Maybe the new avatar will get their attention.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      The key words are “low level, non-violent,” so it shouldn’t be too bad.

      The scary word here is “millions.” The idea of millions of ANYTHING being released all at once sounds overwhelming.

      Even too much of a good thing is not good.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t recall anyone saying “millions” would be released, only that millions are incarcerated. America should be deeply ashamed of our justice system. Bear in mind that we are only seeing the proverbial tip of the iceberg. AFter reading “Just Mercy”, my personal sense of American justice is very harsh. I contribute to the Southern Poverty Law Center and receive their newsletters. They do tremendous work in the justice arena and receive very little acknowledgement for their efforts (except for those whose lives they directly impact).

      • BigWilly says:

        Just kind of thinking what that might be like…big bad Jim done got outta jail. He’ll be okay ’till he gets his ale. More bar fights. More petty theft. More domestic issues. More kids without Fathers.

        The prison system is supposed to help reform those who are willing to be reformed, and protect them from the career insiders. Then the guy gets out and what’s there? Not much when you have a rap sheet. Why does this remind me of college?

        Anyway…Drive alone, ride with Hitler.

        What if I’m on my cycle. That would mean mein Fuher would ride pillion. People might get the wrong idea. Not about me. Hitler was probably bi. Not me. No Hitler riding pillion. No gay insinuation.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Why does this remind me of college?
        **********************
        That’s why they call it “reform school.”

      • 1mime says:

        Reform school….a whole ‘nuther bad subject.

      • Crogged says:

        Some big bad Jim’s will return to jail, as will be breathlessly reported in the local news every night and repeated by the next candidate for local office in every next year’s election for ever more. Amen. You can fret, like the Germans, the South Africans and the antebellum mansion owners did all those year ago, “What will those people do now?”

    • dowripple says:

      If you need a gun for non-violent offenders, what is required when prepping for violent ones? Landmines? 🙂

    • 1mime says:

      Would you rather people who were sentenced twenty years for being too poor to pay a fine have to stay in prison? You noted in my post that the government and prison authorities are releasing these people in small waves, transitioning via half-way houses….I just hope that their incarceration history won’t be a major impediment to employment. As I recall, that’s part of the plan. Darn, I posted the story somewhere with great detail…need to do a search of my own posts !

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I am opposed to the whole notion of bail, which leads to the poorest being held in jail waiting for their “speedy trial,” while the wealthiest are allowed to roam free.

        As for the question of being a flight risk, I think the wealthiest would be a greater flight risk, since they have the means to flee.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I have thought a lot about the mass incarceration of certain groups. It’s more than being locked up and later having trouble finding a job. It’s also about the loss of civil rights. Convicted felons lose the right to vote and the right to serve on juries. They also lose the right to bear arms, although, depending on the state and on the crime for which they were convicted, they could recuperate the right to bear arms within 5 years.

        I think they lose the right to vote and serve on juries FOREVER. I find that a very sobering thought, and I don’t agree with it.

        When I reported for jury duty about a year ago, I was chosen for one of the panels, and I was struck by the fact that there were no Black men on that panel. The defendant was Black, but he would have no other Black men to hear his case.

      • 1mime says:

        There is great interest in restoring the right to vote for those who have completed their sentences. Some states already do allow felons to vote. The great tragedy is the minor nature of the crimes that garnered decades of incarceration. ‘Just Mercy’ was one of the most eye-opening accounts of problems within our prisons that I have ever read. Children as young as fourteen have been executed for crimes, many more have received life sentences. We have people in prison who are so old they are in wheelchairs. It’s such a quagmire that it is going to take a long time, a very far-reaching effort, and multiple bi-partisan bills to begin to fix the problems. You see, the focus will have to begin with representation – right to competent counsel – judges who aren’t in the pockets of people (sadly that does exist…most of our judges in the U.S. are elected, not appointed, except at the federal level which is ultra political and part of the problem), and sentencing guidelines that “fit” the crime, and conditions with prisons – co-mingling of teens with adult offenders – corrupt guards – prisons for profit abusing inmates for contract labor….It is such a massive problem and only when one starts to read more deeply do you realize how extensive the changes will have to be to make progress. It must be done.

        Inability to afford bail should not be a precursor to imprisonment. I don’t know how many here realize that Sandra Bland could not raise the $500 bail and so was kept in jail. Had she been able to get out timely, she might have been around to seek her own justice for how she was treated instead of being six feet under. There are a million stories like hers, some even more sad, and many resulting in improper incarceration.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I should probably clarify that a convicted felon might regain the right to bear arms 5 years AFTER SERVING HIS TIME.

