Link roundup, 10/19/15

A look at Homan Square, the Abu Ghraib of Chiraq.

Graduating from High School in the Deep South.

GOP primary candidates show up to church.

Why Uber is investing in self-driving cars.

A quick video explains the science and impact of quantum computing.

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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150 comments on “Link roundup, 10/19/15
    • 1mime says:

      I’ve been listening to the hearing from the beginning. Hillary is acquitting herself well but this demonstrates the ugly side of politics and no one practices it better than Republicans. So shameful.

    • BigWilly says:

      Actually it’s been a very successful witch hunt because, you know, we’ve caught one being one.

  1. Rob Ambrose says:

    Wtf? There’s crazies everywhere of course. Only in America can such obvious insane people hold public office.

    These are exactly the psychopaths that the new domestic terrorism units are investigating.

    I’ve got a feeling that unit is going to need a lot more funding.

  2. 1mime says:

    The Benghazi hearing is streaming live via if you want to view it online.

  3. 1mime says:

    For those who are interested in watching the House Oversight Committee grill Hillary Clinton, the committee convenes at 10am, ET….on C-Span live, or C-span online (will need to log in appropriately to follow online).

    • Tuttabella says:

      Miss Mime, you’re like the Energizer Bunny. You put the rest of us to shame.

      I admire your activism, your knowledge, and yes, your energy level.

      • 1mime says:

        Tutta, did you see the link and message I posted on a prior Lifer blog about the NPR interview of the MIT specialist on the impact of digitization on communication?

      • Turtles Run says:

        We need an agree or thumbs up button here.

      • 1mime says:

        You guys just bring out the best in me (-:

      • 1mime says:

        Works for me !

      • Turtles Run says:

        Excuse the size

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, if you’re talking about the new book by Sherry Turkle – RECLAIMING CONVERSATION – actually, I am reading it now. It is excellent. It’s made up mostly of antidotes, but it makes its point, and Dr. Turkle doesn’t come across as judgmental at all. She emphasizes the need to return to face-to-face conversation, and she does it without trashing the digital world.

      • 1mime says:

        That’s it. I heard Dr. Turkle interviewed on the Diane Rehm show. She really knows her stuff! I thought it perfectly supported your argument that digitization has fundamentally changed communication, not for the better….in many ways. Glad you’re on it. When you finish the book, post a mini-review if you can squeak it by Lifer (-:

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, I’ve already learned some valuable lessons from the book.

        I’m not so much into devices and the digital world, but I do tend to get lost in my own little world, and I lose sight of what’s around me, so now I am making a point to look up, make eye contact with people, smile, engage in some conversation, and actually LISTEN to people as they speak to me.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Technology can change us. Quite a bit is written about how writing with an alphabet changed our cognitive behavior.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I can’t believe I typed “antidotes” when I meant ANECDOTES. Oh my God, how embarrassing.

        Although now that I think about it, I guess you could say Dr. Turkle does offer antidotes for our conversation crisis through the use of anecdotes.

  4. 1mime says:

    Just listened to VP Joe Biden announce that he will NOT be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President. He followed with remarks that were definitely presidential. I recommend to all, regardless of party, that you find the text or video of his speech. Most inspiring.

  5. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Since this is a link roundup:

    Netanyahu is getting all kinds of goofy. According to the Times of Israeli, Bennie is re-writing history a bit.

    “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time [of the meeting between the mufti and the Nazi leader]. He wanted to expel the Jews,” Netanyahu said. “And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here [to mandatory Palestine],’” continued the prime minister.

    “‘So what should I do with them?’ He [Hitler] asked,” according to Netanyahu. “He [Husseini] said, ‘Burn them.’”

    Now, hundreds of thousands of Jews had been killed prior to this meeting, and I’m not sure that Hitler has to take a backseat to any war criminal, but hey, Bennie really doesn’t like Muslims in general and Pakistanis in particular, so re-writing history just makes sense.

    There is a brilliant analysis of this:
    This Jewish man hates Muslims so much he’s going to give Hitler the benefit of the doubt… That’s some hatred.

    • flypusher says:

      Yep, you’ve got the haters like Bibi on the hard right Israeli side, and the Palestinian NJs who encourage their kids to be martyrs. I have no hope for any peace in that region in my lifetime. It seems that they have an extremely high tolerance for bloodshed.

    • 1mime says:

      I am not a fan of Netanyahu. He has had so many opportunities to work for peace but I really don’t think peace is what he wants – it’s only what he says. He gains acclaim as an obstructionist and fear monger and works assiduously against peace. Plus, he is arrogant. Did I say I didn’t care for him?

      • texan5142 says:

        I don’t care for our tax dollars going to Israel.

      • 1mime says:

        I have mixed feelings there. At least Israel is a Democracy, and we need someone in the Middle East that we can call our friend. However, and that is a BIG however, I do not think the aide is being used to further peace, and to that extent, it is wasted. With Netanyahu in charge, peace with the Palestinians will never happen. That is an impossible situation.

    • EJ says:

      As a German, I’m flattered that Mr Netanyahu is trying to claim that we weren’t responsible for the Holocaust; but no, we know what we did and that one was us.

  6. 1mime says:

    Here’s an idea Huckabee would love……..

    Now, if someone voluntarily elects to “donate” blood, I’m all in. To coerce blood donations is wrong. Guess those who advocate slavery would be all over this, however. Whatever works, right?

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      As someone who gave lots of blood as an undergraduate for the free t-shirts and sold a fair amount of plasma to eat during graduate school, I have mixed feelings about this.

      We should certainly encourage blood donation, but this moves quickly into coercion.

      Give a kidney, and we will let you get away with armed robbery?

      • 1mime says:

        Or, consider the person who is waiting court, “urged” to give blood to raise money for court costs, fine, whatever, and is unable to donate…..(many medical reasons for this, not all of which imply illicit drugs, infectious diseases, etc)……are they cuffed?

