Archive for Arms Proliferation
Because at this special time of year every all-American kid dreams of being an assassin.
Semiauto handgun? Check. Bushmaster? Check. (Picked it up at Walmart’s everyday low prices.) High-capacity magazines? Check. Silencers? Doh!!
In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, the gun lobby’s grand strategy rests grotesquely on fake concern for child hearing health. Among the opening shots in the campaign was a feature in the February 2011 issue of Gun World, “Silence is Golden,” penned by the veteran gun writer Jim Dickson. “One only has to look at children in the rest of the world learning to shoot with silencers, protecting their tender young ears, to see what an innocent safety device we are talking about here,” writes Dickson. “To use an overworked propaganda phrase, legalize silencers ‘for the sake of the children.’” [Emphasis Salon's]
Or these test subjects. VIDEO: 2009 ABC News Experiment Demonstrates More Guns Unlikely to Stop Mass Shootings
WTVD: “The Tea Party in Asheville is being criticized for a fundraising raffle for two guns, including one similar to one used in the school shootings in Connecticut.”
“Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper says he’s surprised by the tea party’s timing, when the National Rifle Association took down its Facebook and Twitter accounts after the shooting.
Jane Bilello with the Asheville Tea Party says the fundraiser was planned before the shooting. But she stands by the group’s position that gun control does not work.
The raffle includes an AR15 semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle and a .22 Magnum pistol.”
Asheville Tea Party and Asheville Tea PAC Board Members’ email addresses:
Anyone who saw it will know what I’m talking about. That was one of the most awkward speeches I’ve ever seen at a National Convention, personifying a grumpiness, confusion, and factual ambivalence that exemplifies the approach being taken by the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee. The entire Convention theme was predicated on a strawman argument, and last night was virtually policy-free. Romney and surrogates spun his polling weaknesses hard in an effort to move the numbers. Likeability, Bain, minorities, women, and Medicare were repackaged and trotted out as though none of the substantive issues raised by skeptics had any merit. The whole scene was a focus-grouped exercise in creating a narrative. If that narrative had any relation to the factual reality you and I occupy, it was wholly accidental.
I saw a great tweet from Sam Spencer: “You know whose empty chair will be at #dnc2012? Osama bin Laden’s.”
Next, of course, it’ll be time for the Democrats to build a narrative of their own. While I don’t expect them to make the Convention a policy wonk’s wet dream, I do expect that they’ll actually say what they would do differently from a Romney administration. I expect they will say that returning to Bush style supply-side/trickle-down economics is just continuing to set us up for more income inequality and more debt. I expect they’ll say that the Affordable Care Act is insuring millions of people who weren’t insured before. I expect they’ll note that nuclear nonproliferation is a good thing. I expect there to be a lot of policies noted and sold as part of the narrative. There may also be a healthy chunk of factual information about the economic crisis President Obama inherited and the attitude of Congressional Republicans who had no intention of allowing the President to succeed. The GOP has said that this demonstrates a lack of leadership and willingness to accept responsibility. It’s a basic Karl Rove tactic that boils down to accusing the other guys of your own bad behavior.
The narrative is likely to focus on how Mr. Romney is a flip-flopping corporate raider and how President Obama needs four more years to fulfill the hopes of his supporters. It’ll focus on the many successes of the administration while casting the GOP as a fringe party made up of radicals and funded by the 0.1%. It will ignore that Wall Street got away with the 2008 collapse.
Anyway, here’s an open thread. It can be whatever you want it to be. Use the facts, or just spin up a fictitious golem. Bring a fleshy argument or an empty chair.
Today marks the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. Over 70,000 people were killed instantly, and whithin two months the death toll rose to 166,000.
Heath Shuler wants U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. There are still 40,000 troops in Iraq. We’re shooting up Libya. We spend more on ‘defense’ than anything else. Our troops are stationed across the globe. Meanwhile, here at home our government is claiming poverty and the need to burden the working classes.
What are your thoughts about the state of U.S. international military interventions?
President Obama just left DC for an eleven-day vacation to Hawaii in the wake of the most productive Congressional burst we’ve seen in ages. What happened during this lame duck session?
START – Obama gets a victory and keeps beating the non-proliferation drum. This is a major step in the right direction for nuclear security worldwide.
Food Safety Modernization Act. – This bill passed after being fixed to protect small farmers. It became the biggest public health accomplishment of Obama’s presidency.
DADT repeal. – Another step towards equality. Overdue.
Judicial Appointments – GOP has been holding up tons of judges, clogging our court system. That changed with the confirmation of a raft of appointments.
Net Neutrality… sorta. – This compromise ruling will probably see a lot of tweaking for a long time to come. Keep your eye on this ball, but know that your open/free internet is intact due to this ruling.
Tax Cut, Unemployment Benefit – “Compromise” - Did this effort allow for the other five things on this list to succeed? It’s often looked like Obama’s been playing checkers instead of chess, but the lame duck session suggests otherwise. If Obama ballooned the deficit and protected the rich in order to accomplish these other things, does that make the Tax Cut Compromise easier to stomach?
Anyway – I’m back offline. Merry Holidaymas!
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Big Bang Treaty|
I’ve been dreaming of this kind of foreign policy initiative since I was a teenager in the Reagan years. Want to make America and the rest of the world safer? Reduce the number of nuclear weapons on the planet.
Times UK: President Obama will convene the most ambitious arms reduction talks with Russia for a generation, aiming to slash each countryâ€™s stockpile of nuclear weapons by 80 per cent.
The radical treaty would cut the number of nuclear warheads to 1,000 each, The Times has learnt. Key to the initiative is a review of the Bush Administrationâ€™s plan for a US missile defence shield in Eastern Europe, a project fiercely opposed by Moscow.
Mr Obama is to establish a non-proliferation office at the White House to oversee the talks, expected to be headed by Gary Samore, a non-proliferation negotiator in the Clinton Administration. The talks will be driven by Hillary Clintonâ€™s State Department.
The Iranians are gearing up for a big Presidential election, too. In Summer of 2009, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will likely stand for re-election. The Iranian parliament, no friend to the bellicose President, has elected one of his most vocal opponents, Ali Larijani, to be their Speaker. In case you’re not aware, it’s not the President who holds the foreign policy reigns in Iran. That role goes to the Supreme Leader, held since 1989 by Ali Khamanei. However, the President is in charge of a lot, and Ahmadinejad is evidently taking the rap for a 25% rise in inflation.
Ali Larijani ran for President against Ahmadinejad in 2005. Ali’s no Boy Scout, being a well-connected censor and assassin among other things, but he appears to have a very different stance on nuclear development than does Mahmoud.
AFP: “[Larijani] typifies an increasingly prominent group in Iranian politics who remain rigidly loyal to the principles of the 1979 Islamic revolution but are distinctly lukewarm over the presidency of the ultra-conservative Ahmadinejad.
The divisions between the two were laid bare in October when Larijani resigned his post as top nuclear negotiator amid speculation that he was ready to take a slightly more pragmatic line in the standoff with the West.
Larijani also indicated his parliament would be closely supervising the work of Ahmadinejad’s government, which has been criticised by reformists and conservatives alike for controversial economic policies.”