        In my opinion, felons should regain the right to vote and to serve on juries at some point after serving their time.

      • 1mime says:

        I give up on finding the link I posted….But, here’s a copy of the actual enrolled bill for those who want to read further. Let me just say that the Safe Justice Act is a beginning, nothing more or less. We have a very long path to achieve a balanced, fair justice process and system.

        http://famm.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/SAFE-Justice-Act-of-2015-BILL-TEXT-FINAL.pdf

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I think that instead of, or rather, in addition to comparing the percentage of Black or Hispanic people in prison, a better study might be to compare similar crimes committed by minorities versus Whites, and seeing how their sentences differ, to see if one group tends to get the harsher sentence for the same type of crime.

      • 1mime says:

        ….compare sentencing for same crimes between races….

        Honey, that is such a slam dunk it’s not worth investing the time. Hands down, Blacks get worse representation, harsher sentencing, and spend more time in prison. It isn’t even close.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, no objective study is a waste of time, no matter how sure we may be of the outcome.

        My point is that we should use specific examples of similar crimes committed by the various groups, and then comparing their sentences, if only to better illustrate the injustice that exists.

        Otherwise, if we just continue to point out the high numbers of incarcerated minorities, the first reaction might simply be, well, they did commit a crime.

      • 1mime says:

        And, my point is that this has been, is being studied to death. We have the data, we just need to develop and implement the plan to deal with it. The new law, Safe Justice Act, is a start, and I am grateful for it. Hopefully, it will provide an avenue for greater reform. Government is really good about studying things to death. Meanwhile, people are rotting in prisons. The objective studies are done; it’s time to act.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tutt…I don’t have time to pull up some research on this, but it goes beyond, “well, they did commit a crime”.

        From ages 18 to 25, White folks do as much if not more drugs than Black folks. Want to guess who has a higher arrest and conviction rate?

        Both are committing the crime, but one is much more policed, arrested, charged, and convicted.

        NYC finally had to stop the “Stop and Frisk” program in part because the hugely disproportionate numbers for Blacks and Hispanics. Minority members were frisked at an incredibly higher rate than were White folks, but when frisked, White folks were actually more likely to be carrying drugs or a weapon.

        it is not just committing the crime, it is the police looking much harder at certain groups to see if they are committing a crime.

        My brother-in-law (a cop) and I were having this conversation, and his point was that it was just simply easier to catch Black folks dealing drugs because they are more likely to do it on the street. Simply easier to see. When I asked how hard it would be to see it on a college campus or along the housing near college campuses, he said it would undoubtedly be harder to find on campus (you can’t just crash a dorm or an apartment), but it wouldn’t be impossible to find either. It would take all of maybe an hour for a moderately young cop to wander onto campus and score drugs from a campus dealer. Want to guess where they are spending their time?

      • 1mime says:

        Homer this disparity is slamming us in the face. We don’t need to study it anymore. We need to deal with it.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Ok, Miss Mime, your point is well taken.

        I’m glad that the possession of illegal drugs is being seen in a more lenient light now, but I’m sad because that’s due to it being seen as a “White person’s transgression” now instead of a “Black person’s crime.”

      • 1mime says:

        The irony of that hasn’t escaped me either, Tutta. Who cares if these problems impact Blacks and Hispanics, but boy when they start encroaching on us White folks, we gotta make some changes, fast!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        HT, I’m not the one who is saying that “well, they did commit a crime.” I am saying that the immediate reaction by many people would be to think that.

        I hope we don’t end up with a thread with everyone lecturing me sarcastically because I supposedly think everyone deserves to rot in prison because after all, “they did commit a crime.”

        This place is rife with misunderstandings.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Mime, I think you mentioned that your husband is of Sicilian descent. I’m just curious, but did he encounter any harassment by the police over the years?

      • 1mime says:

        Good memory, Tutta! He is of Sicilian descent (paternal side) but his paternal grandfather and family entered the U.S. through the Port of New Orleans and worked as indentured parties for a year on a plantation near Baton Rouge, LA, then moved up to North LA where they worked some more before taking their earnings and starting their own business in Hattiesburg, MS. From there, they moved to Natchez, MS where they raised their family and expanded their business. I don’t know of any problems faced by my husband’s grandfather but his father had to battle with school bullies but he gave as good as he got until they left him alone. Ironically, after the Depression and many years of hard work, my husband’s father with his humble beginnings had purchased enough property (Italians LOVE property ownership) and retired very comfortably. I think that Sicilian immigrants who entered through NY port may have had a harder time, as did the Irish who had to fight everyone.

        There is a great PBS Documentary on the Italian settlement in NY.

