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February 09, 2018

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Amenable to most of your taste I would guess.

Vox Podcasts: Weekly shows about everything from policy to pop culture

I don't think I can subject myself to Matt Yglesias or Ezra Klein, but thanks.

i loved S-Town.

My Dad Wrote A Porno was funny for the first episode.

Sometimes bad news is good news. Today's example: The Washington Post reports that the President has abandoned the practice of his past 7 predecessors of reading the President's Daily [Intelligence] Brief in favor of oral briefings.

Why does that matter? It lays out the most pressing information collected by U.S. intelligence agencies from hot spots around the world. But it's a dense read, which "is not Trump’s preferred style of learning.”

So he's running on ignorance. No surprise there, since we're dealing with a guy for whom facts don't matter. But it's actually good news. Why? Because he can't blurt out sensitive intel is he's never seen/heard it. Which, on his track record, he would. So let's count our blessings.

I enjoyed S-Town a lot. It got some blowback for being overhyped, but it was still really good.

If you like economics, then I recommend Planet Money. I also like Hidden Brain. Neither require any deep understanding of the dismal science.

Not to be confused with S-Town, but Crimetown is a great look at the history of the mob in Providence RI.

S-Town is fantastic. Just great storytelling.

Also check out "Up and Vanished" about a young woman who went missing from a small south Georgia town about a decade ago. The circumstances of her disappearance and probable death were a mystery until fairly recently. I'm listening to it right now, and it's fascinating. Small southern towns (probably small, isolated towns anywhere really) are just weird.

The producer of that podcast, Payne Lindsey, also just completed a new series on the disappearances and murders of at least 28 African American boys from around the city of Atlanta. These disappearances started in 1979 and spanned a couple of years. Some of y'all might remember Wayne Williams, who was convicted of a couple of the deaths. I don't think anybody believed then that he was responsible for all of them. I was going to college in the city while this was going on, and they were very tense times. I'm deeply interested in finding out what new information has been produced in the 30 plus years since this all happened.

I've been aspiring to listen to podcasts for the last few years, but I have yet to achieve this admittedly ambitious and lofty goal. Perhaps being only 5 years behind the times technologically just isn't enough for me.

I had heard about Planet Money but forgot about it, will check it out, thanks PDM.

chmatl - there appear to be a fair # of "this person disappeared" podcasts out there for some reason.

Also listened to a "Reveal" podcast about Madoff, although that is essentially a summary of a much longer one on Madoff called "Ponzi Supernova", that I have not listened to.

Picking up a thread from an earlier open thread, some thoughts on so-called "ride-sharing", with maybe some indirect bearing on issues relating to driverless cars. Mislabel something, offer it at less than cost, get people habituated, then change the game....

"And it’s been a blast riding around town on Jay-Z’s dime."

Flippin' sweet.

I keep wondering, should technology advance to make driverless cars a reality, if there could *only* be driverless cars. And, if so, could cars be redesigned to be X% smaller if they, e.g., didn't need a steering wheel, pedals, gearshift, dashboard, etc.?

Or would that just the extra space would be taken up by flat screens, cushier seats, etc.?

Presumably, cars' sizes and weights could be greatly reduced by not having crashworthiness cars are currently required to have.

And, if so, could cars be redesigned to be X% smaller

If they don't have enough room so that you can stretch out and take a nap, I don't see the point.

I don't insist on being able to stretch out and take a nap. I just want enough room that I can straighten out my legs. And so I can sit up straight without pressing the top of my head against the roof. That's why I have generally driven mini-vans, cross-overs, etc. -- standard cars are built for smaller people. ("The world is designed for short people." A view that my wife disputes, but which is true nonetheless.)

I've only heard an episode or two, but my girlfriend absolutely loves Pod Save America as well as Pod Save the World. I found the episodes I heard to be quite interesting.

Presumably, cars' sizes and weights could be greatly reduced by not having crashworthiness cars are currently required to have.

Crash safety is an interesting academic field of study. One of the (to me) neat things is that when you start with a small vehicle, the best tactics are quite different, and the current crash tests are not particularly meaningful. There's a huge advantage to something like a side sticks for steering/braking -- assuming human steering/braking -- in order to increase ride-down space. Very rigid shells to take advantage of crumple zones in the big vehicle that you hit. Try to make everything into a glancing blow that you can slide/spin away from.