        Nah, this is bad, bad and the judge is wrong, wrong. Our faithful watchdog, the SPLC, is on it but what in the world is happening in our justice process these days?

      • vikinghou says:

        This is definitely a bad idea. Coercing a blood donation could easily lead to the perpetrator lying about his/her history that may be disqualifying. I used to donate but can no longer do so because I spent too much time in the UK during the mad cow disease outbreak.

      • objv says:

        Judge Wiggins is an African-American Democrat.

        Whew, at least, you can’t blame this one on “racist” white, southern Republicans. 🙂,_2010

      • flypusher says:

        Yep, you’ve got the haters like Bibi on the hard right Israeli side, and the Palestinian NJs who encourage their kids to be martyrs. I have no hope for any peace in that region in my lifetime. It seems that they have an extremely high tolerance for bloodshed.

    • Tuttabella says:

      I think this is a good opportunity to brainstorm. I would suggest more ideas for community service, as opposed to organ donation or hard labor. Like maybe placing people based on their skills. Bilingual inmates can help teach an ESL class. Or lecture school kids about the perils of a criminal life (under supervision, of course.) Did y’all see the film SCARED STIFF?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I know there are already all kinds of community service programs in place, but I think we should expand their use in exchange for jail time, versus sometimes as invasive as what some lawmakers are suggesting.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Depending on the crime, of course. In some cases, jail time is probably the best option.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Actually, the film is called SCARED STRAIGHT.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Wow. I have my own mini blog going here.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        and we’ll let you continue with your contributions if you would kindly donate a pint of blood.

      • 1mime says:

        Homer, It’s not hard to understand why that Republican wife of yours thinks you’re special! Good one!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I’d rather teach an ESL class!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I would hope one’s spouse would think one is special.

        After all, what are spouses for?

        You’re pretty special, too, Miss Mime, caring for your husband.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        It can get complicated. A large public art project I worked on needed a lot of volunteers. Someone in the justice system thought it was a good fit for those who had been sentenced to some kind of public service. It was. But then children’s groups started volunteering…and we had to cancel the offenders because nobody knew the exact sins of the offenders and if anything happened to a kid…so, no public art service for the offenders.

      • objv says:

        Tutt, I’ve decided to follow your mini-blog.

        I, too, think Homer is “special.”

        My idea for community service is to take to the offenders to the local animal shelter and have them do their community service there. The dogs need to be walked and played with while they are waiting to be adopted.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Excellent idea, OV.

        And yes, I agree that HT is special, in a good way.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Awww…I’m blushing here.

      • duncancairncross says:

        I’m like Viking – I used to give blood regularly – but I can’t now

        All because Thatcher thought that all regulations were just “government” – so her government removed the regulations about feeding offal from sheep with scrapies to cows
        They even removed the requirement that the feed be cooked to sterilize it

        As a result we had mad cow disease – a couple of hundred people died and Brits can’t give blood

    • 1mime says:

      Of course I’m the serious type so allow me to weigh in on community service….Obviously, it is positive to offer the convicted person the opportunity to use whatever skills they have to help better their community. There are big problems in terms of monitoring, pairing, transportation, etc. I assume that most courts have leeway to utilize such options for people who have minor infractions and would not be a danger to themselves or others….still has risks, though.

      Far better are in-jail programs that teach prisoners real life work skills or involve them in a training program that is useful to others. A great and very successful example of this involved training dogs as service animals. It ended up teaching the inmates a lot about patience, kindness and discipline, but more significantly, these animals taught them how to care and bond with another being, which many prisoners had never experienced. Once the animals were adequately trained, they were provided to injured war veterans and others who had a need for a service animal. A “win-win” for all. This kind of program teaches so much more and is not demeaning or risk the potential problems that can crop up in the “free” world.

      Jail education is another great means of rehabilitating inmates and giving them not only hope and confidence but basic skills to interact with society upon their release. As a school board member, one of my favorite experiences was to attend the annual graduation classes of inmates at our county jail. It was a happy, teary experience for all.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime and OV, I had also thought about having inmates caring for animals in one way or another. I also thought back to the story I saw about inmates training seeing-eye dogs for the blind. It made me cry.

        And yes, I am also the serious type — too serious for my own good. Sometimes I have to laugh to keep from crying!

      • 1mime says:

        Tutta, we are probably talking about the same program. Thanks for your nice compliment about my care of my husband. He’s a sweet man and he never complains.

      • 1mime says:

        Since so many people are imprisoned for minor infractions, these people would benefit more from a mandatory referral for evaluation and treatment BEFORE they interact with the public. Those who are sentenced for other minor crimes – shop lifting small amounts, being unable to pay fines, public intoxication, etc., would be better candidates. Someone with a substance abuse problem needs eval and treatment first.

  7. texan5142 says:


    Texas Monthly noted this week that the word “helt Texas” was being routinely used by Norwegians instead of “completely crazy” or “chaotic.”

  8. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Well here is something the country really needed…

    6 Black Churches that have been burned/destroyed are suspected to have been the result of arson. In St. Louis County. The city of Ferguson is in that county. Remember that place anyone?

    But I’m not worried, because no one in this country discriminates against people in this country based on race. At least that is what Bill O’Reilly says.

    Because nothing should infuriate an American more than the “false” notion that the long legacy of institutionalized racism and generalized discrimination by society may still continue to intrude into the 21st century.

    Cause’ that is way worse than little stuff like the exploits of people like Dylann Roof or Cliven Bundy and his merry militia band of rebels or maybe even House Majority A**h*le Steve Scalise’s history of playing footsie with David Duke supporters.

    In other totally unrelated news, a health care company doesn’t want to really hire Haitians for a nursing position.

    In further unrelated news, a beloved church drummer/city employee with no criminal record was shot and killed after his car broke down on the side of the road by a police officer who was not in uniform and was in an unmarked car that had no dash board camera. There was also no body camera.