  16. Rob Ambrose says:

    DoJ announces new department designed to go after domestic terrorism, including racists, anarchists etc.

    Who could possibly be against that, right?

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/right-wing-activists-claim-doj-domestic-terrorism-chief-will-target-veterans-and-conservativ

    • 1mime says:

      Ugh…..well, that didn’t take long, did it? If America keeps killing the messengers (note the ‘plural’), we will continue our slide back into time.

      One position for the WHOLE United States. What a threat to anyone’s security! Wow! We have some really, really insecure, paranoid people in America. Now, if one of their family members get wacked, That’s different! Then it’s pull out all stops to get justice.

      Good find, Rob. So disheartening and yet so predictable.

  17. dowripple says:

    From the Q&A in Ron Paul’s curriculum Q/A section, a reply to “What if we cannot control our child?”

    “If you must nag your child to get him to do his school work, do not adopt the Ron Paul Curriculum. It will not work.”

    Glad to know that his revisionist history classes would not have been applicable to me, or I too may have been a neo-confederate! 🙂

  18. vikinghou says:

    This is OT, but the following article from the NYT deals with ocean acidification due to the increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. This subject does not receive sufficient attention and the potential threat is more serious than climate change.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/16/opinion/our-deadened-carbon-soaked-seas.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=0

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      When I read that this morning I got so depressed. How much longer can that kind of data be ignored

      • flypusher says:

        Most of Florida being underwater is probably the tipping point.

      • 1mime says:

        Yet politicians are discussing a two billion dollar floodgate to protect Galveston…what about all the chemical plants in Freeport, and south of the City of Houston? Will a disaster of epic proportions be needed?

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        As long as Big Oil and the Koch Bros continue to spend billions convincing rubes that Jesus would never let little ol humans make Earth unlivable for us.

      • 1mime says:

        Until one of two things happen: the Republican Party dissolves and becomes a party of reason; or, two, the Democratic Party seizes control of the three branches of government and makes climate management happen all on its own.

        The odds of either of these two happening? Soon enough to pre-empt the CO2 problem?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        “…the Democratic Party seizes control of the three branches of government and makes climate management happen all on its own.”

        I get what you are saying, but I suspect we are at least several hundred years away from being able manage the climate. Let’s go with, “try to do some things that might help not damage the environment more than we already have…”

      • 1mime says:

        I’m practicing my tongue-in-cheek projections ….

      • BigWilly says:

        You’re supposed to get depressed, that’s the whole point. You’re supposed to react. If you don’t react appropriately you must be out of your gourd.

        You must be out of your melon already.

        Sorry, almost forgot. RAAAAAAAAAAAAAACISTS.

      • Set your sights on Monday, Bobo, and get yourself undressed.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Song lyrics, right? Because if it’s not, I have no idea what that means….

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Man Bobo…you saying that just makes me feel old

      • 1mime says:

        There aren’t too many who post here who aren’t at least twenty years younger than I, and their chances of having to live with this problem is much greater than mine. Even if we don’t care for our own lives, what about our childrens’?

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        So there was a band called America?

        “Sister Golden Hair”

        Well I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damn depressed
        That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed
        I ain’t ready for the altar but I do agree there’s times
        When a woman sure can be a friend of mine

        Well, I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
        And I just can’t live without you; can’t you see it in my eyes?
        I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
        But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind

        Will you meet me in the middle, will you meet me in the air?
        Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care?
        Well I tried to fake it, I don’t mind sayin’, I just can’t make it

        Well, I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
        And I just can’t live without you; can’t you see it in my eyes?
        Now I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
        But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind

        Will you meet me in the middle, will you meet me in the air?
        Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care?
        Well I tried to fake it, I don’t mind sayin’, I just can’t make it

        Doo wop doo wop …

      • 1mime says:

        Fun memories, Bobo!

      • Pretty much the greatest band of the late 20th century, Bobo, the Beatles notwithstanding. Although PPL is right up there… 🙂

    • Doug says:

      “In the past three decades, the number of living corals covering the Great Barrier Reef has been cut in half, reducing critical habitat for fish and the resilience of the entire reef system.”

      …and the reader is supposed to assume that this is because of “acidification.” Typical of scare stories like this.

      According to the government of Australia:
      The Australian Institute of Marine Science estimates the Great Barrier Reef has lost approximately half of its coral cover since 1985. The research attributed the loss to three main factors in the following order: cyclones, crown-of-thorns starfish and coral bleaching.

      It has also been estimated that if crown-of-thorns starfish predation had not occurred over the past 30 years, then instead of decline, there would have been a net increase in average coral cover.

