Monday, October 1, 2012

Last Call

So very desperate to bring Fast and Furious to the court of public opinion as the Worst Thing Ever, our Obama-hating friends.

These 57 recovered weapons discovered are in addition to the 122 weapons referenced in a congressional report. It is chilling to learn that each weapon recovered was dumped at the scene of a crime by cartel members who had attempted, and in most cases completed, the crime of first-degree murder. It is even more disturbing to know that American Department of Justice officials knew that most of the weapons walked over the border would only be discarded by the police and recovered by Mexican authorities after they were used in a crime, and that they were indifferent to the body count being racked up, callously noting that to make an omelet, eggs had to be broken.

Concern trolling for Mexico has become our new national sport.  Republicans of course care so very much about countries where people other than Americans get shot.  You know, like Afghanistan.

Ever since Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea broke the story of Obama administration gun-walking, critics have been noting that this is the biggest, bloodiest scandal in U.S. presidential history.

You know, unlike Iraq.  Both times.

The first presidential debate between embattled President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will occur Wednesday. You can rest assured the moderator Jim Lehrer will not ask questions about the bloody gun-smuggling plot. It will be interesting to see, however, if Romney himself is willing to bring the scandal out onto a stage so public that even the media can’t ignore it.

The endless persecution of Eric Holder by Darrel Issa as a public part of this election?  Sure.  Let's go with that, Mitt.  Be a winner in the game of life.

This all you guys got?

Victory In War Against Stupidity

(Reuters) - Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill banning a controversial therapy that aims to reverse homosexuality in minors, his office announced on Sunday, making California the first state to ban a practice many say is psychologically damaging.

The move marked a major victory for gay rights advocates who say so-called conversion therapy, also called reparative therapy, has no medical basis because homosexuality is not a disorder.

Brown said in a short message on Twitter that he supported the bill because it "bans non-scientific 'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide."

The bill's sponsor, state Senator Ted Lieu, a Democrat from Torrance, said the law was a gesture of remembrance for a man who committed suicide after undergoing the therapy.
Seriously, it's about darned time.  It not only sends a message that normal people can love others of the same sex, it shows progress in understanding the truth of homosexuality.

The reality is, this treatment was abusive and terrible in every regard.  It should be banned, and kids should be given time to understand themselves.  They also deserve counseling that doesn't start based on the premise that they are wrong.

Cheers to you, Jerry Brown.

Cellist Biker Plays Unexpected Tunes

This cellist and his drummer tour via bicycle. The video shows them passing the miles with their instruments pulled behind. I can't imagine riding a bike for so long, let alone tugging a drum set uphill, but that's only part of what makes these guys so unusual. Their music defies expectations, in a great and fun way. While he is definitely classically capable, Ben Sollee also plays rhythm and funk on his cello. His bowing is unlike anything I've seen before. If you have a minute, check him out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Though I'm sure he hates double flats.  Ba-dum-BUM.


Disturbing Story Reminds What CAN Go Wrong

This story really upset me, and it may stay with some of you for a while.  But the story of this girl reminds us just what is at stake, and who will pay the price for decisions made by government regarding women's healthcare.

A 14-year-old Florida girl is facing murder charges after police said she admitted to strangling her newborn son and stuffing his body in a shoe box.
The girl gave birth to a gave birth to a 9.5-pound baby boy in the bathroom at her Lakeland, Fla., home on Sept. 19, police said.
The teen, who is 5-foot-3 and weighs 100 pounds, had been wearing baggy clothing to conceal her pregnancy from her family, police said.
When she realized she was giving birth, the girl turned on the bathroom faucet, police said she told them, and placed a towel in her mouth to mute her cries of pain as she delivered the baby.
As the agony of labor increased, police said the girl used scissors to pry the baby into the toilet.
She "lifted the moving infant from the toilet, felt for a pulse, found one, then placed her hands on the infant's neck and squeezed until he wasn't moving or breathing any longer," the Polk County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Friday.
Please understand, I'm not defending this girl.  I'm simply saying that if we take steps backwards in women's health education and medical rights there will be more like her.  Women and girls who may not have become pregnant if they had access to knowledge and services will be be under incredible pressure, pressure that will crack some of them and lead to tragedies like this.

This was preventable, from beginning to end.  As sad and painful as this was to read, the message is too important to ignore.  We need to teach responsibility and educate kids about sex.  The whole moral debate only leaves girls feeling getting pregnant is for "the other girls" and not them.  That's the whole point of a message we've pushed for decades now: sperm and eggs do their thing regardless of whether you want to become pregnant or not.  I don't know if this girl would have behaved differently if she had known all of her options (for all I know, she did).  I'm just saying the more girls know, the more we can  to trust they will make better choices.  At least we're giving them the tools, the rest is up to them.

Now That Is A Gun Sale

VENTURA, Calif. — A .45-caliber gun once owned by Butch Cassidy has sold at auction in Southern California for $175,000.

A spokesman for the private seller said Sunday that the Colt Single Action Army revolver went to an anonymous online bidder.