    Dead(black) men tell no tales. Or at least can find it hard exonerate themselves.

    …and yes, in both stories the police officer shooting and healthcare company originated in Florida.


    • 1mime says:

      “Dead(black) men tell no tales. Or at least can find it hard exonerate themselves.”

      And, I don’t think they have the ability to raise themselves from the dead, either……

    • 1mime says:

      “Real Canada – nothing more than beer, hockey, and ‘a big helping of poutine’!

    • 1mime says:

      Bill O’Reilly is a jerk. The fact that his reporting has been discredited without consequence from his employer – the “fair and balanced” FOX News – is pathetic.

    • johngalt says:

      That’s better than someone groveling for the support of extremists. Here are my conditions, take it or leave it.

      • 1mime says:

        Paul Ryan is capable but have no doubt, he is a staunch conservative. Don’t be surprised about what positions he “will” agree to with the Freedom Caucus. Ryan is laying down his terms but they will not likely appeal to those hoping for a refutation of the Freedom Caucus hard line. Mainly, what he is doing is saying, “I’ll do this, but I am not going to burn my future political chances for President over it. I will lead but not be threatened.” Which, if you think about it, Boehner should have done when first challenged by the TP FC.

        I’m not sure what will be worse: no action or the wrong actions.

      • 1mime says:

        The Hill reports that the HFC has not reached the 80% approval of Ryan today required for their endorsement. A spokesman, “Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said the HFC did not accede to *any* of Ryan’s demands.” “If” two-thirds of the HFC could accept Ryan as reported without acceding to any of Ryan’s demands, does this suggest that Ryan is much more aligned with the HFC political philosophy, rules and demands than we hoped? Something is worrisome here…..

      • 1mime says:

        Here’s another article on the HFC decision to not “endorse” Paul Ryan for Speaker. Note that:

        “The House Freedom Caucus will not endorse Rep. Paul Ryan for speaker despite four rounds of voting, but its leaders say a “super-majority” of the group will support the Wisconsin Republican’s candidacy should he decide to continue his bid.” Ryan got up to 2/3 of the HFC members but never 80%. Member, Raul Labraudor stated, “Freedom Caucus rules require 80 percent of members to issue an endorsement. Ryan has said he would not seek the speakership without the backing of all of the major caucuses in the Republican Conference. It’s not clear whether this will suffice.”

        How does everyone here feel about a “group within the group” setting up their own rules within the U.S. House of Representatives? Does the “body” of Congress no longer exist? Function, no., but legally exist? Isn’t there a legal process to follow if a majority wishes to change the rules? And, shouldn’t these same rules require the losing side to comply? Are we really looking at anarchy within the U.S. House?

        Read more:

  9. fiftyohm says:

    Sean Kennedy has an interesting take on Trudeau II’s landslide win up here in CNN this morning. We’ll see how long it takes to really screw things up.

    • 1mime says:

      Well, Hello, Fifty! And, I’m gathering you weren’t “for” the liberal candidate? Did you have a link to the CNN broadcast?

      • fiftyohm says:

        G’day, mime!

        Here you go:

        More later – going to work on my saw mill today. (Yes, really…)

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        This guy doesn’t mention the immensely unpopular Bill C-51 which increases the powers of the government to soy on its citizens. He doesn’t mention the muzzling of all government scientists if their findings contradict Conservative Party agenda. He doesn’t mention the enormous step backward Canada has taken with regards to emissions and CC. He doesn’t mention that Canada ISNT a nation of warriors and doesn’t want to be one and his militaristic endeavours in the ME are not popular. He doesn’t mention the utterly disgraceful treatment of veterans from the Afghan War. He doesn’t mention the scrapping of the mandatory census which leaves Canadians in the dark about much information and demographics in their own country. He doesn’t mention that Harper basically invented the use of attack style ads in Canada which turn a lot of people there off.

        And he doesn’t mention his investing in the oil sands to the detriment of all else such that the government coffers are extremely susceptible in the event of a downturn in the price of oil. Canada is teetering on a recession right now because the Oil Patch is getting killed, and the manufacturing sector has been so hollowed out from a decade of disinvestment that its unable to pick up any of the slack.

        Harper would have fit right in on the right in the US. Hes an autocratic fear monger that demands small government at all costs (unless its government telling people who to marry or making women’s medical decisions for them. Then they love Big Guv). And that just doesn’t play in Canada. He came in as a moderate and by the time Canadians saw his true colors it was too late.

        An unprecedented increase in the under 35 vote is what sunk Harper. I expect the same in 2016.

      • 1mime says:

        Let us hope that America experiences something of the same turnout among the young FOR the Democratic candidates.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I hear ya, Rob.

        It infuriated me to hear how he wanted to treat government scientists. Bye-bye!

        May this country follow Canada’s example.

      • fiftyohm says:

        RobA – Yes, C-51 was every bit as bad as much we’ve seen in the States, though I just don’t see all that many Canadians getting much chuffed about it. (They should, in my view.) But:

        The Canadian economy is, and has always been based primarily on resource extraction. I’m certain you know why, and also why that isn’t really going to change in our lifetimes. Yes, the Loonie and the economy as a whole have taken a major hit with the price of oil, but that’s hardly the fault of the Conservatives. Canada’s carbon emissions are completely insignificant on the global scale, and doing much about that would not be the best thing for the economy, and would hardly encourage additional activity in the manufacturing sector. Industrial ‘disinvestment’ is something we’d best get used to under this new government. As for the treatment of Afghan War vets, I really can’t say as my close acquaintances that were there in service, are still in the forces and aren’t complaining. And as many of us have been saying all along, ‘fear-mongering’ is a trait not monopolized by any party.

        The really interesting point you made is your last – and it relates to demographics. It’s a two-edged sword, and the trajectory of healthcare costs associated with the aging population is troubling indeed.

      • johngalt says:

        Oh, 50, that’s so cute. Trying to explain Canada based on modern economic concepts. Us real Americans know that Canada’s economy is little more than beer and hockey.