      • 1mime says:

        Oops….If you had included the next paragraph in that report, you would have seen:

        “All three of the drivers causing the coral decline are related to climate, says Ove, who was not involved in the study. Bleaching is caused by extreme heat events and rising sea temperatures, and there’s growing evidence to suggest warmer seas are leading to more intense tropical storms and more intense flooding of the sort we saw two years ago.”

        Here’s a link to the entire report: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/news/2012/10/great-barrier-reef-has-lost-half-its-coral/

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        ^ 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Something for those who are concerned about global warming. NYT reports: “Ten of the world’s big oil companies, mainly from Europe, jointly acknowledged on Friday, that their industry must help address global climate change and said that hey agreed with the United Nations’ goals of limiting global warming.” Included in this group were: BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Saudi Aramco and Total. “They made no specific commitments toward helping to meet the climate challenge but…indicated they would await government regulations…., (and) specifically, they would support limiting the rise in the atmospheric termperature to 3.6degrees Fahrenheit.”

        Significantly, NONE of the biggest American oil companies signed the declaration or were part of the group partly due to the potential for carbon taxes or trading CO2 emission permits although Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil, said he would support putting a price on carbon as long as it was “revenue-neutral”.

        America knows better. About everything. That’s why our country is the most safe, the best run, best insured, most inclusive, healthiest country on Earth.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/17/business/energy-environment/oil-companies-climate-change-un.html

      • Doug says:

        mime, I was reading from a government site that doesn’t mention global warmi…err…climate change, but that’s hilarious. We start out with an article insinuating that acidification is killing the reef. But of course it isn’t, just like the bleaching isn’t, although that was the cry a few years ago before this report was released. So now we end up with another article saying CO2 is causing hurricanes and flooding that trigger starfish outbreaks. You believers are like whac-a-mole. It would be funny if your end goals weren’t so destructive.

      • 1mime says:

        Doug, your posts and your rebuttals would have more merit if you included links.  I read several sites – including the Australian government’s statement.  You failed to demonstrate the “cause” of the three drivers of loss of the Great Reef.  I don’t dispute that there is loss, only that there are reasons for those losses that you didn’t include, and they are weather – related.  “Something” causes massive cyclones, bleaching, etc.  It’s sort of like gun violence – we all know definitively that guns kill, what we disagree about is if there are practical ways to reduce gun deaths.  A deeper analysis would include both cause and effect.  Divers have been reporting barrier reef loss for years, as have other areas in the world.  We simply disagree on the “why” and your post didn’t offer any explanation for “why”.  

        It is always helpful to include the link to one’s comment so that we can read the same information and either dispute or agree with the assessment being drawn from the information.  That’s what science does in its studies – look at all factors before drawing conclusions.

  19. Turtles Run says:

    My respect for Bernie Sanders shot up 4,000%. Everything that is wrong with Big Pharma poster boy Martin Shkreli famous for raising the price of Daraprim, a drug to treat a rare parasitic infection, donated $2700 to the Sanders campaign. Unlike most politicians that would take such a donation and play stupid afterwards ole’ Bernie immediately sent the money to a health clinic.

    Shkeli was upset because he thought the donation entitled him to a meeting with Bernie Sanders to explain his side of the story.

    I guess Bernie has better things to do than waste his time listening to the lame excuses to justify the indefensible. Bravo Sir, Bravo.

    http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/257105-sanders-rejects-donation-from-drug-ceo-accused-of-price-gouging

    • flypusher says:

      No amount of CEOsplain’ is going to make Shkreli sympathetic here. His name needs to become a new word that denotes an especially egregious form of greedy corporate douchebaggery.

      • Turtles Run says:

        100% agree. He is the new age Skilling and Fastow. But it is great that Bernie truly has standards sticks to them. I applaud him.

    • 1mime says:

      Bernie is a fine man and I am so glad for our country that he is a candidate. His concerns are the peoples’ concerns – average working American concerns – which have been ignored and are still being ignored and cut in the budget proposals of the GOP Presidential candidates.

      If what Bernie represents is Democratic Socialism, maybe we need to take another look – at the man and his platform. Crowds and money follow ideas and he’s got both in spades.

