I Wanna Talk Gun Control

I was tired of the total speculation around a nomination……and totally weary of the moronic babbling of Our Dear Leader……the Whine of the elderly GOP…….and the false confidence of the Democrats….in short I am  tired of the news in general.

So let’s talk about something that is a forgotten topic these days….Gun Control.

To start the debate there are a couple of discussions on the subject…….

https://www.debate.org/opinions/should-we-have-gun-control

https://www.debate.org/opinions/is-gun-control-effective

https://gun-control.procon.org/

That ought to get the blood bubbling a bit……and even might draw some out of the shadows to insult and harangue……

Now that everyone is awake……here what I really wanted to write about……the whole debate is basically a battle of statistics……most times the stats used can be misleading…..

The academic debate over gun control consists mainly of a war of statistics. New studies come out every few weeks, and as a result, both sides are constantly locking horns over the validity or invalidity of this-or-that study in this-or-that country.

For those who aren’t formally trained in data analysis, this debate can seem impossible to navigate. How should untrained laypersons go about interpreting the findings of statistical studies?

https://theantimedia.com/misleading-statistics-gun-control-debate/

How was that?

Did the pressure rise a bit?

Me?

I am pro gun and we will leave it there but to me that does not mean the same thing as it does to a NRA toadie.

That was fun.

Besides the important stuff is not asked…..like….where is Rudy?

Turn The Page!

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Closing Thought–08Oct18

One more thought on the ugly process of judicial confirmation.

Yes, Irene we have a new judge for SCOTUS!

After the vote that confirmed that alleged drunkard to the highest court in the land and after the old men of the Senate took their mandatory hourly pee break the swearing in began…..

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday night as the 114th justice of the US Supreme Court, after a wrenching debate over sexual misconduct and judicial temperament that shattered the Senate, captivated the nation, and ushered in an acrimonious new level of polarization—now encroaching on the court that the 53-year-old judge may well swing rightward for decades to come, the AP reports. The bitterly polarized US Senate narrowly confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to join the Supreme Court, delivering an election-season triumph to President Trump, per the AP. The near party-line vote was 50-48 capped a fight that seized the national conversation after claims emerged that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted women three decades ago—which he emphatically denied.

After all this drama and a presidential speech to his slobbering throngs….the head of the Senate Judicial Committee tells why of the vote went as it did….(would my female readers read this part closely)……

“It’s a lot of work—maybe they don’t want to do it.” So says Sen. Chuck Grassley on why the Senate Judiciary Committee that supported Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination had no female Republicans, per the Wall Street Journal. “My chief of staff of 33 years tells me we’ve tried to recruit women and we couldn’t get the job done,” adds Grassley, the committee’s chair. But the 85-year-old Republican later walked back his remarks, saying the committee’s workload made it less enticing to male and female senators alike: “We have a hard time getting men on the committee. It’s just a lot of work whether you’re a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter.”

What exactly makes it so hard to get senators on board? “Well, I love it. I’ve been on it 38 years,” the senator responded. “On average, any woman in the United States Senate, whether they’re on Judiciary or any other committee, probably works harder than the average man.” Continuing his apparent change of heart, Grassley said the Supreme Court should have more women: “Probably five would be about right.” All Republicans on the committee are male, while the Democrats have ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein and three other women, per the Huffington Post. In fact Republicans haven’t had a single female member since the committee was established in 1816, Vox notes.
There has NEVER been a female member….NEVER….and why is that?  Workload?  Bullshit!  Women are just as capable or more so than most of the old farts on that committee.
Ladies…..don’t get made….think vote and be heard….then think bench removal!
I promise to move on…that is until this tool makes his next screw up and I think he will do just that…

Supreme Court History

All eyes are on the Supreme Court these days…..this happens every time we get a new nominee or the annual session opens up and we get speculation on how it will go……

This time it is all about the Nominee and his possible antics when he was younger (notice I said “possible”)……

I recently did a post on the 25 most controversial decisions of the SCOTUS…..(read it here….https://lobotero.com/2018/09/25/scotus-famous-rulings/

Now with that outta the way a little more SCOTUS history….this time the most divisive appointees……

On Sept. 26, 1789, all six of George Washington’s nominations for Supreme Court justices were confirmed by the United States Senate, which marked the beginning of the judicial branch of the newly implemented federal government.

