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Gun Bullies at Play

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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:

Digby:

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.

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March 28th, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Iris Dement: Wasteland of the Free

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Woody would approve, but not much radio airplay I’m guessing.

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March 11th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Folk Music

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Housing Bubble Deniers Exposed

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Thank to Ollie Nanyes who posted this list of right wing economists and pundits who were positive there was no housing bubble preparing to burst in the last decade.

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.

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February 14th, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Posted in Economy,Housing

Worker Control in Greece.

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From The Nation, Workers at Greek factory have taken it over.

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 protbiometal@gmail.com. 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.

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February 13th, 2013 at 11:32 am

SOTU 2013

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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.

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February 12th, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Superbowl Ad

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#MayorsAgainstIllegalGuns #NRA

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February 3rd, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Mr. Lapierre, Meet Former U.S. Representative Giffords

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January 30th, 2013 at 11:45 am

Posted in Gun Laws,Gun Violence

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Shenandoah in a Gravely Voice

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How about some Tom Waits and Keith Richards? Shenandoah.

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January 29th, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Folk Music

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Stay Classy NRA

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The father of one of the Newtown victims was heckled by gun lovers as he testified at Connecticut state hearing. Read all about it.

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January 28th, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Letter to PJ Star re Contraception and Health Insurance

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Here is the letter I wrote to the PJ Star about their editorial critical of the Obama Administration’s new rule on contraception and health insurance http://www.pjstar.com/opinions/ourview/x1085185303/Our-View-Obama-should-back-off-contraception-mandate:

When I read the Journal Star Editorial regarding the Obama administration requirement that employers include contraception coverage in the health insurance employers provide their workers I had to check the date of the newspaper to convince myself I had not been somehow transported back to the 1950’s or earlier. The issue of course is that some religious leaders suddenly are opposed to a rule they have been living with at state levels for decades. Currently 28 states require employers, including religious institutions, to provide such coverage. Eight of those states do not even exempt churches, which the new federal rule does.

Yet, the editorial made it seem as though this were a new requirement suddenly being imposed by an intrusive federal government. The man or men who wrote the editorial accuse the Obama administration of picking a fight. Well, somebody picked a fight, but I don’t think it was the President or his administration. When I did check the date I noticed that it was 2012, and I understand this to be an election year. I guess the Republicans, having run out of economic arguments, are looking for hot button social issues. Sadly, Catholic bishops and some evangelical leaders have played along.

As the editorial states,” The reaction has been swift, vehement and, from this vantage, on balance quite negative.” But there is a reaction to the reaction.

I looked in vain in the editorial for some indication that the (probably aging) men who wrote it had considered the opinions of the women who would be affected were a religious institution employer suddenly able to force its vision of morality on them. After all, there are many non-Catholics and non-believers who work for organizations like OSF. Do they not have some say in this matter? Not, apparently, if the Neanderthal Journal Star editors and Catholic bishops have their way.

But consider the polling on this issue. It turns out that 98% of all women have used contraception, including a lot of Catholic and evangelical women. On the specific question of whether all employers should be required to include contraception in their health insurance plans, a clear majority of women are in favor. In fact, Catholic women are even more in favor of this than the total female population.

These facts were, of course, completely missing from the editorial.

This issue is a clear winner for President Obama and the Democrats, except for the clueless Dems like Senator Manchin, who also seem lost in an America that passed decades ago.

As for the bishops, don’t they have more important things to worry about than trying to impose their version of morality on employees of Catholic institutions? They might try emphasizing papal teachings about war, capital punishment and poverty instead. And by the way, the Church is still cleaning up the mess created by their twisted version of sexual morality and religious authority.