    • dowripple says:

      “a drug to treat a rare parasitic infection”

      Slightly OT, to address the need for lab-production of vaccines for rare diseases in times of need, has anyone suggested something similar to ERCOT’s LAARs program (load acting as resource)? Labs could receive a tax-credit for participating, and when an outbreak occurs (here or elsewhere in the world), the government could call on these labs to utilize x% of their production for the needed vaccines (similar to how large electric loads lower their capacity). The labs would still be paid for the vaccines, but at a pre-determined rate (since they would have essentially been receiving an option premium). I had heard that the government labs are insufficient in production capacity sometimes, and this may alleviate that while not inconveniencing non-gvmnt labs too much. I thought of this during the Ebola scare, but was afraid to suggest it (in case it’s stupid). I’m not very sciency… 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Dow, I have no idea how that works, but it stands to reason that drug companies are focusing R&D on drugs that have high profit margins. There may need to be sort of a “united nations FDA” to deal with global parasitic, infectious diseases that have massive impact. One would hope that world powers could cooperate on this type of initiative. Everything is so profit-driven these days that it’s hard to imagine commercial pharmaceuticals committing to doing this out of the goodness of their hearts (??) If you think about it, if it weren’t for the Defense Department’s research, we wouldn’t have the internet and technology of today. Of course, don’t say “government-sponsored” or the righties go ballistic (-:

  20. flypusher says:

    “Mr. Speaker, if an action by a president poses a threat to our government, then he may be impeached for that action. The president’s behavior was reprehensible, insensible, even unimaginable, but it is not impeachable.”

    Sums up the whole farce very nicely, except for the unimaginable part. Bill had a reputation before he ran for President. I was disappointed, but in no way shocked.

    The whole impeachment setup doesn’t seem to work very well when the guy who tries to cover up such tawdry little affair gets zapped, but not the guy who does an end run around Congress and sells weapons to people deemed to be terrorists and uses the $ to fund skeezy characters like the Contras.

    Worth repeating: although I consider Larry Flynt to be a lowlife bottom feeder, he did this country a great service in outing the House hypocrites.

    • 1mime says:

      You didn’t use the name “Reagan”……but am assuming he’s the one….(There, I’ve said it…the unimaginable, unmentionable, undeniable….)

  21. 1mime says:

    The concept Ms. Mickelson was suggesting, WAS slavery. That is not right. Study up on most U.S. prisons and you’ll find most have a prison work program. But the only choice the prisoners have is how hard they work because they are chosen based upon their offense and behavior…mostly the former. Even the prisoners in the prison work program wouldn’t call it slavery. That concept concedes all control and ownership to the property owner as slaves were not considered people, they were property. That concept is best left in the history books and not dredged up for today’s world. For anyone to be even discussing such a thing is abhorrent.

  22. rightonrush says:

    Surprise, surprise, look who is Ben Carson’s business manager.
    By Bob Burton on January 14, 2005 – 5:41am

    Conservative pundit Armstrong Williams has been under fire recently following revelations that he was paid $240,000 to promote the Bush administration’s “No Child Left Behind” law. However, it isn’t the first time that his media interests have been used as a mouthpiece for hidden interests.

    Armstrong WilliamsInternal tobacco industry documents reveal that in 1996 Williams allowed his nationally syndicated radio program, The Right Side, to be guest hosted by Malcolm Wallop, the chairman of Frontiers of Freedom (FoF), a front group partly funded by tobacco companies.
    – See more at: http://www.prwatch.org/news/2005/01/3185/other-armstrong-williams-scandal#sthash.Y6MXWhuT.dpuf

    http://www.prwatch.org/news/2005/01/3185/other-armstrong-williams-scandal

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      Here is another set of factoids/excerpts about Armstrong Williams and his views…

      http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-12-17-thurmond_x.htm

      USA Today article from 2003:

      “Armstrong Williams, a black columnist and commentator who was a protégé of Strom Thurmond, disputes parallels between Thurmond and Jefferson. “I’ve never seen any evidence that Jefferson took care of his children,” says Armstrong, who calls the late senator “my hero.” “I know Strom was there for his daughter. He was willing to risk it all. He would get in his car as governor and go to that campus to see his daughter.”

      “The age of consent for sexual relations in South Carolina in the 1920s was 14. But that would have been just an irrelevant technicality, says historian Valinda Littlefield, a University of South Carolina professor specializing in Southern black history. “You’re talking about a 15- or early-16-year-old maid,” she says. “What choice does she have? This is a child, basically.”

      Strom Thurmond at the time of his “relationship” with a 15 year old African-American maid was a school teacher in South Carolina. Is anyone starting to feel ill now? If something like this happened today how do you think most people would feel?

      Would they want a man like that as Senator?

      Armstrong Williams… the protege of a former segregationist who did his best to keep his own daughter in second class citizenship (or worse) to fulfill his own selfish political ambitions in the South. His daughter was (by every objective manner) the by product of the sexual abuse of a child. Strom Thurmond was a man odious politicians like Trent Lott would have loved to have seen elected president.