      • fiftyohm says:

        On well. Worth a try though, eh?

      • johngalt says:

        “Perky Canada has own government, laws!”

        One of the moments in which I realized that this newish internet thing was going to be so much more creative and amusing than online bank statements was discovering The Onion online in 1996 (which I had first read just the year before during a trip to Madison where it was actually a print “newspaper”).

      • fiftyohm says:

        I too love “The Onion”!

    • johngalt says:

      There is an old saying about fish and company both stinking after three days. Politicians have a shelf life too, whether Harper, Reagan, or Thatcher. No matter how steady he or she has been, voters get tired of incumbent leaders after nine years. If only they got so tired of their congressmen.

      • fiftyohm says:

        There’s truth there, JG. But what is the deal with congressmen?

      • 1mime says:

        “What is the big deal about congressmen?”

        Surely, ye jest! Are you not watching the chaos in the House of Representatives?

      • BigWilly says:

        Probably scalar.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Funny. The Spanish version of the old saying refers to the DEAD and company stinking after 3 days.

      • johngalt says:

        I don’t know why Americans both hate Congress and continually return their representative over and over again. It’s a weird dichotomy.

      • 1mime says:

        Only “some” Americans do so, JG, but I admit it is “enough” to keep many undesirables in office. In addition, gerrymandered districts offer very little choice (if you are a Republican), and if one is a Democrat, there may not be any candidates on the ballot in TX. Sometimes, one simply can’t vote for a position if the candidate(s) are poor. If there is no choice other than two Republicans in the primary, I vote for the best one unless I don’t vote that position at all. But, I always vote.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Mime – Are you in reference to say, the 18th Congressional District?

      • 1mime says:

        We live in the 8th Congressional District.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I live in the 18th!

      • fiftyohm says:

        Tutt – Well then – see if you can get SJL unseated! (Heh heh.).

        That’s what I was talkin’ about, Mime! There are districts where representatives are embedded like ticks. They’re there for life, like herpes. Like SJL. And if you think those district boundaries are random, I’ve got news for you.

        Congressional district boundaries are completely FUBAR. We agree there. And it reads on the issue JG and I were discussing, too. But like the fear-mongering that RobA mentioned, you’d be much in error to believe those boundaries are to the benefit of a single side alone.

      • 1mime says:

        You’re going to have to explain to me why the boundaries as drawn don’t work principally for the party that drew them. Here’s where I stand on gerrymandering – I don’t like it, don’t think it supports the Democratic process well, and would prefer a different system of drawing boundaries – either using computers to their full advantage and/or independent commissions that are non-partisan. And this applies equally to both parties.

      • 1mime says:

        Fifty, I am watchingn the House Select Committee on Benghazi and guess who just sat down behind but in full view of cameras (behind Hillary) …your fav person, SJL ! She has an uncanny way of turning up, doesn’t she!

      • fiftyohm says:

        Other than the fact that the 18th is designed to absolutely ensure SJL or something of her ilk gets to squat there in perpetuity, we completely agree on the real substance of your post, mime. So there. 😉

      • 1mime says:

        Gosh, Fifty, you sure you were attending your sawmill and not your swill mill (-:

      • fiftyohm says:

        Yup. Haven’t fired up the still in more than a month. Having a fine, cask-conditioned ale as we speak, though! Why do you ask?

      • 1mime says:

        Because you agreed with me, Fifty! And, you had said earlier you were headed to your sawmill (?) so playing a pun between your sawing and your swillin’ (-:

      • fiftyohm says:

        Awww mime, we agree more than you’d like to admit!

      • 1mime says:

        Are you trying to tell me I’m becoming as hard-headed as you are?

      • fiftyohm says:

        Knock on wood!

  10. flypusher says:

    To cleanse the pallet, a link of something inspiring, ingenious, useful, awesome, and just plain cool:

    I want one, and it doesn’t have to be on the beach.

    • 1mime says:

      Our son’s background is in industrial design, with a focus on sustainability (that “soft” academia that is oft derided). He coordinated a group of senior students at a local university in their SURE endeavor and they earned an opportunity to participate in the larger contest. They didn’t win it but my son accompanied the students and it was a fantastic experience for him and the students. We have had many interesting talks about sustainable design for the aging. There is broad application across so many categories of need and the future is bright. The old “less is more” and “smarter is better”.

      Thanks for the link. I’ve sent it on to him.

  11. 1mime says:

    A bit of interesting and hopeful news on combating gun violence. California Lt Gov Gavin Newsom announced that there will be a statewide referendum on ammunition purchases at the point of sale and four other measures related to reducing gun violence.

    • Doug says:

      California has already implemented most of the “common sense gun safety legislation” agenda. Prospective owners must obtain a Firearms Safety Certificate before purchase. Only “approved” handguns listed on the official Roster are allowed to be sold. All private purchases must go through a dealer, and all sales are registered with the state. “Assault weapons” and their standard capacity magazines are banned. Oh, a ten day waiting period, too. And I’m sure I’m missing a few things.

      Given all this, is there anyone who honestly believes that background checks for ammunition will do anything other than annoy the hell out of honest, responsible gun owners and drive up the cost? Or is that the whole point?

      • texan5142 says:

        Stick with what was intended at the time the constitution was written. You gun nuts can take your hard on and buy all the cap, ball, and powder your heart desires along with as many muskets you like. Plus you must be a registered and be a licensed member of a “well REGULATED militia”.

        Problem solved.

      • goplifer says:

        This isn’t hard once you drop the ideological blinders. Why does America have such a very low rate of death by landmine compared to Bosnia or Cambodia? Could it be our high levels of personal responsibility? Or is it because we don’t possess them in any numbers?

        We have staggering levels of death by firearms because we are flooded with them and at the national level there are virtually no controls on who can wield them.

        State by state comparisons are of limited value because there are no controlled borders between our states, but they still paint an interesting picture. As any sane person would expect, states with more guns generally have a lot more firearms deaths.