It's not speed that kills -- it's dv/dt. How to approach that in a tiny car is a whole 'nother thing.

What’s ride-down space?

Friday evening is traditionally the time to release news that you want (hope) to bury. So, at 7:30 this evening, this White House announcement. "Security concerns" about the Democrats' rebuttal memo. Yeah, riiiiight.

Somehow, it seems unlikely to succeed. But I suppose that, when you got nothing, grasping at holographic images of straws can seem reasonable.

The space between you and a hard place...

A terrific article on Ian M Banks, whom we recently discussed:
http://sciphijournal.org/why-the-culture-wins-an-appreciation-of-iain-m-banks/

I'd never before come across the sciphijournal, and was dismayed to note that it shut down operations last month thanks to lack of funding....

Thanks for posting that NIgel.

There are still a couple of Culture books that I have not read because they are not available in ebook format for some reason.

I need to seek them out ... reading WWI histories has completely depressed me and Banks would be a perfect antidote.

Pollo, I didn't read the Culture novels til he was dead, and I can't think of a duff one. The fact that Elon Musk has named two of his drone ships after Culture Minds (Of Course I Still Love You, and Just Read the Instructions), makes me, despite myself, feel affectionate towards him.

Podcasts: The Thrilling Adventure Hour. BBC4 Friday night news quiz. Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. You Bet Your Garden. Revolutions. Malcolm Gladwell's Alternative History.

The Revolutions podcast coverage of the Haitian Revolution is especially relevant in this Trump-infected age. The 'small whites' faction in Haiti was a near exact match for Trump voters.

Never got into the whole podcast thing... reading a book seems a much more attractive use of the time, and there's usually the news on the car radio....
...Having said that, I am contemplating learning Korean, and wonder if there's any audio based course which would make productive use of a daily commute that the ObWi brains trust could recommend ?

@Nigel --

Pimsleur -- I've used their earlier levels to get some conversational basics in several langauges. Like 'em a lot.

JanieM, thanks !

Barring competing recommendations, it sounds like the solution (& I will give it a test run in any event.)

A tip regarding Pimsleur: you can get it cheaper on audible.co.uk (at least in the UK).

Thanks, novokant.

Just way too good not to share:

I’m starting to think that MAGA stands for Make America Greece Anon.
Sort of sums up the entire program of the administration and Congress, doesn't it?

So. The GOP agrees to a bipartisan spending increase that allows the Dems to sign on to a defense increase they don't really object to, and a discretionary spending increase that the Dems insisted on, IOW, a pretty left leaning compromise, all to fund the government and avoid shutdowns for a few years...and that makes them bad, to Democrats? Independents?

I could understand the fiscal hawks squealing, but this is a bobbyp budget, everybody gets what they want. Print money, or really don't bother, just create a new blockchain.

Sometimes i wonder if people are looking so hard to be critical they miss it when they win.

wj,

I know "Greece" is an automatic punchline in some circles, but AFAIK Greece is not burdened with a "Peter G. Petersen Institute" at least.

Max Boot seems shocked! schocked! to find that a charlatan like Ryan and a snake like McConnell are hypocrites. That it took him until 2018 to grok something so obvious makes Boot a slow learner, not a brilliant intellectual.

Personalities aside, though, let's at least bury the old saw that "entitlements" are part of the federal budget, but FICA witholdings are not "taxes".

Let us also stipulate that come "2029" (or whatever date Pete Petersen projects) when "entitlements" will amount to the entire federal government budget, retirees will still have to be supported out of the nation's budget -- or be left to starve. Whatever we retired Boomers consume in 2029 will have to be produced by the workers of 2029, whether it flows through the "government budget" or not.

--TP

Tony, I don't disagree about Boot. I just thought it was a great line -- Greece, after all, has a well-deserved reputation for spending money that it doesn't have.

As for us Boomers, I suspect that a lot of us will be finding that complete retirement isn't exactly an option.** That is, in 2029 (or sooner) there will be a lot of Boomers who are still holding down jobs (at least part time) in order to make ends meet.