      Armstrong Williams is Ben Carson’s politico svengali. Think about that.

      A man who defended one of the most notorious American segregationists of the 20th Century. Sometimes I really think Armstrong Williams really should have made a play for Samuel L. Jackson’s role in Django Unchained. He had been method acting that role practically all his life.

      http://www.bet.com/content/dam/betcom/images/2013/09/Celeb-09-01-09-15/091113-celebrities-actors-playing-slaves-samuel-jackson-django.jpg.custom1200x675x20.dimg

      This is why a lot black people loath black conservatives like him (and Ben Carson). They despise their warped logic, poor misreadings of history and their defense of the indefensible. Haven’t African-Americans earned the right to express their legitimate contempt for people like this?

      Armstrong Williams, Ben Carson and Alan Keyes are excellent examples of black conservatives that have an unhinged malice toward the communities from which they arise. Black people should never be accused of wanting to stay as “mental slaves” on the “Democratic Plantation” just because they do not support these buffoons on all issues without question.

      How could anyone else?

  23. Griffin says:

    So Rubio’s campaign is promising to show up regardless but the others aren’t so sure. It would be beyod idiotic not to show up at the debate even if it was only thirty minutes. It’s obvious Trump doesn’t actually understand strategy he just attacks whoever pops into his head and it happens to work because a large chunk of GOP base is rabid, but the other candidates not showing up (like Cruz) doesn’t seem to have much strategy behind it. Not understanding their thought process… Either way Rubio will probably be the eventual nominee.

    • 1mime says:

      Are you talking about the GOP candidates not showing up at the CNBC debate?

      • Griffin says:

        Yes. I can understand Trump being dumb enough not to show but the others have everything to lose by not showing up, and Cruz is an actual politician so he should know better. It must be a bluff.

      • 1mime says:

        I heard via NPR this afternoon that CNBC will bow to the candidates’ demands for opening and closing remarks. Which, when you think about it, is important since everything in between is inconsequential.

        Is anyone else getting the feeling that this bunch of conservatives is getting real used to making demands? (You are probably right about Cruz….after all, CNBC needs him more than he needs CNBC, right?)

      • Griffin says:

        They are used to getting their way. The media goes easy on them and constantly caves to them out of fear of being accused of being part of the “liberal media”, and it doesn’t look like they are about to grow a spine anytime soon, especially since they want the “prestige” of hosting these debates.

        If the media and the Very Serious People stopped treating these candidates as if they had real policies and werent’ a bunch of right-wing radicals in suits the GOP would die out considerably quicker. It’s would be so laughably easy for them to destroy any chance the GOP has that it makes it glaringly obvious how false this premise of an ideoligically far-left media really is.

      • Griffin says:

        Looking over my spelling errors really makes me wish there was an “edit” button, even one that can only be used shortly after you post…

  24. texan5142 says:

    Dan Patrick believes in freedom on his term’s, that thing/human is a colossal buffoon. Talk about a face that screams punching, that loathsome collection of cells needs to be slapped.

    Now I will tell you how I really feel.

    • 1mime says:

      Hey, don’t slap Patrick, slap the stew out of all the people who voted for him!

      • 1mime says:

        RR, and this man Huckabee calls himself a pastor and everything Patrick does is in the name of religion! I repeat, why do people believe in them when their actions are so plainly hurtful to the most vulnerable?

      • objv says:

        So, rush, let me get this straight … Being indentured equals slavery?

        If this is the case, more than half of early colonists from Europe were slaves since they came here as indentured servants.

        Are you really trying to say that being indentured and having to pay off a voyage and early start in America is equivalent to Africans being brought here in chains without hope of freedom for themselves or their descendants? If you are, it would be a slap in the face of African-Americans who faced true slavery.

        Personally, I don’t think making restitution for a crime by being indentured would work in this country at this time, but if I had a choice, I’d much rather work to pay for injury to a person than rot in jail.

      • 1mime says:

        Indenture can be honorable and valuable to both parties if the agreement for payment, housing, and tenure of job is fair for the work. This was done by many people but it was a matter of free choice. Most were temporary hires and were paid and under a specific time contract. They had broken no laws, they were simply work immigrants. (This was prevalent after the Civil War in order to bring in crops in the South.)

