Archive for bad laws

Oh-oh-I-was-so-scared defense

Excuse me, boys and girls, how do we stop this horrifying carnival ride? Just today, a jury acquitted a murderous police officer of a cold-blooded slaying. Stopping black motorist Philando Castile for an alleged damaged tail light, Jeronimo Yanez claimed he feared for his life, even though Castile was passively obeying and told him he had a licensed gun.

Not only is the norm for murders by LEOs, it parallels exactly those atavistic states with stand-your-ground laws.

Basically, the first clown who whips out a gun and shoots to kill gets a free pass. Oh, oh, I felt threatened. The jury says, “You did the right thing.”

Like hell.

Whether it’s a cop or a citizen at home or a plain folk guy who imagines himself a vigilante, No it isn’t OK.

In particular, if you are a police officer, you have been trained at length on defusing interactions and on, well, being brave. If ordinary interactions in your job make you want to pee your trousers and compel you to murder citizens, you need to lose your badge and likely go to jail.

Go a pair — balls or tits, depending. Do not kill someone on a whim and claim irrational, emotional fear.

 

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Hate Can’t Keep You Safe

The two most recent and most horrific London terror attacks put spotlights on NYC and LA and Seattle and Boston and like that. What does a Muslim ban have to do with safety and prevention? What will the dummies do when U.S. cities are the locales?

That ignorant, stupid POTUS alternately tweets and brays that if only we keep this or that group from visiting the U.S. of A. all will be well. Turtle feathers, says I!

We know that he and real Republicans don’t understand American principles and laws. We know they hate the liberties that our democracy exercises that differentiate us from the rest of the world. In fact, they make it plain they hate freedom and want oppressive government.

Yet, what #45 has been calling for has two huge flaws. First, and affirmed by courts from one coast to another, his proposals are patent violations of our First Amendment’s religion clause. They target exclusive brown-skinned folk who are not avowed Christians.

Second, with the extreme and notable exception of the 9/11 attacks, the thousands of Americans murdered on our soil are the opposite of #45’s bugbears. Our terrorists have been native born, white Americans, nearly all of whom identify as Christian.

Of course, we know these people as our basest criminals. The white, American self-identified Christians are invariably the rapists, adulterers, child abusers and murders, only more recently becoming domestic terrorists. There was a history in that latter category too, think the K.K.K.

So if #45 and his minions want to further limit our liberties in the guise of security, keeping out Muslims from six countries won’t do it…at all…particularly when the 9/11 crew was almost entirely from Saudi Arabia. They are investors whom #45 loves and gives a free pass to for travel.

We can be sure the emboldened ISIL and other terrorists won’t obey the borders and visa regulations, halting on the East side of the Atlantic. When they come to a city new you, you can be positive #45’s policies did absolutely nothing to prevent the deaths and maiming and, well, terror.

 

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Whither Dems Podcast

rightsign2The Trump win Tuesday is the right time to stop these weekly podcasts after 9½ years. Watch this URL for occasional commentary, maybe a little video…later.

Today was my usual half-Vulcan Spock self.

We shall survive as a nation, as we did during and after the George W. Bush time. He ruined the economy even more than the typical Republican. We haven’t climbed all the way out of his debt pit. We’ll never get back the many thousands of lives lost to war and jobs destroyed. I fear more of that from Trump.

I snort as Speaker Ryan and GOP sorts claim mandate. The lost the popular vote, held the House only due to gerrymandering in previous years, and hold a paper-thin Senate majority. Mandate, my bad head!

We don’t yet know what malicious laws Congress will try to enact. We do know that the wave of emotion that brought us President Trump is as irrational and ignorant as he. We need look no farther than comparing the cries of do-nothing Congress and throw the rascal out to right-wing voters keeping nearly all the do-nothings and rascals from the GOP in office. Huge duh.

We’ll surely have at least two years of pettiness and malice. As the economy slides and unemployment climbs, even the loudest Trumpettes will feel shame. Let us look historically to see in the last century that again and again Dems have rescued the nation after the GOP has goofed it up.

It’s going to be a rough, disheartening, anti-American two to four years.

icon for podpress  Whither Dems [18:22m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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It’s a Bloody World After All,

With this weekend’s Orlando horrors, let’s transcend fantasy. While that city is the nation’s dream kingdom, we have to get real.

I had to rant and am beyond impatient. Gun-rights crazies are quick to call for arming everyone with the most powerful weapons. Lefties beg Congress, please, oh pretty please, give us minimal background check laws. All is jive.

What doesn’t work are calls fantasies that because foreign armies haven’t landed here, we are safe. What doesn’t work is pretending that “the other” and “outsiders” are the threats (in reality only 9-11 and a tiny subset of mass murders here were by non-native citizens). What doesn’t work are having guards everywhere and surrendering the liberties that define our nation.

I went into a splash of the mass murders here from 1622, many by government agents and mobs. We are delusional in thinking we are unique and protected. It is our neighbor who is likely to attack us.

I propose some legislation but more mind shifts and social action. We see that gun buy-backs don’t work, that more guards don’t work, that surrendering liberties that define us won’t work. That nativism and isolationism don’t work.

Sure, we need to do the 1934 anti-Tommy gun laws for “assault rifle” weapons and such. We also need to loudly let members of Congress know that the wee donations from gun makers can no longer carry weight — calling out Senators and Reps who accept these bribes. Let’s not tremble from the slippery-slope argument and start immediately to remove semi-automatic rifles from this nation.

