Posts Tagged ‘guns

16
Aug
14

Free in America? Bundy Ranch Militias, Open-Carry Ammosexuals, or Ferguson Black Residents?

Free in America? Bundy ranch militias, Open-carry ammosexuals, or Ferguson black residents?

 

by @zizii2

Militias at Bundy ranch,NV

Open-Carry advocates in Austin, TX

Open-carry advocates in Target store, TX

Protesters of Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO

Riot police descend on Black protesters in Ferguson, MO

Riot police descend on Black protesters in Ferguson, MO

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Consider the  photographs above of events that happened this year less than six months apart? There is no comparison. That is the point. They all involve American citizens in protest over perceived affront to their rights. But can the people in those photographs be interchanged with the same outcomes? Can the Ferguson MO black residents stage their protest armed like the Bundy-ranch militias or the open-carry ammosexuals flaunting their AR-15s in stores in public? Would they be covered by the media with fawning deference as we saw during the standoff in Nevada or in the narratives spun about open-carry advocates?

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Of course no. It is not hyperbole to say the streets there would already have been littered with many more black bodies being gunned down by platoons of SWAT teams pouring in to maintain “law and order.” They would not be retreating like the BLM and law enforcement did outside the Bundy ranch in Nevada in order to safeguard “public peace” and NOT escalating the potential for violence. The media would have whipped up the fear factor to the rafters, not the love-in we saw when the Bundy ranch militias had federal officials locked in their gunsights and bragged they were ready to “water the tree of liberty”.

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Likewise, the language of inherent criminality being used now to describe Ferguson’s black residents’ protests would not be invoked in similar actions by white protestors. It is like clockwork, the types of thesauri with stock phrasing that get whipped out to describe public behavior of American citizens depending on their race and class. White Militias are “patriots” defending the “constitution”, not “lawbreakers, or thugs, or looters.” White youths’ public misbehavior and even serious felonies are given benefit of the doubt as “feisty pranks” or aberrant “lone wolves” or “mentally challenged” individuals.

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Blacks and Latinos are described as criminals-in-the-making and bearers of regressive group cultural traits who should be “feared” and removed from civilized society. There is an insistence that their citizenship can only rest on approval of their morality, something that is not required of any other groups. The statistics from our criminal justice system glaringly show the disparities in who gets convicted for similar crimes and who gets slapped on the wrist.

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Therein lies the dirty underbelly of American creed of “Freedom” and “justice”. It was always a lie, from the nation’s founding. But it was a powerful lie that sewed together a nation populated by peoples of disparate backgrounds ever re-making themselves anew with infinite optimism in this vast land. City on a Hill, it was. Even if built on the blood of shackled slaves. Frederick Douglass described this foundational hypocrisy so astutely in his famous speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

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Question is why the lie? Other societies don’t bother to broadcast “Freedom” for all. Don’t pretend to want equality for all. For a nation that prided itself on throwing off the yoke of calcified monarchies, and hewing to the creed — “all men are created equal”, why does this country keep insisting on universal “freedom”? I argue that “freedom” is a useful cover that keeps a tight lid on fissures cracking apart a deeply unequal society. It is a release valve in the same way that maintaining an underclass that can be scapegoated for society’s ills. That way we don’t have to deal with crushing class inequality.

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And what the wielders of power bet on is that the eruptions be it in Ferguson or Nevada, will inure to their benefit. The Fearful buy more weapons, and disenfranchised minorities get slaughtered in the street, or fill profit-making private prisons!

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Freedom!

27
May
14

Maybe This Is What It Will Take

We’ve said “Never again” so many times that the phrase has lost its meaning.

We said it after Columbine.

We said it after Gabby Giffords’ meet-and-greet was sprayed with bullets, and a nine year old girl was killed.

We said it after Sandy Hook, after 20 children were murdered.

Black and Latino parents say it after every drive by shooting, every murder on our streets.

But it always seems to happen again, and again.

Thirty-five thousand Americans have been killed by gun violence since Sandy Hook. “Never again” quickly turned into “business as usual”, as the NRA flexed its muscles, as Sandy Hook Truthers oozed up from the mud, as politicians scurried to assure their fealty to gun fetishists.

Now, we might have reached a tipping point.

And if it happens, if Isla Vista is what turns the trajectory, it will be, sad to say, because it happened in an affluent, influential neighborhood, filled with college students, a “white” area which wasn’t supposed to witness such horrific violence.

And if it happens, it might be due to the efforts of Richard Martinez, father of one of the slain.

Continue reading ‘Maybe This Is What It Will Take’

23
Apr
13

This and That

President Obama presents the 2013 National Teacher of the Year award to Jeff Charbonneau, a high school science teacher from Zillah, Washington, during a Rose Garden event at the White House

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Line of the day? Charles Pierce on Max Baucus: “…. the pestilential trout-mask replica from Montana…”

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Steve Benen: ….. I’d like the folks holding Obama responsible [for gun reform] to consider a look at the recent past. In 2009 and 2010, the White House and Congress successfully approved the Recovery Act, a health care reform law 100 years in the making, Wall Street reform, DADT repeal, student loan reform, New START ratification, credit card reforms, and food-safety reforms. Are those inclined to blame Obama for gun reform’s failure prepared to argue that the president simply forgot how to twist arms in 2011? That he knew how to persuade lawmakers before, but the skill suddenly vanished?

Or is it more likely that congressional Republicans changed the game after the 2010 midterms?

I also believe there’s an ongoing reluctance among many to appreciate the scope of Republican radicalization. For many, especially in media, there’s an assumption that there are two major, mainstream political parties — one center-left, the other center-right — and an effective president can govern through competent bipartisan outreach.

