I agree with Digby:
Mental illness exists in other developed countries. Radical Islamism does, too. Sexual entitlement and misogyny certainly do. Unpopular loner kids exist, too, as do disgruntled employees. But none of these things are causes of mass murder sprees in, say, Germany, France, England or Japan.
The common denominator is the gun. It is always the gun, and it will always be the gun. We can try to fix the other social problems all we want–and we should. But until we fix the gun problem, we will continue to offer the lives of ourselves and our children on the altar of this insatiable, bloodthirsty Lord we euphemistically call the “gun rights movement.”
Until the U.S. recognizes the sickness it suffers from there will be no cure. The NRA right continues to deny that gun violence is a problem. Those advocating for stronger gun laws should know that laws can help by regulating access, but there is a whole complex of social and cultural factors that create conditions in which gun violence thrives. The gun is the problem yes, but it is the gun’s place in the culture as well as access that leads to the chronic and pervasive violence we see almost daily.
Gun worshipers blather on about needing fire arms for self defense. The truth is that they need guns because they can’t win a rational argument. Guns are offensive weapons, not defensive. They are used for domination, control and destruction.
Found this at Hullabaloo:
I’m fairly sure that my right to free speech is threatened when someone who disagrees with me shows up with a gun. This is just common sense. There is no reason these guys had to bring guns to the rally. They could have showed up with signs, as people have done forever. They could have shouted down the speakers, they could have engaged the protesters one on one. This is how we normally stage our political disagreements. But no, they show up at rallies with loaded guns and ostentatiously display them. There is no other reason to do it this way except that you want to intimidate those on the other side.
Woody would approve, but not much radio airplay I’m guessing.
The housing bubble has precipitated a severe, and possibly catastprophic, economic crisis, so I thought it would be useful to put together a list of pundits and experts who were dead-wrong on the housing bubble. They were the enablers, and deserve to be held accountable. People also need to know (or be reminded of) which pundits/experts should never be listened to again. But most importantly, I have time to do this kind of thing now.
The list includes only pundits and (supposed) experts. That means the list doesn’t include policymakers such as Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, because however wrong they may have been, policymakers—and especially Fed chairmen—are undeniably constrained in what they can say publicly. I strongly suspect that both Greenspan and Bernanke honestly believed that there was no housing bubble, but alas, we’ll never know for sure. The list also doesn’t include pundits/experts who were wrong only about the fallout of the collapse of the housing bubble—that is, the extent to which the collapse of the housing bubble would harm the economy.
Many of the names on the list won’t shock anyone, I’m sure. And FWIW, a few of the pundits seemed to deny the existence of the housing bubble simply because Paul Krugman argued that there was a housing bubble, and they absolutely hate Krugman. Unfortunately (for our economy), Krugman was right—again.
The list is a work in progress (though I’ve been reasonably thorough in my research), so feel free to suggest other people who should go on the list. So without further ado, here’s the list:
1. Alan Reynolds, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute:
Read the rest of the list here.
The workers of Vio.Me., a building materials factory in Thessaloniki, Greece, which was abandoned by its bankrupt owners, have been unpaid since May of 2011. This week, after a series of general assemblies the workers convened, they’ve started occupying the factory and operating it under direct democratic workers’ control.
As part of a letter being circulated by the Thessaloniki Solidarity Initiative explains:
This experience of worker’s occupation to workers recovery and control is not new—either historically or currently. Since 2001 there are close to 300 workplaces that are run democratically by workers in Argentina, ranging from health clinics and newspapers and schools, to metal factories, print shops and a hotel. The experience there has shown that workers together cannot only run their own workplace, but can do it better. The example of Argentina has spread throughout the Americas, and now to Europe and the United States.
Here’s what you can do:
– Spread the word. Share this information with friends, family and your Facebook and Twitter communities.
– Contribute money. Forging new anti-capitalist economic models is expensive. The costs of production are high and the first few months are critical. Whatever you can afford here will be devoted to a genuine effort to create a new way of doing things. Think of it as an investment in the future.
– Send solidarity statements to Thessaloniki’s Open Solidarity Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org. The workers are encouraged by the warmth of solidarity coming from abroad.
This is what happens when austerity imposed from above destroys a nation’s economy. Another thing that happens is that fascists like Golden Dawn come out of the woodwork.
If anyone is interested in my opinion, I like much of what PBO said tonight, though his threats to keep continue facilitating carbon fuel extraction was one of the exceptions.And nothing on the drones problem
But a rise in the minimum wage would be a good thing as would be infrastructure investment and bitch slapping the pharmaceuticals (by not over paying them anymore).
All in all a good speech, but more commitment to effective action on climate change is necessary. Also like paycheck fairness part.
Why did the GOP look so miserable all the time? Maybe cuz they knew how it was playing with the public.
How about some Tom Waits and Keith Richards? Shenandoah.
The father of one of the Newtown victims was heckled by gun lovers as he testified at Connecticut state hearing. Read all about it.