      • 1mime says:

        In addition, the obstruction to any consistent data collection nationwide doesn’t permit valid measurement. Want speeders to slow down? Put more police out on the roads. Don’t want to know how fast anyone is driving? Don’t have any police on the roads or speed limits.

        Fund and staff the ATF adequately and give the CDC the authority to make track and study gun violence. Repeal the Tiahrt Rule. Share information among those in law enforcement at all levels. These are steps we can take now. The harder part is working on the socio-economic factors that abet gun violence.

      • 1mime says:

        That would be a good start………….if it prods “good” gun owners to support reasonable changes that would reduce gun violence. The vast majority of gun owners have polled again and again that they support broadening background checks. They can either get on board and have meaningful input, or they can resist and end up with proposals they don’t like. At this point, it is up to them/you.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Doug – I agree that background checks for ammunition will not be a big contributor to gun safety in California. Possibly a few lives on the margins saved, but hard to prove.

        How about all those California infringements on the 2nd. Certainly those should be hitting the Supreme Court AnyDayNow. Or maybe not. Feel a change in the breeze when you heard the results of the lower court ruling on Heller II (or III)? Did you feel a tremor when reading this?

        If I was a collector or a sport shooter, I would be speaking up loudly for a way to keep guns out of the hands of the irresponsible to allow me to continue my hobby or sport. Or to allow myself, a responsible person, to conceal carry.

        My personal choice would be proof of extensive training and background checks before selling and put some responsibility on the seller, and yes, that means a way to track guns that are used criminally. Registration.

      • “Stick with what was intended at the time the constitution was written.”

        Fine and dandy! Tex, one presumes you are aware that “well regulated” means “practiced and proficient,” in the vernacular of that time. (And “Militia” referred to all able-bodied male citizens of military age.) Given that, one might well interpret the “well regulated” clause of the 2nd Amendment to confer upon all male Americans the right to free, unlimited supplies of ammunition courtesy of the federal government. After all, practice makes perfect! 😉

    • BigWilly says:

      Maybe the court will deal another hefty blow to states rights by declaring the will of the people to be unconstitutional.

      Frankly I don’t think you’re really that interested in gun violence because you offer piecemeal solutions that eliminate everything but the violence part.

      • 1mime says:

        Then, you are wrong, BW. I have stated numerous times how complicated this problem is and that it will be a multi-faceted solution – including expanding background checks and great effort at the neighborhood level including mental health identification and treatment. I have posted many different plans by groups who have studied this problem in depth and years before I got concerned. I don’t know how regularly you follow this blog, but if you have not seen my posts I would suggest you go back and look for them before assuming I am a one-solution gun violence advocate. This is a big, complex issue and I fully recognize that.

      • BigWilly says:

        I would suggest that these programs evolve at the local level. CA is not TX, and TX is not MS, yet it seems you want comprehensive federal intervention now.

        There are communities where guns have proliferated that are not violent. In these communities children are taught about guns at an early age, usually by their Father.

        In the large cities there is no blanket solution. A gun ban doesn’t seem to work very well, so it would have to be augmented by confiscation of all weapons possessed illegally, and some form of martial law. Otherwise it’s just window dressing.

        You will probably have to teach children self defense in general, and specifically how to handle a gun. (This is in addition to the martial law which your programs would necessitate).

        This is a people problem long before its a gun problem, because guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people.

      • 1mime says:

        Those are thoughtful contributions, BW. Here’s what I believe: Uniformity and consistency in gun laws should exist nation-wide in so far as background checks, registration, and sharing procedures. There certainly could be state (and even local) differences to address contributory problems of a socio-economic and legal nature. Mental illness is a big part of massive gun violence and this is where policy gets complicated. Right now, so little is being done to document and share (appropriately) critical information on these people that any steps forward in that regard would help.

        I have already enumerated what changes at the national level I believe are needed and there is always room for constructive dialogue about state and local initiatives. Doing nothing is no longer an option. That has to change.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Bigwilly – Can I point out that you are being inconsistent. First you say “I would suggest that these programs evolve at the local level. CA is not TX, and TX is not MS, yet it seems you want comprehensive federal intervention now”. Contending a federal solution will not solve regional problems.

        Then you get “There are communities where guns have proliferated that are not violent. In these communities children are taught about guns at an early age, usually by their Father.” This is true in part but not in whole. I ask you to research the suicides by shotgun in the days of farmaid. And as a grandfather of kids that will do the exact opposite of what I tell them, educating kids about guns is the biggest bullshit lie. How many fathers stood over their child sobbing, ” didn’t I tell you not to touch that gun, Billy” ?

        You say, “In the large cities there is no blanket solution” There may not be a way to end the violence among poor people in general but there is a “blanket” solution to gun violence. I’ll leave it to you to imagine.

      • BigWilly says:

        Unarmed “How many fathers stood over their child sobbing, ” didn’t I tell you not to touch that gun, Billy” ?”

        That’s not gun education any more so than telling a preteen that if he touches his penis he’ll grow hair on his palms. You be a jive turkey mofo.

    • 1mime, one presumes you are aware Newsom’s referendum items have all been previously defeated in the CA legislature? Gotta give him an ‘A’ for effort, though. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, CA not being well known for common sense on just about any issue.

      Seriously though, do you actually believe than *any* of those measures will in any way, shape or form reduce violence of the mass shooting variety? Because they won’t. They will however create legal pitfalls for law abiding gun owners, and otherwise inconvenience, harass and criminalize the same. I’d laugh it off as being simply asinine, but it’s not really very funny. It is in fact nothing less than rank persecution of law abiding citizens. This nonsense has got to stop.

  12. 1mime says:

    Lifer – Are you feeling prescient? I hope you have a happier ending for this competition.

  13. Griffin says:

    “Experts say that these troubles stem from the region’s difficulty adapting to an increasingly ­technology-based economy that has displaced traditional blue-collar jobs and put a premium on high-skill positions.”

