Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
Dr. C: In Praise of Writing Binges
Maiello: Gatsby Doesn't Grate
I have been looking at "Time to Crime" data and it indicates to me that if we figured out a way to stop the flow of guns to criminals, it would mean a yearly drop in gun sales of AT LEAST 10%.
So I think it is time for Joe to get out there and extract a promise from gun manufacturers that they would be willing to accept a AT LEAST A 10% sales hit in order to keep our streets safer.
Here's how I came up with this. The Mayors Against Illegal Guns web site, tracetheguns.org, says that nationwide, 22.6 % of the guns recovered in crimes are less than two years old. [Read more]
Today's post looks at corrupt Federally Licensed Firearms dealers (FFLs) and straw buyers. Here is what I suspect, and I may or may not be able to prove it.
It's about the money.
The gun industry, by selling guns to criminals, creates a commensurate need for self-defense in the "law-abiding" public. And like Doublemint gum, it's double the pleasure, double the fun for gun manufacturers and dealers.
I am still researching this topic but I am starting to believe that really looking at the supply side is a necessary twin sister to the "universal background check" concept which is making its way to the forefront of popular gun legislation ideas. [Read more]
The peasants are revolting but they still get air time.
Sweat shops are good things.
This is another piece about mental illness. I have gotten a mixed reception from all of you here. This makes alot of people very uncomfortable. The last thread about mental illness did really well and I really learned from all of your stories - however - I know from experience posting here that the subjects I pick aren't what some want. I've been encouraged to post here and wouldn't do so if I thought I was imposing.
If this makes you uncomfortable, please just skip over. The subject is complex and needs to be discussed out of necessity for what it is.
As mental illness comes back in to the national discourse given all the tragic shootings, it's worth noting how pervasive mental illness really is. Mental illness doesn't necessarily mean schizophrenia - where a person stops being tuned at all in to reality and starts to talk incessantly to themselves. [Read more]
During the sixties we used to say, “I’m Black and I’m proud,” but we never said why. I’d like to correct that.
I absolutely LOVE being Black - and I'm not just saying that because it's expected of me. While I have the ultimate respect for the unique character of every race and ethnicity, if I'm reincarnated a thousand times, I want to come back Black each and every one of them.
Being Black in America gives one an education and perspective on life that you can't get anywhere else. That's not widely recognized, because public attention is often focused on the most dysfunctional in the Black community. But contrary to popular belief, that might not be an altogether bad thing, because it allows the excellence within the Black community time to incubate, untainted by the public eye. That's what allowed Barack Obama to explode upon the world stage as a fully developed powerhouse, and there are hordes of others just like him who are currently incubating in Black cocoons in suburbs and inner cities all over America. [Read more]
As I think about gun-owners today, I think they can be placed in a few different groups. There are similarities with discussions we have about medical errors and negligence--because there are sometimes tragic injuries and deaths involved. So bear with me here as I talk about the similarities. This isn't going to be artful.
1. There are legal, responsible gun owners who are concerned about their Second Amendment rights. Fair enough. Their right to bear arms is guaranteed under the Constitution--but as with doctors, if one of them makes an error, the results can be deadly. [Read more]
Ok, so it seems to be legal to keep a loaded gun on your nightstand in most or all states, with some exceptions for those who live in California.
I'm going to go way out on a limb and propose that we make a federal law that if a gun is to be kept within 20 horizontal feet of a room where people sleep, the ammunition must be kept in a small biometric or combination safe, separate from the weapon itself. Call it a "clip-keeper."
If adhered to, this rule would make child gun deaths far less likely, while still permitting self defense. One could not, admittedly, pull one's gun from under the pillow and shoot an intruder at a moment's notice, but this seems like a small compromise in the service of an obvious benefit in safety. [Read more]
Mac added a comment to Erica.
Erica if you recall has been nuts on this gun 'thing'.
And I made a comment on that blog and it got lost-ed in my computer stream thingy. [Read more]
These threads on gun laws go bad fast. So I'm just going to propose one issue with each post. Please confine yourselves to one brief reply or clarification, and for the sake of keeping things neat, please try not to comment on other people's comments. So here is my first question:
Would you be in favor of:
Limiting magazine capacity to 10 and banning possession of larger-capacity magazines nationwide? (This would probably involve some kind of buyback/trade-in program.)
If your answer is "no" please state what number or specific modification would make the law palatable to you.