I’m not ready to give up my liberties to a Big Brother nor can I accept letting fellow citizens arm to kill me at whim.

icon for podpress  A Blood World After All: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Kill the Filibuster Podcast

We can hardly wait for the new Congress, specifically the more liberal and sensible Senate with several new Progressive Dems. In particular, MA’s Elizabeth Warren, WI’s Tammy Baldwin (both Dem) and ME’s Angus King (an independent who’ll caucus Dem) don’t want a stagnant body dragged along by the House. Warren and King have already said they are gunning to reform the filibuster.

Listen in as we bring in a little background and get excited about the possibilities for moving both bills and appointments along.

We figure GOP Senators are chastened by the last election. We also figure that if they actually have to stand and talk, not just threaten to do so, they will be shamed at their reasoning and motivation. This would be, in Martha Stewart speak, a good thing.

icon for podpress  Kill or Maim the Filibuster [30:16m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Goosing the Lame Duck Podcast

Still stunned Republicans in Congress must also be hearing their leaders bluster about how the POTUS and his Dems had better do whatever they say. Huh?

We kicked around what was possible in this lame-duck Congress and short-term 2013. Listen in below as we hit the fiscal cliff (totally manufactured brinkmanship), immigration reform (and GOP efforts to get just a little Latino voter love), and more. The fiscal slope is a better term and Congress has months to concoct a fix, although House Republicans could stop this foolishness immediately by passing the Senate-approved bill extending middle-class tax cuts.

We think aloud about the kind of blame the right will take if they fool around too much, too long and too obviously.

We ended up comparing MA Dems’ rethinking after the Sen. Scott Brown victory three years ago and our amazement that the national Republicans can not thrown themselves into the kind of restructuring that served Dems so well here.

icon for podpress  Goosing the Lame Duck [30:41m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Joy, Not Despair, 2012

Without gloating, or with only a little, we held forth on yesterday’s elections.

Even the almost invariably optimistic Ryan did not see most Republicans rethinking their obstructionism. Mike predicted a deal on the auto-sequester at year’s end, only because that would be political suicide for Congressional Republicans in both houses if they didn’t show a bit of wit.

We talked about the role new Sen. Elizabeth Warren might play, the likelihood of Sen. John Kerry moving to Secretary of State, and other impacts of left-leaning victories in Congress. Mike started with a joyous recap of the four marriage-equality state-level victories.

Both of us were disappointed but not surprised at the vitriolic and graceless post-elections comments from GOP candidates and winger media types. That likely foreshadows their uncooperative futures, willing to hurt all of us for their political shading.

Listen in as we predict what might happen with the re-upped Obama and maybe even filibuster reform.

icon for podpress  Joy or Despair 2012 [35:08m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Election 2012 Showdown Podcast

Double guests, double insights today. Mat Helman of ProgressMass and Jason Stephany of MassUniting joined us to talk the races for POTUS and US Senate from MA.

There’s no secret that all four of us favor Elizabeth Warren over Scott Brown and Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. Helman and Stephany got down into details about why their and their organizations were working for them.

As background, you might also check out ProgressMass’ PDF file on Brown’s rhetoric v. record here.

Listen in as Stephany rips into the myth of Brown’s alleged independence and bipartisanship. Helman goes into depth about how Brown gets away with portraying himself as the concerned middle-of-the-road guy while voting for winger agenda on every important issue. It’s a PR primer.

We deal a bit with Brown running from a fourth and final debate and the effects of Hurricane Sandy on next week’s vote. Click below to listen.

icon for podpress  Election 2012 Showdown [33:54m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Scott Brown’s Record Podcast

The four tent poles holding up Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign are all shaky, said today’s guest. ProgressMass‘ communications director, Mathew Helman, contrasted Brown’s rhetoric and his voting record.

We didn’t get to go point by point, but those are available online. ProgressMass has a sub-site for the topic, including a compact PDF file detailing specifics in nine key areas. They’ll also be live tweeting (@ProgressMass) Thursday’s first debate between Brown and Elizabeth Warren.

Click below to listen in to Helman talking about those tent poles:

  • Independent voice in the Senate
  • Bipartisan
  • Jobs crusader
  • Regular guy

He describes how Brown is charming and charismatic. Yet you never get the whole truth from Brown. Helman gave us examples in each area.

Helman also addressed how Brown has been able to get away without being challenged on his voting record so far. This includes even staging public appearances who he won’t be in positions to have to explain — think parades, charity events and drop-ins at diners.

Now come four debates. Helman doubts Brown can charm his way through those. He figures those plus millions in campaign ads from both sides and the on-the-ground GOTV efforts will determine the race.

icon for podpress  Sen. Brown Rhetoric v. Record [35:28m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Donkey Time Podcast

We intended to chat up the DNC convention today. Of course, in context, that meant contrasting the Republican one with it, looking at both the content and power of both, and extrapolating the November results.

Every optimistic, Ryan was buoyed. Ever the worrywart, Mike was cautious. However, both agreed that the Obama team won. Romney/(the other) Ryan’s chances to come on strong continue to diminish.

Listen in as we talk about the increased likelihood of a continuation by the POTUS and why.

We also weighed Citizens United’s effects on this election, how the GOP and its millionaire minions may fine-tune their abuse of democracy, and the paths to ridding the process of the shouting corporate/billionaire speech.

icon for podpress  DNC effects [28:04m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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