    This is why we need either a minimum income or job guarentees as soon as possible. This will only get worse as technology advances and we need to help these people without stopping technological advancement. Unfortunately I doubt even the Democrats will endorse those things in the near future and with the GOP controlling the House til at least 2020 we’re probably going to see the Deep South get in even worse shape.

  14. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    It is generally low hanging fruit to comment on GOP politicians “goin’ a churchin'”, but it is normally relatively fun.

    In the “who’s been persecuted the most” game, one should almost always bet your money on politicians who are at least nominally Christian.

    Jeb! gets his fee-fees hurt (aka, persecuted) because people say bad stuff about him using the power of the government to get involved in end-of-life decisions rather than you know, the person who has the responsibility to make those decisions:

    “I got a lot of grief by standing on the side of life in the case of Terri Schiavo, but I’m proud of what I did,” Bush said. “You should always err on the side of life (unless you want to start a war with a country that poses no threat to you).” – parenthetical is mine.

    Carly’s persecution came in the form of an agent of the government burning her religious text and stopping her from entering the church of her choice…oh, wait, I meant, “Protesters pelted me with condoms. They dressed up like birth control dispensers.”

    Santorum doesn’t like google – “”They’ve taken my name and … turned it into something that is beyond filth” because I defended traditional marriage, he said. I guess one man’s “something that is beyond filth” is another man’s result of a pretty common act that has been conducted by god fearing heterosexuals since the beginning of time.

    The Huckabee, while not personally persecuted, provided the most glaring evidence of persecution. Evidently, Huckabee knows someone who was put in jail because of something she believed. This, finally, is true persecution, and the perpetrators of this persecution should be rounded up.

    Fortunately, for this great country of ours, when the Huckster-bee says,

    “If you can put a newly elected public official in jail for believing the biblical view of marriage, you have criminalized Christianity”,

    he means,

    “When a public official refuses to do her job and thus denies basic rights and privileges to a group of US citizens, and violates judge’s orders, and is found in contempt of court, not for her beliefs but because of her actions, I can pretend to be outraged while I barely am able to conceal my glee as I exploit this situation to further my political career by appealing to idiots who have no critical thinking skills about what I’m actually saying”.

    • 1mime says:

      Homer, I sure hope you are assigned as chief journalist for your company newsletter (-: Love your sense of humor!

      I noted in Jeb’s defense of the Schiavo case, that there were (3) “I’s” and only (1) “You”in his statement….He clearly wasn’t conflicted about “his” decision about “someone else’s” life….Didn’t hurt a bit. Mr.’I, me, mine’. And, Fly is dead right about Jeb’s absurd defense of W keeping America safe……Jeb!, just keep the garbage to yourself, please.

      If it’s Republican, it has to go to church….doesn’t matter what kind of person that individual is the rest of the time, at least when his/her butt is on the pew, we know where they are and what they are doing….If that sounds in the least sarcastic, it is meant to be.

      Here’s a terrific post from The Sifter today on the religious right’s strongest skill set:

  15. “As Uber’s general manager in Vietman recently told Reuters, “Our goal is to replace private car ownership.” Carnegie Mellon computer scientist David Andersen is on board. “What an unfortunate waste of resources,” he wrote in his blog, referring to the cost of using his car, which he recently sold.”

    “Then, once the Model 3 becomes fully autonomous, it could just earn their owners a day’s wage now and then.”

    Well, which is it going to be? My guess is some of both, with some interesting social networking side effects, viz. your reputation score based on the way you treat other’s vehicles that you “rent” from time to time.

    Ultimately, only two things have economic value: time, and energy. Leaving aside energy for the moment, anything that: a) saves us time, or b) makes our time more enjoyable, has value. Motor vehicles often do both. I commute mainly by motorcycle, both because of the time savings (motorcycle + HOV = 🙂 ), and because of the visceral *pleasure* of motorcycle riding. (As for Mr. Anderson, one can only presume he is a bloodless as a stone.)

    Even in the age of the self-driving Uber car, I would probably choose to own my own vehicle, just for the pleasure of driving/riding. I’d certainly take advantage of the self-driving aspect for tedious transport (rush hour, straight haul interstate), and assuming liability issues could be worked out, would let my vehicle earn it’s keep while I wasn’t using it. Kinda sounds like the best of all worlds, doesn’t it?

    • 1mime says:

      Personally, I’d rather see more focus on adding light rail and expanding bus service thereby moving the U.S. into sinc with the entire developed world and btw, better serving the general population. When people from abroad visit the U.S., how in the world do they get around? Must be very frustrating for them.

      For working people, in metropolitan areas fed by surburban workers, buses/trains could easily reduce the family’s need to one auto. Others who are fortunate to work close to home could bike, bus, or share rides, or (heaven forbid) walk when distance and weather permit….Uber and Lyft have smartly seized upon changing lifestyles but there is still need for light rail and bus expansion for the large number of people who either do not own vehicles, or are elderly and don’t drive much or at all. Think how much more mobile our young people could be in terms of accessing different educational institutions and museums, etc. All without a car.

      Think also about a city that doesn’t have so many parking lots…loss of city revenue? Sure, but more valuable use of city property? You bet. Think about reduced air emissions (I know that is uppermost in your mind, Tracey (-:

      Interesting times. Saw Lyft founders interviewed on C. Rose…Very interesting young men…
      For those who are interested:

    • johngalt says:

      I’m with you, Tracy. I’m so old school that I drive a manual transmission, which are getting increasingly difficult to find. I’ve had valets ask me to self-park because they don’t know how to drive one. It seems clear to me that my kids won’t know how to drive a stick (unless I impose it on them), but then I had the shocking thought that given the progress with self-driving cars, there’s an outside chance they won’t actually learn how to drive a car at all (slim, but possible).