        What Huckabee and Mickelson were talking about was not the same thing. They are suggesting that prisoners would become slaves and would be working instead of being imprisoned. They wouldn’t be free and they would have no control over their arrangements. The old “chain gang” scene come to mind? I don’t know how much you know about U.S. prisons, but many, many prisons have inmates perform work, whether as a “pea farm” concept or in making goods needed for prison operation or to fulfill business contracts that utilize prison labor. There have been a number of highly critical reports detailing how little prisoners are paid with no benefit once released of working for the company even though they were skilled. This is an especially big problem in the private prison facilities. (small wonder) I’m quite sure that given the choice, more prisoners would choose to work outside prison than to be imprisoned; however, not as slaves. I really don’t think that’s where Ms. Mickelson was going. I don’t know Ms. Mickelson but I have watched Huckabee for years and he is a patently false individual.

      • objv says:

        “A new life in the New World offered a glimmer of hope; this explains how one-half to two-thirds of the immigrants who came to the American colonies arrived as indentured servants.”

        “Servants typically worked four to seven years in exchange for passage, room, board, lodging and freedom dues. While the life of an indentured servant was harsh and restrictive, it wasn’t slavery.”

        http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/feature/indentured-servants-in-the-us/

      • objv says:

        Mime, I don’t know the Mickleson person either, but I’d suggest going back to the sound clip on Raw (but only half the) Story and listen to the 2 min. recording of what was actually said. Huckabee and Mickleson are actually advocating restitution rather than incarceration for non-violent offenders. While restitution might involve some type of indenture, it is not the slavery African-Americans had to endure and not nearly as cruel as imprisionment.

        There seems to be some confusion over what constituted slavery in Biblical times. When a fellow Hebrew was sold, it was only for a limited time until a debt could be paid off. The “slaves” were to be treated humanely and female slaves were to be considered daughters (not to be sexually molested). The Bible also put other safeguards in place such as instituting a Year of Jubilee (every 50 years) when all slaves were to be freed no matter what their debt.

      • 1mime says:

        The reference in the print story stating “slavery” was a fabrication? I believe there is a huge problem in America regarding incarceration, however, legitimately convicted criminals don’t deserve “restitution”; rather, convicted persons owe society restitution. I’m not sure where you are going with this. What benefits society most and the prisoner as well, is rehabilitation. Other countries do a much better job at this as well as re-integrating those who have served their time and are released back into society. No doubt comments on topics like this can easily be twisted but I have found that Huckabee has some very weird ideas and therefore I am doubly suspicious when he is involved.

        I recommended a book in an earlier post on the subject of justice. Title: Just Mercy, Bryon Stevenson. If you want to look more deeply into the history and experience of those who are enmeshed in our faulty justice system, this is a good introduction.

      • objv says:

        Mime, I wasn’t clear. Huckabee and Mickleson said it was the victims who deserved restitution; not the criminals. Did you listen to the short audio clip? I’d highly recommend hearing what was actually said before reaching any judgement. Raw Story, as usual, badly mangled what was said to make it seem that Huckabee wanted to bring back the slavery African-Americans experienced.

        Instead, Huckabee proposed that non-violent criminals pay back their debt to their victims by a form of indenture and restitution rather than a permanent type of slavery. In this way, the person convicted could avoid prison and the victim could receive compensation for their loss.

        Note, that only non-violent criminals would be eligible. Those who pose a danger to society would still have to be imprisoned.

      • 1mime says:

        Did not listen to the clip but the idea of restitution such as they are discussing could work in very limited circumstances. Can you imagine the liability issues? I really don’t see how that would work in today’s litigious environment – practically speaking. And, you are right, before I comment, I should be more thorough in my reading (listening) – usually am but somehow missed the audio clip. Still, the lady did state Slavery, so will have to check that out to get better context. No way can slavery be compared to indenture.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        In an era of mass incarceration in this country, to a degree that is truly shocking and with a devastating effect on a hugely disproportionate number of non-White folks, we are actually having a discussion of “pro indentured servitude” for prisoners.

        I tell you, I am absolutely baffled why minority voters struggle to get on the GOP bandwagon.

      • Crogged says:

        It’s not a shocking new twist in our ‘progressive’ criminal justice system to have restitution also tied to imprisonment, particularly in cases of financial fraud. Do they actually pay it back-I don’t know, in most instances it seems rather unlikely that such person would find employment paying well enough to ever meet the demands.

        You really want to find a ‘conservative’ or “Biblical’ alternative to imprisonment-commute/reduce every felony or misdemeanor involving marijuana-completely wipe it out-fresh start and don’t wait fifty f—g years to do it. Same thing with street level sales of cocaine. The Bible didn’t say you couldn’t smoke pot or snort coke so what the hell does he find wrong with it?

