Trumps assault on the 1st amendment


This should concern everyone- especially much of his base- the self appointed protectors of the constitution.

Anyway- a week or so ago Trump declared he would drastically change fredom of the press laws. Making it far easier to sue for “falsehoods”. And of course, that he himself would sue, sue, sue.

As it stands now, the plaintiff must show that publishers knowingly and with mailce published falsehoods. Essentially he wants to flip this around- so the publisher must prove their statements are completely true. (Now- ponder this: would the likes of Breitbart, the Blaze, the Drudge Report, or Fox News still be in existence if such a law existed during Obama’s terms ? Or Clintons? )

And, after his latest issues at his rallies- he has called for police to arrest protesters at his rallies. People exercising a fundemental constiutional right. And he did so with malice- explicitly wanting these people to have “criminal” records that would interfere with the rest of their lives. (although I gues he IS a little unclear on the difference between misdemeanor and felony, and the large number of people- including Bernie Sanders, who have been arrested for political dissent and gone on to sucessful lives).

 

Regardless- we are seeing a man who wants to warp the world to fit HIS arrogant…and let’s face it- extremely insecure, world. Realities. And Constiution be damned.

The only thing worrying me more in this world right now more then Donald Trump… is Ted Cruz. And that’s because- for all those truly big issues I need to be worrying about… in our country and in our world… either one of them will make them so much worse.

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3 Simple Laws Could Drasticaly Reduce Gun Violence (and expand gun rights)


An interesting study published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet today seems to indicate implementation of just 3 laws could drastically reduce gun deaths in the US. (note: there have been some questions raised about the statistical modeling used. Possibly the numbers would not be quite as drastic- but still hugely significant).

  1. Background checks on ALL firearm sales (57% reduction)
  2. Background check for ALL ammunition sales (81% reduction)
  3. Firearm identification  (84% reduction )

This all adds up to an overall 90% reduction in gun deaths in the US if implemented. (caveat being it would take some years- as there were stould be many untraceable blackmarket guns and ammunition out there for years to come).

They also mention that putting an end to “stand your ground” laws could further greatly reduce deaths.

These are all very sensible laws. Ones which generally have a high rate of support- even among gun owners. No one – except the paranoids who shouldn’t have guns in the first place…who think ANY kind of background check or registration is just the next step towards seizing guns should have any issue with any of these proposals.

Indeed- I would argue that, especially if the background checks are expanded to where they are in many developed nations ( ie: not just looking for a felony record or mental health comittment…if they were expanded to a mental health screening, interviews with family/friends/co-workers, and if the local police/sheriff had to sign off … we would go a long way towards expanding gun rights for millions of americans. While sucessfully removing guns from those who have no business owning them.

 

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Incident at Trump Ohio Rally


As you may know, a man jumped a barricade near the stage at a Trump rally today, and was quickly apprehended by Secret Service.

I had just returned home shortly after this happened, and saw some of the first blips on it as I was checking the news online. There weren’t many details yet, so I googled it.

Not surprisingly, sadly, the main results where from the far (and I mean far) right wing propaganda machine. The handful of extremist sites (weazelzippers, conservativetreehouse, et al) who help create the far right wing hysteria. Who put unsubstantiated hate and fear filled ideas out there, that then often get picked up by the just generally nuts right wing sites. Then get picked up by the more “respectable” far right sites. Often then eventually becoming talking points of Fox, Limbaugh, etc.

Anyway- the far, far right loonies were reporting that the man was ISIS affiliated, or a sympathizer, was maybe armed with a knife, etc, etc…

But here’s the thing that was most interesting to me. In the first hour or so after this, in the top 5 or so results reporting this, was dailystormer. A neo-nazi / aryan nation / skinhead site. I can’t say I have EVER seen the neo-nazis rank so high on any search result related to a current event. Pretty clear the neo-nazis are rabidly following trump and proudly trumpeting everything from his hate machine. This should have you deeply concerned.

Posted in donald trump, potitics, society, tea party, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Well, it didn’t take long for the death of Antonin Scalia to turn into a right mess. As you’re well aware it took a matter of seconds for the right to vow to block any Obama nominee, well, because, of course they believe they will return to power.