      • 1mime says:

        Well, John, “I’ve had valets ask me to self-park because they didn’t know how to drive one”……Now you have something in common with the Ferrari owners (-: See there – instant status!

      • johngalt says:

        I can assure you that I don’t drive a Ferrari.

      • 1mime says:

        Of course not, but it’s fun to be treated like you do drive a Ferrari (-: (I was playing with ya JG)

      • objv says:

        Mime, JG may not own a Ferrari, but he drives a BMW, so he is one of those elite, super-rich people. I venture to guess that he also owns more than three pair of underwear-unlike outsider Bernie Sanders who has to make do with only one pair.

      • 1mime says:

        Maybe Bernie’s small “boxer” stash is part of why he has more money in the bank than the other candidates (-:

      • objv says:

        Mime, I hate to break it to you, but Bernie does not approve of banks. He probably stores his money in his underwear drawer. According to SNL, he has to dry his only pair of underwear on a radiator since he has no dryer (unlike rich people). I’m sure his underwear drawer has plenty of room to store his life savings and then some.

      • 1mime says:

        I can’t say I’m a fan of big banks and WS either, but they serve a valuable purpose in our economy. Too bad so few of them were held accountable for the recession.

        As for Bernie’s money fitting in his underwear drawer, works for me. Wealth is not as important to me as an indication of character. It is ironic that the candidate who is least materialistic is the one who is leading all in donations – with NO PAC money. That’s pretty impressive. Someone in his organization knows how to GOTV crowd. Even if Bernie has little chance of becoming President (and that is far from assured), he has elevated the substance of this race with his focus and passion on issues vitally important to the American people.

        Thanks for the SNL link. Very well done.

      • You know, jg, it used to be that a stick offered better performance and mileage than an automatic transmission. That’s no longer the case, so curmudgeons like you and I are without excuse.

      • 1mime says:

        Just hard-headed like me and Fifty?

    • Creigh says:

      I was fortunate enough to be able to commute by bicycle for the last 20 years. I love driving on an open road, but half the time when I was driving I was grinding my teeth and wishing horrible deaths on the motorists around me. That never happens on a bike.

      On the other hand, I can foresee a time when I’ll have to give up driving. I hope self driving cars are here then.

    • EJ says:

      I am counting the days until I can get a self-driving car. It can’t come soon enough. If nothing else, it means that I’ll get to read a book during my commute even if I have to drive.

      Driving is one of these things like navigating without a satnav or calculating a spreadsheet with a casio calculator: it might be a nostalgic blast to do it from time to time, but once we give it up it results in a world with fewer mistakes and more reliability for everyone else.

  16. “…Homan Square, a secretive facility that Chicago police have described as little more than a low-level narcotics crime outpost where the mayor has said police “follow all the rules”.”

    And which mayor would that be? Ah, well. If not Rahm, then one of a long line of Democrats.

    If ever one wanted an illustration of the end-state of the progressive project, one could do no better than Homan Square. At the end of a long road paved with the best of intentions, where along the way the ends always justify the means, one finds… Homan Square, in one incarnation or another. Read your Hayek, boys and girls. Or cast your vote for the socialist or the hildebeast. Whatever floats your boat. After all, it’s *all* relative. 😉

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      I was not awake that Salma Hayek provided much social, political, or economic commentary, but I would happily read whatever she asked me to read.

      If you speak of Friedrich, it is generally good to keep an open mind regarding is rather idealistic, one could argue Utopian, views.

      As with most things, there is a time and a place, a little of this, a little of that.

      Hildebeast? You normally are better than that.

      • Sorry, HH. I was tempted to go with kleptocrat, or perhaps plutocrat, but neither are quite right, and it’s-all-good-so-long-as-it’s-good-for-Hillary-ocrat is a bit unwieldy, don’t you think?

    • 1mime says:

      How can a place like Homan Square exist in this day and age? Why has the Justice Department not swooped down on this place? Unimaginable, Lifer. Democrats involved with the continuation (and outright ignoring) of this place should be held accountable. This is a human rights and justice issue.

      So, what is happening to shut this place down, Lifer?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        mime…I’m sure that I’m playing the race card here, but I think at least some portion of the answer to your first question is contained in the line below:

        “…more than 7,000 people were detained at Homan between 2004 and 2015—about 6,000 of whom were black.”

      • 1mime, Homan Square is inevitable under progressive governance. If you start out with the observation that there is unfairness in the world, and that it must be corrected, then you end up with Homan Square. It’s simply unavoidable.

        The Rule of Law is based on equality before the law, *not* equality of outcomes. In a world governed by the Rule of Law, disparity in outcomes is the norm, not the exception. The progressive project, on the other hand, is based on equality of outcomes (“fairness”), and is therefore incompatible with the Rule of Law. With the Rule of Law removed from governance, you find yourself with rule by, dare I say it, executive order. If the law produces an unfair outcome, that has to be “fixed.” And this can *only* be done on a case by case basis; i.e. the ends justify the means. This is fundamentally what “redistribution” is all about.

        All this works fine (sort of), so long as the executive doing the deciding is benign. Or at least until the executive is faced with competing interests (which usually occurs by 8:10 AM on any given day ending in a “y”), in which case somebody is going to win, and somebody is going to lose. In the end, the losers end up in Homan Square. This happens ineluctably precisely because way back at the start, the Rule of Law was jettisoned in the name of “fairness.” Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor (albeit perverse)?

        The preceding two paragraphs sum Hayek’s Jeremiad in a nutshell, and serve as a reminder that sometimes the cure (progressivism) is worse than the disease (unfairness). The road to totalitarianism (or “serfdom”) is always paved with the very best of intentions.

      • 1mime says:

        Tracy, that is pure BS. I believe Lifer mentioned Abu Ghraib above? Extrapolate if you can. I don’t care how you spin the Homan Square situation, it is dead wrong. I don’t care how you spin Abu Ghraib, it was wrong. I don’t care which party, which philosophy is allowing this abomination to exist, it needs to be closed. If your premise is that Homan Square is horrible and needs to go, we agree. If your inference is that this is how justice is meted out under Democratic principles, then we’ve gonna tangle.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Heck…Utopian ideals, a really slippery slope, and your own strawperson as well. That is quite a little knapsack you carry.