** Personally, I'm 70 and still working. But that's because I (mostly) enjoy what I'm doing, not due to financial constraints -- let's hear it for getting into IT early!

How GOP Fiscal Sanity Died, in 7 Easy Steps: Here are the moments when Republicans, including professed deficit hawks, snuffed out the 2009-2014 flicker of budgetary sanity

So.

so. read the headline on that article.

...and avoid shutdowns for a few years

The bill did several things: raised the sequestration levels for at least a couple of years, suspended the debt ceiling for a bit more than a year, provided disaster funding. What it didn't do was provide actual spending authority for discretionary programs beyond March 23. Shutdown in six weeks unless Congress can pass an actual budget bill, or yet another continuing resolution.

Yeah, just no good reason to have one.

why is it a problem for the bulk of federal outlays to be spent on the health and basic well being of the population?

especialy when much or most of that is funded by a dedicated revenue stream?

"especialy when much or most of that is funded by a dedicated revenue stream?"

I agree, what's the problem. Shouldn't have increased anything except that.

especialy when much or most of that is funded by a dedicated revenue stream?

Well, Medicare has a (soon to be inadequate) dedicated stream. Those without? Medicaid, CHIP, Tri-Care, the VA, the employer share for six million civilian employees, ~2.2 million incarcerated federal prisoners...

As a former budget analyst, my objection is how inefficiently we spend the money. Roll them all together, along with state and local government spending; demand volume discounts on everything; we could get a lot more health care for our dollars.

Well, the biggest quick improvement to inefficient spending would be . . . have Congress do its d*mn job and pass a budget. On time. No harsh decisions on cutting programs, raising taxes, etc. required -- we save a bundle even if you don't change a thing from last year.

Just do your job; it that too much to ask? (Rhetorical question, obviously.)

I wish we could fund the Pentagon with a "dedicated revenue stream", if only to see the Petersen Institute's projection of its long-term solvency.

Does "interest on the debt" include interest payments from the Treasury to the SSA? and if so, what's the interest rate?

Suppose we abolish the cap on FICA and simultaneously cut the marginal rates on income above the current cap by exactly the same amount. A "high earner" would pay exactly the same number of dollars as before; the dollars would simply be labelled differently. Neither total federal revenue nor total federal outlays would change by a penny; SS would just become more solvent and the Pentagon less so. Would that cause the Petersen Institute finally to shut up, or what?

--TP

The FICA/income tax swap is more complicated than that because of the employee/employer shares. There are companies that pay no income tax today, but pay their FICA share every quarter. Those would see their tax payments go up, perhaps significantly. Unless there's a refundable tax credit for them :^)

Michael,

I would gladly agree to a "FICA/income-tax swap" wherein the "high earners" would pay both halves of FICA above the cap, so as to hold their employers harmless :)

My only desire is to shut Pete Petersen's gob about "entitlements".

--TP

The splitting of FICA taxes between employer and employee is another one of those obfuscations favored by politicians that makes little real difference as to whose pockets the taxes ultimately comes out of while adding more friction to the whole process.

this is a bobbyp budget

There seem to be some missing items:

National healthcare
Expanded college access without resort to loans
Real infrastructure upgrades
Increased foreign aid
Massive subsidies to renewable energy
Privatization take-back-increase the commons
UBI or jobs guarantee
Etc., etc.

Unlike many, I am not that concerned about the government's current fiscal "position". I don't see inflation right around the corner yet. But the misplaced priorities are a tragic waste of resources, and will result in great harm to our country in the future.

The priorities established in this budget are political decisions, and will have ramifications. Merely looking at them through the lens of "OMG, The Debt" is really, really mistaken.

So no. Not my preferred budget.

Greece, after all, has a well-deserved reputation for spending money that it doesn't have.

Disagree. Greece (and basically the rest of the Eurozone) was at the mercy of a Germany that insisted on a trade surplus in relation to the rest of the Eurozone. This created imbalances that could only be corrected by others begging banks for loans denominated in a currency they did not control.