While the judicial branch is supposed to be the least democratic and least political of the branches of government, an element of democracy still influences the courts and controversy has followed the judiciary since its founding in 1789.

In honor of divisive politics, a feature of the American system, here are the 10 most divisive Supreme Court justices in American history:

https://www.realclearhistory.com/articles/2018/09/27/10_most_divisive_supreme_court_justices_in_history_362.html

Now my reader has enough history to understand the court and its rulings……the problem is that today the nominee is a political appointment and not one about the Constitution and the the rule of law.

Another reason why the states are making the laws to avoid SCOTUS as much as possible.

Propaganda and Social Media

I have accused the MSM of being nothing more than an extension of the M-IC…ever since the Clinton admin made it possible for corporations to own the news.

The MSM tells us which wars to support, which party is the best…..and then social media became prominent and it is now a good source for propaganda..

But first one disses one needs to understand what propaganda is…….and I can help with that chore…….

https://lobotero.com/2013/01/11/what-is-propaganda/

https://lobotero.com/2014/01/06/propaganda-2-0/

Facebook will do its part…..

Media giant Facebook recently announced (Reuters9/19/18) it would combat “fake news” by partnering with two propaganda organizations founded and funded by the US government: the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI). The social media platform was already working closely with the NATO-sponsored Atlantic Council think tank (FAIR.org5/21/18).

In a previous FAIR article (8/22/18), I noted that the “fake news” issue was being used as a pretext to attack the left and progressive news sites. Changes to Facebook’s algorithm have reduced traffic significantly for progressive outlets like Common Dreams (5/3/18), while the pages of Venezuelan government–backed TeleSur English and the independent Venezuelanalysis were shut down without warning, and only reinstated after a public outcry.

The Washington, DC–based NDI and IRI are staffed with senior Democratic and Republican politicians; the NDI is chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, while the late Sen. John McCain was the longtime IRI chair. Both groups were created in 1983 as arms of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a Cold War enterprise backed by then–CIA director William Casey (Jacobin3/7/18). That these two US government creations, along with a NATO offshoot like the Atlantic Council, are used by Facebook to distinguish real from fake news is effectively state censorship.

https://theantimedia.com/facebook-propaganda-partners/

Personally, I would not trust Facebook to do anything like right.  To use an old saying….trusting Facebook to stop “fake news” is like putting a fox in charge of a hen house.

NAFTA Vs USMCA

In 2016 Trump and I had something in common…..we both disliked NAFTA….the only difference was he could do something about it and I could only bitch about it.

US, Canada and Mexico have come to an agreement on trade and NAFTA…..

Canada and the United States reached a deal Sunday night for Canada to stay in a free trade pact with the US and Mexico. In a joint statement late Sunday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the agreement “will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.” The new deal, reached just before a midnight deadline imposed by the US, will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It replaces the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which President Trump had called a job-killing disaster.

The agreement reached Sunday gives US farmers greater access to the Canadian dairy market. But it keeps a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the US wanted to jettison and offers Canada protection if Trump goes ahead with plans to impose tariffs on cars, trucks, and auto parts imported into the United States, the AP reports. “It’s a good day for Canada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said as he left his office. Canada, the United States’ No. 2 trading partner, was left out when the US and Mexico reached an agreement last month to revamp NAFTA. US-Canada talks bogged down earlier this month, and most trade analysts expected the Sept. 30 deadline to come and go without Canada being reinstated.

Of course Trump’s new replacement for NAFTA has a nice ring to it……USMCA

America’s free trade pact with Mexico and Canada may be alive, but the same can’t be said for the NAFTA moniker. Once the new deal was arrived at Sunday night its new name was announced: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. President Trump weighed in on the name during a Monday press conference, saying, “It has a good ring to it.” It’s also “a great deal,” he said per USA Today, one that should “pass easily, really easily … in theory there should be no trouble.” Congress needs to approve the agreement, and it needs to be ratified in Mexico and Canada as well. As for how one should say the name, Trump didn’t read it as a word a la NAFTA but spelled the letters out: U-S-M-C-A.