The gun is accompanied by a black leather shoulder holster and two binders filled with documentation verifying the revolver's authenticity.

Cassidy, the infamous Old West bank robber, bought the revolver in a hardware store in Vernal, Utah, in 1896. He turned it over to Utah authorities in early 1900 in an unsuccessful attempt to gain amnesty. Known as the "Amnesty Colt," it is the most documented of Cassidy's guns.

Guns that Bonnie and Clyde had in their possession during their final showdown sold for over half a million dollars.  They were part of a collection of over a hundred items, and these two guns alone accounted for nearly half what was brought in.

Perhaps because they have local ties, I have always liked the story of Bonnie and Clyde.  They were ahead of their time, and each was an interesting character in their own right.  Bonnie's gun brought in more, as it saw more action.  It was on her thigh during the final shootout.  She died without drawing it.

Two really neat pieces of history sold to anonymous owners.  I hope they resurface in a museum where we can all enjoy them.

French Toast

Just a reminder that the European debt crisis is still very much in play, despite the ECB buying up unlimited treasuries to keep rates low.  The other half of the plan to "solve" the crisis is crippling austerity, and even the French are protesting that publicly now.

Thousands of left-wing protesters took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to denounce the European Union fiscal pact forcing governments to stick to tough deficit limits.

Chanting “Resistance!”, protesters marched through central Paris in a rally organisers said was aimed at fighting EU-imposed austerity, not at criticising the government of Socialist President Francois Hollande.

“This day is the day the French people launch a movement against the policy of austerity,” one-time presidential contender and Left Front leader Jean-Luc Melenchon said at the march.

Melenchon denied the protest was aimed at Hollande, saying: “This is a left-wing demonstration under a left-wing government.”

Organisers said 80,000 people took part in the rally. “It was very successful, beyond our expectations,” said Annick Coupe, a spokeswoman for the Solidaires union.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault is to open what is expected to be a long and difficult debate on the fiscal pact in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

All EU countries are expected to sign a "balance budget amendment" that would limit deficits to half a percentage of GDP.   It would be the American equivalent of deficits no larger than 80 billion or so and having to raise taxes or cut spending immediately, not a decade from now, but now.  And even the French are signing on.

The results will be catastrophic, of course.  EU budgets over the next couple of years will be devastating, and the riots you will see in the next term for the US President, either Obama or Romney, will become the flash point for a lot of things.

Keep in mind this is what the Republicans want here, an opportunity to cut taxes for the rich to nothing and drop the burden on the rest of us who cannot afford to buy House and Senate seats.  Our time is coming very soon unless something changes dramatically in our election system.

Probably not going to happen.  Citizens United all but assures that.

Boiling It Down To Two Choices

If as a liberal, you object to the Obama administration's use of drones, you have that right, as fellow Balloon Juicer Freddie demonstrates:

I don't know how else it say it, considering I've said it a thousand times. I want my country to stop killing innocent people. I want it so bad I don't know how to act or what to do. I want it so bad I can't sit still or sleep at night. I want it with everything I have that's capable of want. And I know that this is the kind of talk that invites pure contempt from those like Tbogg, who have only the idiom of sarcasm and derision and cannot imagine straightforward moral sentiment. But that's the truth. I want my country to stop killing innocent people. And the innocent people we kill the most, these days, are Muslim. And the policy of the Obama administration has expanded the zone in which we kill innocent Muslims, they have shown no interest in stopping killing innocent Muslims, and in fact their campaign constantly brags about the drone program which kills innocent Muslims. That's just true. All of it is just true. Obama is directly responsible for the expansion of hostilities against Muslims targets which result in the death of people who have taken no violent action against the United States. Voting for him cannot, does not, and will not challenge that reality.

So what do you want me to do? Break bread with the establishment liberals, try to reason with them, bring these ideas into the discussion? I've tried. Many have tried. Check a Tbogg comment thread. See what happens to people who criticize the drone program. Try a Balloon Juice thread. Try and insert some anti-drone sentiment into the comments. Believe me, I've tried. The result is total, immediate, and angry dismissal. Always. These ideas are not permitted. For all the talk of "lesser evils," you are far more likely to find conventional liberals defending the drone program than speaking of it as evil at all.

If the use of drones killing innocent civilians is a big enough single-issue to you to abdicate your responsibility to vote when you know that A) President Obama's opponent will expand the drone program even more and B) most likely start a third war, this time with Iran where hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims will be killed, then I have to right to say that I disagree with your tactics, and that I find your logic to be flawed.

You claim voting for Barack Obama will not change the use of drones.  That's worth a pretty detailed discussion.  But either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will be President.  Not voting will not change that.  That's not up for discussion, that's simply fact.  Pretending that neither one will be President in January is delusional.  I'll take Obama every time in that situation as a result.

We only get to have the drone discussion about Obama's use of drones if he's still President.  The alternative is Romney.  This is a binary choice here.  Make it.  Don't be a coward and run away from it, or justify your abdication of your responsibility to vote.  Make the choice.

Really is that simple.


Related Posts with Thumbnails