See example of Spain. I believe it was consistently adhering to balanced budgets before the crisis hit, but was crucified as a reckless spender once the shit hit the fan.

My only desire is to shut Pete Petersen's gob about "entitlements".

I suggest you consult with Count about the preferred selection of sniper rifles and high explosives. Because that's probably the ONLY fix that'll work.

There are some people in this world whose primary purpose in life is to BITCH ABOUT SHIT. They can STFU.

Not sure if I should make this a separate thread or not

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/08/world/asia/north-korea-olympics.html

Did this happen because of Trump? If so, should I be happy about it?

So no. Not my preferred budget.

Left out smashing the state and the abolition of private property, but those are not, if you want to get picky, budgetary concerns.

You deal with the politics you have, not the politics you wished you had.

Because that's probably the ONLY fix that'll work.

When you set up the rules for a political economy that pushes the wealth to a very few it may (not always) create a "combustible" situation resulting in a situation where "legality" itself is in the eye of the beholder.

bobbyp, in the case of Greece (which should never have been let into the EU in the first place) we have a combination of a basket case all by itself with a 'solution' that is as you describe. And there is massive collusion of those inside Greece responsible for the country being the basket case it is with the authors of the 'solution'. E.g. Greece is explicitly forbidden to touch the still profiteering vampires and obliged to go after the actual productive parts of the economy.

I always thought that the economic aspect of the Greek EU entry was secondary, and getting Greece in was necessary to get Turkey in, because it wouldn't have worked if Turkey entered the EU first, or if Greece had been rejected and Turkey admitted. The council overruled the Commission, which suggested that Greece wasn't ready, so I feel like it was political considerations rather than economic ones.

...which should never have been let into the EU in the first place.

Unless you mean the Euro, rather than the EU, this is simply wrong.

lj, yes, it was mainly political. It was sold to the public as "How can there be a Europe without the cradle of democracy being part of it?". As for Turkey, that's at least double-edged. There has always been a strong opposition to the very idea of Turkey becoming a part, and Greece would have always been the leader of that*. Independent of the state Turkey was/is in. Long before PEGIDA and AfD it was dogma for parts of the German conservative political establishment that a majority Muslim country could never join (while Israel might).
That Greece cheated was known, the surprise was to what degree.
Nigel, the malaise is older than the Euro. That does not mean that I blame all on Greece.

*the Cyprus question being the fig leaf but historical mutual enmity the true reason.

Did this happen because of Trump? If so, should I be happy about it?

I would say that Trump may have been a factor in promoting this. In the sense of South Korea (and perhaps the North as well) saying to themselves "We better see if we can defuse the situation before this lunatic gets us all killed."

I'd say you should be happy it is happening -- for the same reason. But I don't think Trump deserves any particular credit for it. After all, he was first the cause of things getting worse.

hairshirthedonist: What’s ride-down space?

Since Michael hasn't answered it:

The ride-down space, also known as the survival space, is the space required to dissipate a vehicle occupant's kinetic energy in a crash.

Rather than "required" I might have said "available". Thanks anyway.

To a large extent this is a solved technical problem. Consider Formula 1, or IndyCar, where drivers routinely walk away from horrendous crashes. Or infant car seats. Secure the person to the seat, the seat to a rigid frame, severely restrict head motion. Standard minimum gear for a driver who wants to survive is a five-point seat belt and helmet with multiple tethers, all mounted in a rigid cage. That's a tough sell for a commercial automobile.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-four-legged-robot-can-open-doors-and-were-all-doomed-2018-02-12?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

https://www.marketwatch.com/video/sectorwatch/meet-the-robots-that-aim-to-revolutionize-retail/38738C6D-BDAE-43AA-B8F5-4BC28614DEE9.html

I find the human speaker explaining what Pepper the robot is doing stranger than Pepper itself.

I am content to NEVER have a another "marketing message" delivered to me, ever. Stop it.

Future White Houses will use Pepper-like droids to deliver marketing messages, with that dreadful droid cheerfulness, about upcoming nuclear strikes on flesh and blood abroad.