        “If you start out with the observation that there is unfairness in the world, and that it must be corrected, then you end up with Homan Square. It’s simply unavoidable.

        The Rule of Law is based on equality before the law, *not* equality of outcomes. In a world governed by the Rule of Law, disparity in outcomes is the norm, not the exception. The progressive project, on the other hand, is based on equality of outcomes (“fairness”), and is therefore incompatible with the Rule of Law.”

        There are precious few people arguing for equality of outcomes and “fairness” is not defined as equality of outcomes. For those arguing for equality of outcomes, they should be mocked and ridiculed.

        I hate to speak for “most of us”, but most of us would just prefer that the playing field might be a bit more level or that maybe transportation to that playing field might be a bit more attainable for a wider group of folks.

      • johngalt says:

        Tracy, progressive governments lead to things like Homan Square only in the dystopian nightmares of what conservatives like yourself think progressives want. Chicago has become a poster-child for all things wrong which inevitably leads some to believe that this is the endpoint of Democratic political power. But, ultimately, Chicago is not Democratic or Republican, it is old school machine politics – patronage, backroom deals and ruthlessness. Progressives aren’t the ones passing the draconian drug laws that were the basis of most of the visits to Homan, and they’re not enforcing those laws unequally. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that it’s not progressives that are promoting civil forfeiture laws that reward cops for seizing property.

        More generally, though, I don’t classify myself as a progressive, but I’m closer to it than you are. There is another way between your hallowed “Rule of Law” and some communist equality of outcomes, and that is equality of opportunity. That kid in Mississippi has no equality of opportunity in any real sense. He has no clue of what success is or how to achieve it. He was never taught by his family key values of responsibility and hard work, because his family doesn’t know what it is either. Any social safety net that might have instilled these values, even in a small way, in school, through courts, or other organizations simply doesn’t exist where he lives. Odds are that the taxpayer ends up subsidizing him for much of his life, because he has little chance of self-sufficiency. But it is easier to ridicule him for being lazy and wanting to be a “taker” than to help him help himself.

    • goplifer says:

      The entire Southern countryside was a version of Homan Square until a generation ago. Remember what happened when the FBI went looking for the body of Emmitt Till?

      • No argument there, Chris.

      • 1mime says:

        Is there an answer to my question Lifer about what is being done to shut that facility down?

      • goplifer says:

        It doesn’t really matter whether they shut down that site if they don’t change the way the department operates. And they can’t change the way the department operates if they lack the political power to hold officers accountable.

        They’ll probably close it next year. As soon as they’ve found another location to carry on the same activities.

      • 1mime says:

        That’s not good enough, Lifer. There is a higher court of justice than that being run in Chicago at Homan Square. It appears that there is plenty enough documentation to at least begin an investigation and then close it down, charge a bunch of people, and, BTW, change the process. If this issue is as well known as the article suggests, why are people allowing it to continue without being contested?

        Count me as one Democrat who wants this problem resolved – changing the process AND holding those responsible, accountable. Maybe if there were more outcry on this, there would also be some changes in political office.

        Please keep us updated if you see movement on addressing this problem, Lifer.

      • 1mime says:

        The latest ploy by conservatives to end PP is by states denying PP as a service provider under Medicaid. Just today, the fine state of TX sent a letter to PP advising them of the grounds for terminating their services under Medicaid. Of course, it is all based upon the bogus video illegally taken by lying people who edited the video that is the basis for justification for termination. Never mind about that…..Means to an end, right?

        The people that lose the most are those women who have the fewest options. That is incredibly sad. Having said that, if I were a member of staff for tje “pristeen” TX Attorney General, even with my limited writing skills, I think I could have done a better job with my legal notice.

        I quote: “In a letter to be sent to state Planned Parenthood affiliates on Monday, officials say they made their decision because a video released earlier this summer showed that the women’s health organization alters its abortion process to preserve fetal organs and allows private citizens into its lab wearing only gloves.”

        WHAT??????!!!! The private citizens, aka ” lying, misrepresenting” people entering the labs were wearing “ONLY GLOVES”? By damn, now, that’s serious! I mean, don’t PP labs have decency rules?

        This &^#* is pathetic and serious. At the very least, the AG could have proof-read his legal notice.

      • objv says:

        Mime, Then there’s that little, pesky issue of fraud… From the “Notice of Termination” in your link:

        “Further, the DOJ was “particularly grateful to the Whistleblower” who came forward for revealing that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast had billed the Texas Medicaid program, Title XX, and the Women’s Health Program “for items and services that were either
        medically unnecessary or were never actually provided.”


        Honestly, mime, if there is one good thing that came out of Obamacare, it is that women have options other than a PP clinic for contraceptive needs. Far better for women to have access to providers who have the ability to treat them them holistically and have greater expertise in other areas of women’s health.

      • 1mime says:

        Lifer, I watched an interview of Chicago Police Inspector McCarthy on PBS tonight. The interviewer, Judy Woodruff, commented (on air) that following the interview, she had asked Inspector McCarthy about the Homan Square issues and he denied they exist. I tried to find the full interview (this particular question was not included in the aired segment), but couldn’t. Thought you’d find this tidbit interesting.

    • objv says:

      Homer, I thought “Hildebeast” was hil-arious. Even my Aunt Hildegard (may she rest in peace) would have laughed.

      I’m growing concerned because you are becoming too solemn and are in grave danger of losing your sense of humor. I’ll be sending up prayers in your behalf.

  17. johngalt says:

    Mostly a depressing set of links, Lifer. One of the first comments in the Guardian article on Chicago’s Homan Square reads, “Yeesh – what a country.” Hard to argue with that.

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