You may not be aware that it took only a few seconds more for the conspiracy theories to start. That the resort owners statement of “a pillow over his head” (ie:behind his head) actually meant it was over his face. Calls demanding an autoposy, against the express wishes of his family (based in no small part on their Roman Catholic beliefs). Endless insinuations that more should investigation should have been done, because, you know, trained police officers in one of the most conservative parts of the most conservative state, investigating the death of an overwight man with numerous health issues and risk factors, on a highly secured resort catering to (only) the rich and powerful, somehow must be wrong in their assertions that there was no evidence to suggest foul play.

And it only took a moment longer for the right to trot out a line from Schumer in 2007 at a talk suggesting the blocking of any more Bush nominees. Never mind that this was a moot point- there were no more Bush nominees. Nor that this view was never embraced by the party nor his fellow senators. Nor that it is taken out of context- that he was discussing the two Bush appointees that the Senate moved quickly to approve- two appointees who many- including Republicans such as Arlen Specter felt lied to the senate in hearings- and who moved quickly to overturn many long standing legal precedents- something most legal scholars- both conservative and liberal generally agree is a bad course of action and a signature of the (much maligned by the right) “judicial activist”.

And of course- now things will get truly interesting- on many levels.

Will Obama nominate one of the previous expected frontrunners, conservative liberals who he previously would have expected to at least have a chance of being approved? Or will he use the promised blockade to nominate a real liberal to simply make a political statement?

Will the right allow the important cases before the court to be decided on this year without  Scalia on the court? Cases that will either go to the liberals or go to a tie (which will uphold the lower court ruling, without setting national precedent, which in most cases will uphold a “liberal” lower court ruling?

Can the highly fractured right agree that potentially allowing Trump or Cruz a nominee to the court is wiser then allowing Obama a conservative, middle of the road nominee.

Will GOP senators, especially those facing re-election battles, be willing to be percieved as overly partisan and snubbing the constitution? Or willing to face the potential fundraising and voter turnout windfall of demcrats and centrist republicans.

And what of the remaining SCOTUS members? Particularly the “Swing votes”. Will they be disgusted by the politics and swing against the conservatives- in the short or the long term?

 

Posted in catholic church, catholics, christian values, common sense, obama, politics, social | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Donald Trump’s Pro Wrestling Career


Ok, maybe like me your first reaction to that title is WTF? A part of his history I blissfully missed out on.

Sadly, I saw this article at the WaPo the other day: 6 ways Donald Trump’s wrestling career previewed his campaign

Between that and a little googling…well, I really wish I had remained blissfully ignorant of all this.

Is this really what America has come to?

Posted in christian values, immigration, politics, social | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Why am I paying for your credit?


So, for a multitude of reasons, I pretty much live in a cash economy.

And I wonder…why do I have to pay for everyone elses credit?

Let’s be clear- accepting credit and debit cards is a major expense to retailers. While the numbers are hard to pin down due to a variety of factors, we are talking probably 20-30 cents for every transaction, plus a fee of 2%-5% of each transaction. Plus considerable cost for the hardware and software to accept such transactions.

In other words, in paying cash, I am paying a several percent tax subsidizing  those who use debit and especially credit cards.

And to further add to the frustration of it all- wealthier americans, those who get credit cards with rewards, or American Express cards- cost retailers the highest fees- which even those who use regular cards end up subsidizing.

I’m sure we’ve all seen some gas stations that offer lower prices for cash then cards. But this is pretty much the only industry where it is somewhat common, and it’s still far from the norm.

Just one more example of how our society is stacked against those who struggle to get by every day. Or who have made a conscious decision to not enrich the financial industry for no good reason.

Maybe that’s why stories such as Robin Hood are such classics- because it’s a mirror image of our own world- where it’s rob from the poor and give to the rich.

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Faulty Logic- Car Rental Car Keys


So, I had to rent a car recently. And, as always, they hand me the keys. 2 of them. And two of the car door opener fobs. Blus their big plastic tag. All on a ring that can not be opened.

Now, never mind the annoyance factor of having this big wad of plastic and metal to, somehow, fit in a bocket when I’m not driving the car.

The thing that really irks me is… why on earth put both keys and car door unlockers on a ring that can not be opened? That you can not seperate the two sets?

What is the point of forcing me to lose, or lock in the car, BOTH sets of keys?

Does it not make far more sense to give me the keys on seperate rings? Or even give me the option of them maintaining one of the sets?

I can not fathom ANY logic in their action. IT makes no sense. And yet, somehow, at the highest levels of these corporations, it has been decided that this is right way to do things?!

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