      • 1mime says:

        Crogged, are you aware that a new bi-partisan (yea!!!) criminal justice law (The Safe Justice Act, 2015) was just passed and signed by Pres. Obama, that addresses the issue of non-violent offenses which resulted in incarceration. Senator Grassley chaired the committee that pulled it together but members of both parties contributed……EXACTLY as laws should be made, duh!!! Many of those imprisoned were a result of the heinous three strikes and you’re out law that tied judges’ hands…Several thousand prisoners who qualify, have already been released and the estimates are that over 40,000 will be eligible and will be released in waves as they will need to transition in half-way facilities. Most of those being released were jailed due to inability to pay fines, small amounts of marijuana, shoplifting, and other entry level, non-violent crime. There is a better link than the one below but will have to dig it out.

        http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/10/01/senates-criminal-justice-reform-bill-hailed-as-bipartisan-breakthrough

      • dowripple says:

        “Instead, Huckabee proposed that non-violent criminals pay back their debt to their victims by a form of indenture and restitution rather than a permanent type of slavery.”

        Objv, is the idea like George Costanza’s?

        George: My car’s totaled. It’s all his fault and now, he has absolutely no money. There is no way that he can pay me. So the judge decrees that he becomes my butler.

        Jerry: Your butler?

        George: Right. He cooks my food, he cleans my house, he does all my shopping for me. And there you go, that’s your program.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Homer wrote: I tell you, I am absolutely baffled why minority voters struggle to get on the GOP bandwagon.

        I agree. OBJV is defending a man’s comment that in the past have included that we should be enslaving immigrants and that has said “What’s wrong with slavery”. Right wingers make these comments, defend these comments, and then wonder aloud why minorities are repealed by them. Obviously, it is because Democrats simply want to give us stuff. Maybe some of that stuff is the right to remain slave-free. I do not know maybe someone on the right can ‘slain it to me.

      • objv says:

        Dow, how funny, I was thinking of the Seinfeld butler episode, too.

      • objv says:

        Mime and all others, I’ve already mentioned that I don’t think a system of indenture would work in this country at this time. Biblical law was given to the Israelites while they were wandering in the wilderness before Israel was a country. Even in later times, the society remained agrarian and famines were frequent. Justice had to be carried out more quickly. I doubt there was much as far as a prison system.

        To pay off debts and to survive during a famine, people would sometimes choose to be “sold” to a richer Israelite so they and their families would not starve. This “slavery” was only until the agreed upon debt had been discharged or until the Year of Jubilee. During that year, the system would reset. All Hebrew slaves would be freed and ownership of land would revert to the original families to whom it had been given. In this way, a multi-generational state of slavery and indebtedness could be prevented.

        Given the challenges faced by Israelites during Biblical times, this system of laws regarding restitution and debt was fair and was unlike the complete loss of freedom suffered by African-Americans in this country. It was more like the indentured servitude, early colonists used to pay for their passage.

        Mime, I believe you and the others were suckered into the typical click bait that Raw Story puts out. They pulled a few words out of context, created a dog whistle headline, and bingo, you all think that Huckabee wants to bring back slavery. You didn’t even listen to the two minute sound byte taken out a larger interview that supposedly proves that Huck wants to enslave criminals. (And, by the way, Mickelson is a man, not a woman.)

      • 1mime says:

        Guilty as charged, Ob. However, I’m much more in favor of releasing people from prison who have been unjustly sentenced for minor, non-violent crimes than I am in establishing any type of indentured restitution. That seems like going backward to me. I think you’ve gotten your nickel’s worth on this topic. I am much more inclined to the print version of any story but recognize that words can be twisted, especially when it comes from Raw Story.

        I’m done with this topic.

      • Turtles Run says:

        OB – When a man claims “What’s wrong with slavery” I generally cast suspicion to his further remarks concerning forced servitude. Notice the word SLAVERY not indentured servant in his statement but keep carrying that water, just use both legs to lift. Nobody wants you to throw your back out.

      • objv says:

        Turtles, Mickelson did seem way out of line when he said that, but it’s difficult to know if he was being sarcastic or not. Raw Story didn’t give us much to go on.

        If you take everything literally, look at statements made above. Dow and BigW have seen Hitler beside them and Tracy wants Bobo to remove her clothes.

        Raw Story is much like the supermarket tabloids. Did you know that Angelina Jolie gave birth to a green alien baby? Buy the magazine and find out!

        Like Mime, I’m ready to stick a fork in it (the subject) and call it done.

        Sincerely,
        Sister Golden Hair Surprise

      • Turtles Run says:

        OBJV – They give the conversation leading up the the comment. The caller stated that we know slavery is wrong. Jan replied “What’s wrong with slavery”.

        I will admit maybe you are smarter than I am because obviously you believe there is a context where that comment would be appropriate.

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