The VP hers voices, allegedly:
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/12/omarosa-pence-impeachment-trump-407244

hears, dammit !
:-)

Podcasts:

In Our Time, from BBC Radio 4. Each week, host Melvyn Bragg gets three guests together to talk about something for 45 minutes or so. In the last few weeks: Frederick Douglass, cephalopods, Cicero, Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, the 1565 siege of Malta by the Ottoman empire, and Hamlet. That's representative, I think. :)It turns out that I'm 45-minutes's worth of interested in all kinds of things.

I Don't Even Own a Television: Each week, two hosts discuss a really bad book for about an hour. They play games with it, starting with one being challenged to summarize it in 60 seconds. They sometimes pick on work by famous authors like Jackie Collins and Brian Lumley, sometimes on sports types like Brian Bosworth, sometimes on much more obscure crap. It reliably makes me laugh.

Lore Watch: Every other week, three of the folks at Blizzard Watch do some deep diving into World of Warcraft lore. If you like that stuff, and I do, then this is reliable good fun.

Titan Up The Defense: Each week, two-long time friends review an issue of a comic book. They alternate weeks between 1970s Defenders and 1980s Teen Titans. Host Hub does a "previously" recap each time, in one of the best old-school news/documentary narrator voices since Rocky & Bullwinkle, with deadpan comments like "It turned out to be the Sons of the Serpent! Boo! In fact, fuck those guys, they don't deserve alliteration!" Co-host Cory has never read either of these, and the contrast between his perspective and Hub's as a long-time comics reader is entertaining.

Even if you don't care about comics at all, listen to the first few minutes of the episode from a couple weeks ago Hub manages one of the McMenamin's theaters in Portland, and describes having to break up a fight in the theater, for the first time. The film was one about Van Gogh, and he says, "Those post-Impressionists always bring in an unsavory crowd." He goes on to imagine how the fight broke out over a disagreement about art history, and it reminds me of the Count in good form. "Post-Impression? That's some fucking bullshit. That's not really even an artistic movement! It's just a goddamn time period." "You son of a bitch. While it's true that post-Impressionism is a large banner which houses a large number of diverse artistic styles, they were all directly motivated by the opticals of the Impressionist movement." and so on. It's hilarious.

Breaking here so it won't be one mondo long comment.

Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men: Long-time friends Jay and Miles do just what it says for an hour or so each week. They taken a few issues or a storyline or two from the various X-Men comics and dive very deeply, ranging from careful social-justice critiques to allusions to cartoons of the '90s, and it really is like listening to two friends who know a lot and are using their knowledge to both delight and inform.

The Magnus Archives: By a wide margin, the best of the fiction podcasts I listen to. Each weekly episode is about half an hour long. The setup is a fun one, focusing at first on the new head archivist at a London paranormal research institute. They're in the process of digitizing their vast store of statements from members of the public at large, but some simply refuse to be scanned at all. Those the head archivist is making audio recordings of. Bit by bit a thoroughly interlaced story emerges from the statements and from comments made by the head archivist and others while the tape is still rolling. They're in the middle of season 3 of a planned 5, and it just delights me every time. If you're good with horror stories, you really want to listen to this one.

I never thought I'd see Lore Watch mentioned here ... worlds are colliding.

hears, dammit !

Here my first thought was that he thought angels were giving him messages from God. Angels, after all, having female voices in some theologies.

Then I read the linked article -- and my thought was: does Pence think Jesus was Trans? It's going to be a weird day, I can tell already!

"does Pence think Jesus was Trans?"

Well, it's been claimed that he had two daddies. And one of them, ALSO had two daddies.

Something funny going on in that family.

Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men sounds great, although the, ulp, 184 episodes seems intimidating.

Pollo de muerte: I've been a WoW fan since release day. These things happen. :)

Ugh: You can just start in. Jay and Miles do a fantastic job establishing their immediate content. One thing you'll notice, if you dive into older episode, is that Jay is trans, and used to go by Rachel.

Bruce - will do, need to finish S-town first. X-Men was a favorite growing up so interested to hear all about it.

Bruce-

Legion is the first expansion that I have not actively raided. Being an LFR hero isn't the same, but at age 50 I can't justify the time demands of heroic/mythic raiding.