CNBC reports that while much of the deal echoes that of NAFTA, there are pivots in terms of how the dairy and auto industries are handled: US dairy producers’ access to Canadian markets will increase, while Mexico and Canada scored a win in terms of an exemption on passenger vehicles, pickups, and auto parts from potential tariffs. CNBC has much more, including details on changes that will could up the price of cars made in Mexico, which could push more of these jobs north of the border.

NYTimes op-ed states that USMCA is worse than NAFTA…….

North American business leaders are breathing a sigh of relief after Canada agreed, at the 11th hour, to join the revised North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Mexico. But before they break out the Champagne, they should look at the details.

Although the revised deal brings much-needed modernization in areas such as e-commerce and intellectual property, the media spotlight on Canada has obscured a bigger problem for the region: Under the new terms, North American trade is headed off the rails and, perhaps along with it, political stability south of the border.

But leave it to the master of business, the grad from the Wharton School, to negotiate a deal that has LESS trade in it……

The United States, Canada, and Mexico have completed their renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Being nothing, if not creative, negotiators named this revamp the “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Trade,” or USMCA for short. While the namers get an F for imagination and creativity, they receive an A for self-evaluation skills, as they aptly removed the term “free trade” from the title. The USMCA does not advance free trade in the world.

There are more than a few labor and manufacturing provisions in this bill that will, no doubt, lead to higher prices for American consumers. There is a sourcing requirement, which mandates that 75 percent of automobile parts be produced in North America, otherwise that automobile cannot enter duty-free. Not only are the costs of auto parts already rising due to President Trump’s trade dispute with China, they will now rise even further due to the requirement that manufacturers use more expensive domestic parts that could have been imported more cheaply.

https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2018/10/02/leave_it_to_trump_to_negotiate_a_deal_that_leads_to_less_trade_103433.html

Is that a technique known only to those that study at Wharton?

How to cut a deal where there is less trade than the previous deal.

Closing Thought–30Sep18

Here is the perfect example of American justice and how uneven it is spread around our society……

In 2008 the big banks tanked our economy billions were lost, many people lost their retirements, it was a disaster……and of all those bankers that tanked the economy none were made to pay for the treachery….and then you read a story like this……

Ten years after the behavior of over-leveraged and fraudulent banks created a global financial disaster that resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars in losses; a multi-trillion bailout using public money; and millions of people losing their homes to foreclosure, but saw not one high-level financial executive go to jail, a man in Florida has been sentenced to a 20-year prison term for stealing $600 worth of cigarettes from a local convenience store.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/24/ten-years-after-not-one-high-level-banker-sent-jail-tanking-global-economy-man-gets

Are you surprised at this?  I am not…..if you are not wealthy then you are crap under the boots of the elites….but that is okay for things will change with the next election….or is it the one after that……maybe later?

Oh yeah….I believe the cigarette guy was black….go figure!

We Can Pretend…

..But with or without Kavanaugh there will be nothing changed when it comes to abortion.

We have had good judges and then we have had the ones we have today.

These judges are the referees of our republic and yet it has come down to ideology not the rule of law.  The judges are voting, for the most part, along party lines not whether a law is beneficial or restrictive to the population.

As the midterm elections speed towards us, defeated Americans hope for a ‘blue wave’ of Democrats to save us. Republicans, who align across the board with President Trump’s corporate ecocide agenda, want to push through Trump’s despicable Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before a potential blue wave. Republicans may not trust Donald Trump, but they agree with him on the issues and will take whatever gains he has provided the party.

Trump has called his nominee Kavanaugh a man of outstanding intellect. Such a phrase coming from Trump is enough to make anyone giggle. It’s like the tortoise saying the sloth is extremely fast. It all depends on the perspective.

Whenever Trump cozies up to someone it always makes me uneasy. For one, it is always so over the top it becomes clear Trump has never given a genuine compliment to anyone in his life. Even more troubling would be the character of the person Trump is complimenting. If he finds something redeemable about you, you should take a long look in the mirror.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/21/with-or-without-kavanaugh-the-united-states-is-anti-choice/

I beginning to think that the Supreme Court is a colossal waste of time and money….why not just banish these spineless partisan hacks and just let the elections decide what the laws of the country will be and who gets screwed by them.

Of course I am being a bit bombastic here….but you get what I am railing about, right?