If you have a different idea, please hold your fire, so to speak--we'll get to you soon.
Hello all. Thank you for the comments you have left me. I'm trying to get back to writing really seriously and I thought some of you here - especially those who have enjoyed Orlando's "South East Asia Travel Journal" - might like this (it's a very narrow topic but given Joe's exposure to American culture/society, there may be alot to learn from):  [Read more]
Who woulda guessed - holes in Obamacare permitting double digit health care increases?
There seems to be some issue concerning rape in many corners of the world.
Before I get into this mess, I would begin with a discussion concerning global warming.
To me, there is no issue concerning global warming.
Remember when some repubs (per FOX of course) were claiming that there really was no such thing as global warming because it was getting colder in Antarctica; or ice was piling up in Antarctica or it happened to be extremely cold on January 15th, 2012 in Cleveland?
Well the truth is that Antarctica is in real trouble. [Read more]
You know it, I know it. The world is broken and falling in to chaos.
During World War II, economic collapse and deterioration led to most of the world's leading nations falling in to dictatorships. People back then were very different than they are now, however. People now are used to being independent, of telling themselves what to do, of buying what they want and having what they want. They don't need a fascist or communist leader to be nasty for them - they know how to do it themselves. [Read more]
The Joe Bidens of this world give me hope!
Spread your legs, you are going to be frisked!
This is a big fucking deal. [Read more]
Sitting here contemplating the future as I was told I can't predict, and that those premonitions of 2016 are ageist and sexist.
Will Hugo Chavez die before his inauguration 6 days away? Well, he's had an amazing journey, and he's only 58, so it would be wrong of me to predict. Just because he had cancer & 4 major operations in the last 2 years and is now clinging on in a respirator after severe lung infection - well, who knows? [Read more]
Until 1960 a mother who had an autistic child not only had to deal with that heart break , she also had to listen when the Freudian psychiatrists or psychologists she consulted "helped" her by telling her she made her child autistic..
They described how a perfect mother would deal with a child who spread feces on the wall, bit his mother's cheek when she leaned over to kiss him, and pulled out his sister's hair.And asked whether she was demonstrating that perfection. No? Well then she was responsible for her child not only not being perfect but being highly imperfect . "Like you" was the unstated clause. [Read more]
I think it's important to find out from gun proponents whether they believe that each day's gun deaths are:
1) simply an unfortunate side effect of Life In a Free Country Among Sometimes Not Very Smart People, or
2) something that the law ought to actually try harder to prevent. [Read more]
The recent publication by the White Plains Journal-News of a map highlighting the locations in Westchester and Rockland Counties of holders of handgun permits raised howls of protest.
Issues of privacy were raised, though the information is part of the public record by law, and thus available to anyone with the time and inclination to visit the county seat.
A subsequent request under the Freedom of Information Act has driven the Putnam County authorities to consider civil disobedience.
This is preposterous. [Read more]
This month the Believer was kind enough to grant me 9,000 words worth of page space for a lengthy homage to Nelson Algren, a great-but-mostly-forgotten-writer. Algren has been dead for 31-years and obscure for far longer but his writing continues to deserve attention and consideration.
If I hold faith with any writer it's Algren. He had an expansive view of literature. To him it was a game played for the highest possible stakes. A writer's role, he believed, was to tell the truest stories they can tell, and always to challenge the status quo. He would have nothing but contempt for this current writerly obsession with "branding" oneself or "cultivating an audience." High-minded pronouncements aside, he was also just my type of guy. He hoboed through the Great Depression (riding the rails even after signing his first book contract) and joined the Communist Party, only to be chastised for throwing a too-bawdy party. He collected material for his eleven books by haunting the county morgue, police line ups, underground card games and weekly rate hotels. And still found enough time to win the first National Book Award, give Hemingway cause to proclaim him the second best American writer (after Faulkner), romance Simone de Beauvoir, and call Joe McCarthy unqualified for any office but dog catcher (long before Ed Murrow found the nerve to take the man on). [Read more]
Amid the scampering up and down the fiscal cliff that now dominates political life in Washington, some more important and basic questions are in danger of vanishing from view, questions about the general character and progressive potential of Barack Obama’s second term. Questions such as these. Will this Administration in the end prove to have been worth fighting for? Will we by 2016 be able to say anything more than “well, at least we avoided a Romney presidency and a Republican clean sweep”? What can we do now to enhance the radical potential of a second Obama term? [Read more]