I still enjoy the big picture lore and I'm a Patreon contributor to Blizzard Watch because Anne and Rossi pull some really interesting things from this game. I just wish that Blizzard would recognize that gameplay needs to give way to story as their customer base ages.

Pollo: Yeah, I hear ya.

More Banks-love from Elon Musk ... the next Space X drone ship will be named "A Shortfall of Gravitas" joining "Of Course I Still Love You" in Florida. "Just Read The Instructions" operates in California.

I think he's saving "Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints" for the inevitable Space X battle cruiser.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/florida-police-respond-to-school-shooting-with-reports-of-at-least-20-casualties-2018-02-14?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Something funny going on in that family.

Maybe this one, too.

From the Count’s link:

The stock market appeared little changed amid the downbeat reports, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.03% and the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.34% booking a fourth straight gain. Developing story. Check back for updates.

I know it’s MarketWatch, but jeez.

Yeah, but, but gun stocks were up too today, so it was a productive mass killing.

Also, it's stinking republican Florida, so the EMTs and emergency rooms staffs can't ask the wounded if there were any guns or ammo used in the school.

Ixnay the ulletsbay.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/lawmakers-who-take-the-most-money-from-the-gun-rights-lobby-2017-10-03?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

"Countries with greater gender equality see a smaller proportion of women taking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a new study has found. Policymakers could use the findings to reconsider initiatives to increase women's participation in STEM, say the researchers."
Countries with greater gender equality have a lower percentage of female STEM graduates

This is just way cool!
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/theres-another-way-to-solve-gerrymandering-its-as-simple-as-cake/2018/02/15/69e47508-0531-11e8-94e8-e8b8600ade23_story.html

It's a way to let politicians do redistricting . . . and still get relatively fair districts. Basically, one party draws dostricts. The other party freezes the boundaries of one of the districts, and then draws news boundaries for the remainder of the state. The first party then gets to freeze one of those. Repeat until done.

Impressive

wj: that is awesome (if true), in line with the classic way to divide a pie in two: "A makes the cut, B decides which piece to take".

There's probably some game-theory proof to go with it.

Actually, the article uses exactly that example of dividing up a cake.

I like it.

And now for something completely different.

I'm curious what people think about this question, purely as a thought experiment:

What would gun culture be like today in the United States if the 2nd amendment had never been included in the constitution?

"What would gun culture be like today in the United States if the 2nd amendment had never been included in the constitution?"

No 2nd Amendment, but a full complement of RWNJs? Probably not much different.

Yes 2nd Amendment and a microscopic portion of RWNJs? Much better.

I hear that Count has a plan, along those lines.

But how much has the 2nd amendment reinforced the glorification of guns throughout American history? It's almost biblical, as though God himself blessed gun owners with the virtue of patriotism.

I should have written "God herself" dammit!

without the 2nd, guns would be regulated, maybe in the same way cars are. most states would require licensing, registration, mandatory training, liability insurance, periodic re-certification, product safety rules for manufacturers, security to forbid use by anyone but the owner (keys, fingerprints), etc.. ammo would be expensive and require a gun license to purchase - and all purchases would be tracked.

handguns would be strictly regulated.

background checks would be thorough. records would be kept on computers. denials would be commonplace.

with all the bureaucracy and regulations, gun ownership would be less attractive to many people (too much hassle). it could be more like being an airplane pilot: cool in theory but waaaayyyyyy too complicated and cumbersome and expensive for most people to want to bother with.

and because the primary legal use of guns would be hunting, regulations would forbid designs that didn't meet that purpose. we'd have shotguns and small-capacity rifles and there would be no 'tactical', assault-rifle-style, styling.

that would reduce their visibility and make gun ownership a niche.

rich people would take trips to Kazakhstan or Somalia to shoot exotic weapons.

"What would gun culture be like today in the United States if the 2nd amendment had never been included in the constitution?"

Maybe a bunch more shitheads stabbing themselves accidentally in the groin with their Bowie knives when they reach for the salt at Chili's?

I don't know. Americans are pretty expert at coming up with alternative insanities to replace the ones they thought were a great idea in the first place.

I notice conservatives and insane people, but I repeat myself, aren't converging on black churches and public schools and other public places and roaming the halls talking people to death as a way of making points about their threatened First Amendment rights, as in "Shut your gobs, you surly republican gets!"

What if instead we had an Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the right to comprehensive health coverage? We could add a nonsensical clause to the wording along the lines of "A well regulated healthcare Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear subsidized healthcare coverage, shall not be infringed," so right-wing law firms remain in business.

Conservatives no doubt would be trying to take that Right away with the same overwhelming marketing vigor and financial resources the vermin NRA and gun manufacturers now use to promote mass murder while selling the means to that end.

In the event that we had a right to health care, normal people, which excludes conservatives, the latter by their own optioning out of that category of human being, would be invading our public places and institutions carrying concealed health coverage and accosting the uninsured with stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors.

Now, in the Texas Statehouse and such noxious habitats, the republican majority would set up security procedures which prohibited the entrance of those carrying health insurance plans and medical instrumentation for their own protection.

You'd be walking the hallways uninsured among republican staff bristling with implements of war that can send a guy to the emergency room with no way to protect your righteous personhood.

My kind of fetus is the armed fetus who is willing to do goddamned harm to those who want he or she to be born so THEN conservatives can fuck them over.

The real issue with guns in America is that, ISTM, we still have vast populations where people don't perceive guns as a particular danger.

Those crazy people living in cities killing each other is because those crazy people kill each other. And just because the school shootings are in suburbs or whatever it still seems those people are killing each other. In Parkland several of those interviewed were explicit, this doesn't happen HERE.

The 2nd Amendment primary impact, IMO, is the difficulty factor in creating a constitutional limit.

Secondly, It just creates a barrier that radical guns rights people can hide behind and rally around. I think that without it as a RALLYING point that common sense limits on gun ownership would have passed decades ago.

The corollary to that is that the people who end up leading in the fight to implement common sense stuff are too often the "we should melt down all the guns" people, which again provides a rallying point for the other side that any change is a dive onto the slippery slope.

So without the 2nd amendment we would be much better off, but it would be much easier to overcome if we weren't using it every campaign cycle as a differentiator between platforms.

As an aside, what the second amendment doesn't say is how many arms and what kind you have the right to bear. So the 2nd Amendment itself is certainly not a real impediment to gun control.

I agree with Marty.

Except for the "slippery slope" part. A slippery slope to much fewer gun deaths seems the sort we should take a joyous ride on, while, of course, wearing helmets, and the conservative snowflakes who don't like it can off themselves.

Also, this:

"As an aside, what the second amendment doesn't say is how many arms and what kind you have the right to bear. So the 2nd Amendment itself is certainly not a real impediment to gun control."

You are right, but according to 240 years of conservative constitutional jurisprudence what the Constitution does NOT say is in fact the fundamental legal basis for Second Amendment absolutism.

Still, the word "asshole" is not in the Constitution either, so anything is possible based on that precedent.

Where you we think the family Gorsuch originates?

Those crazy people living in cities killing each other is because those crazy people kill each other. And just because the school shootings are in suburbs or whatever it still seems those people are killing each other. In Parkland several of those interviewed were explicit, this doesn't happen HERE.

I think one difference is that people who have actual beefs with each other killing each other in more or less one-off fashion is less shocking than someone going off, seeming at random, killing a bunch of people he didn't have a particular beef with and may not have known at all.

As strange as it may sound, people are more bothered by random murder than by murders that have some kind of understandable, even if unjustifiable, explanatory circumstances behind them. (And, yeah, race, if I understand the reference to cities versus suburbs.)

Those different kinds of gun violence require different solutions, to be sure.

That's another thing that I think comes into play. These mass shootings are done with military-style weapons with firing rates, capacities, ranges, and accuracies that make them well suited to killing lots of people in short order, but not really much else. It would be more straightforward to address that by banning those types of weapons than it would to address the far more diffuse gun deaths, which that account for the vast majority of overall gun deaths, by other types of guns that generally have arguable practical purposes aside from wanton murder.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/fighting-porn-the-reviving-cause-social-conservatism-needs/

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/02/16/is-donald-trump-a-cheating-piece-of-shit/

We are all Dadaist MAGAs now.

If, say, mp shot Stormy Daniels and Alana Evans and however many other porn stars were invited to masticate the mints under his hotel room pillows, say, in the middle of Fifth Avenue at rush hour, the social conservatives who now want to circumscribe the First Amendment rights of Daniels and company would say it's much too early to talk about circumscribing Second Amendment rights.

The only shots social conservative republican politicians and their big-haired preachers don't want us to see are the money shots. Especially the ones they experience with (on) their parishioners in their hotel/motel rooms, where Mike Pence's wife is, for some reason, not invited.

All other shooting is hands off. Or, in Mike Pence's case, hands-free.

We're way past "it's too early", and even "we're right on time", to talk about any bloody thing with conservatives.

It's too late.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/fighting-porn-the-reviving-cause-social-conservatism-needs/

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/02/16/is-donald-trump-a-cheating-piece-of-shit/

We are all Dadaist MAGAs now.

If, say, mp shot Stormy Daniels and Alana Evans and however many other porn stars were invited to masticate the mints under his hotel room pillows, say, in the middle of Fifth Avenue at rush hour, the social conservatives who now want to circumscribe the First Amendment rights of Daniels and company would say it's much too early to talk about circumscribing Second Amendment rights.

The only shots social conservative republican politicians and their big-haired preachers don't want us to see are the money shots. Especially the ones they experience with (on) their parishioners in their hotel/motel rooms, where Mike Pence's wife is, for some reason, not invited.

All other shooting is hands off. Or, in Mike Pence's case, hands-free.

We're way past "it's too early", and even "we're right on time", to talk about any bloody thing with conservatives.

It's too late.

yes, we should ban assault-style weapons. and large magazines.

the standard taunting reply is "why? because they're scary looking ?"

but it's not that they look scary, it's that they look the way they do because they are designed to be used in combat. and you only have to look at the weapons the US Army currently uses to know that. the styling makes the weapon better for use in situations where the shooter is in danger of some kind. grab it quick, shoot it quick, throw it over your shoulder and move. but that's not hunting.

yes, you can still kill a lot of people with traditional hunting-style guns. but it's harder.

Here's how it works:

Saddle the states with inadequate grants with which they must fund their infrastructure.

Then, do this:

https://seekingalpha.com/news/3331975-commerce-department-recommends-major-tariffs-steel-aluminum

To raise prices on the raw materials and further bankrupt state coffers while corporate America, after paying the requisite bribes and I expect, stock options, to vermin politicians make the big time.

Here's how it works:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/major-apartment-developer-warns-of-acute-crisis-ahead/ar-BBJdC0O

Meanwhile, ICE is arresting and deporting the OTHER .... immigrant labor ... much of it highly skilled but reasonably paid, purposefully exacerbating a labor shortage, so that low and middle class renters pay ever rising rents, but are kept from realizing higher pay, because the same fucking c*nts who bankroll the developers on Wall Street can't handle any wage inflation except their own.

Meanwhile, murderous brainless brain surgeon Ben Carson is axing all subsidized housing.

America is so fucking exceptional.

yes, you can still kill a lot of people with traditional hunting-style guns. but it's harder.

Adam Lanza would have gotten off 2 shots, been tackled, and had the st1t beaten out of him. Situation over.

"the standard taunting reply is "why? because they're scary looking ?"

They make them in pink now. With smiley faces and hearts for the discerning killer teens.

Like those IED's terrorists make that look like children's toys so kids will pick them up and make a big noise.

What cleek said:

e primary legal use of guns would be hunting, regulations would forbid designs that didn't meet that purpose. we'd have shotguns and small-capacity rifles and there would be no 'tactical', assault-rifle-style, styling.
In short, pretty much what we had in the middle of the last century. When the National Rifle Association was an organization for hunters, rather than a marketing arm for gun manufacturers -- to the point that it formally and officially supported gun control legislation.

Which suggests that, 2nd Amendment or not, we could get back there. Whether the majorities who want gun control will bestir ourselves to the extent of electing legislators who will make it happen is another story.

"Defendants operations included supporting presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump...and disparaging Hillary Clinton"

No puppet! No puppet!

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