Those assumptions are wrong….

Full post here

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Click to see the rest of the post

17
Apr
13

Heads Up: President Obama speaking on gun control measures

White House live

 

01
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

A year ago today: The President holds Arianna Holmes, 3, before taking a departure photo with members of her family in the Oval Office, Feb. 1, 2012 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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Today:

11:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

12:05: VP Biden and Jill Biden arrive at Munich International Airport

2:15: President Obama awards the National Medals of Science and the National Medals of Technology and Innovation

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Steve Benen: Expectations for job creation were pretty close to perfect according to the new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the economy adding 157,000 jobs in January. The big news, however, is in the revisions.

….. that’s where we see the genuinely good news. Not only were the job totals for November and December revised up considerably – 127,000 jobs combined – but for the entire 2012 calendar year, we learned this morning of an additional 335,000 jobs that had not been previously reported.

That means 2.17 million jobs were created just last year, which is the best annual total since 2005, and tops seven of the eight years Bush/Cheney was in office….

More here

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Business Insider: The jobs report is out for January, and on the headline it’s a slight miss. 157K new jobs is below the consensus estimates of 165K. The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9%.

But the report had a lot of good news as well. Last month was revised higher, from 155K to 196K. And November was revised even higher, from 161K to 247K!

Those are some seriously impressive revisions…..

More here

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@PressSec

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Steve Benen: With the revised job totals published this morning, we now know that 2012 was a better year for job creation than previously believed – 2.17 million jobs were created just last year overall, 2.24 million in the private sector. When I noted that 2012 was the best year for jobs since 2005, and better than seven of the eight years Bush/Cheney was in office, some of you were skeptical. I received a few “that can’t be right” emails.

So, let’s take a minute to take a closer look….

More here

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Bloomberg: U.S. stocks rose, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 14,000, as data showed hiring increased in January after accelerating more than previously estimated at the end of 2012 and manufacturing expanded.

…. “The jobs report shows that the corner was turned,” said Richard Sichel, who oversees about $1.8 billion as chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co. “The revision from the prior month is positive. There’s indication that hiring will pick up over the course of the year”….

More here

Bloomberg: Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded more than forecast in January, reaching a nine-month high and showing the industry is starting to improve.

…. Stocks extended gains after the report showed gains in orders, production and factory employment after a fourth-quarter acceleration in consumer purchases and a rebound in business spending. The housing recovery and stabilization in overseas markets indicate factories may keep adding to growth in the world’s largest economy this year.

“Manufacturing is on the mend,” said Brian Jones, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York. “Things are getting better as we begin the year.”

More here

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Charles Pierce: There really shouldn’t be as much low farce in confirming a Cabinet appointment than was on display as the Senate Armed Services Committee got its chance to blow off steam and posture in front of Chuck Hagel in Washington. If it wasn’t John McCain, bellowing his outrage that the world no longer recognizes his obvious geopolitical genius and that the world has not rewarded him with laurel leaves and flagons of the finest mead. So he spends six minutes trying to get Hagel to admit how brilliant he was to have recommended the “surge” in Iraq. Hagel declines and McCain’s fumes, probably because he’ll have to wait until Sunday morning to get the kind of fluffing that’s the only reason he’s still in public life any more. Well, that, and a war with Iran.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Much of the political world was transfixed yesterday by the grilling Chuck Hagel received by the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the consensus seems to be that the Defense Secretary nominee generally failed to impress…..

What struck me as more interesting than Hagel’s halting answers were the quality of the questions, or in this case, the lack thereof.

….. going through the transcript, one might be tempted to believe there are only three countries on the planet – the United States, Israel, and Iran – and that Iran poses some kind of existential threat to America’s future.

Al Qaeda wasn’t deemed important, nor was North Korea. China was brought up only a handful of times, and the use of drones wasn’t mentioned at all.

More here

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Addicting Info: John McCain Receives The Most Lavish NRA Donations

…. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, John McCain is–by far–the recipient of the most generous donations from “gun rights” organizations. He receives about $400,000 more than John Thune (R-SD), who received the second highest total amount of monetary gifts from pro-gun groups.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: How Liberals Can Win on Guns ….. Where are all these reasonable gun owners and NRA members? As far as the public discourse goes, they exist only in these polls. No one’s ever actually seen one.

So how about some liberal group put some money into finding these people and putting them on the air? Seeing Gabby Giffords yesterday was powerful. But it would be powerful in a different way — and probably more persuasive to people on the fence — to see a stereotypically burly white guy with a light drawl standing in front of his gun case with his arms crossed, looking as if he’s just about to say, “Fuck you, liberals,” when instead what comes out of his mouth is something like, “My buddies and I don’t need extended clips to hunt deer. And I look around and see these slaughters, and I think nobody else needs extended clips either.”

More here

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BuzzFeed: Gov. Chris Christie paid tribute Thursday night to President Barack Obama, thanking him for his help in successfully passing the Hurricane Sandy aid bill in January…. Delivering his keynote speech at a New Jersey Chamber of Commerce dinner …. Christie told the crowd he was invited to the White House to discuss the Sandy aid package about three days before the president was set to send his proposal for the bill to Congress.

“I won’t talk about how our conversation went — that’s between me and the president,” said Christie. “But I’ll let you all know it was a lot of fun.” ….. “I want to thank the president — he’s been extraordinary”….

More here

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Washingtonian: Spotted Thursday morning at the White House: a team from Vogue moving cameras into the residence. What could that be about? Well, it turns out it’s a photo shoot of First Lady Michelle Obama for the magazine’s cover, most likely the March issue.

More here

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@petesouza: Photo of Bo, the “first dog”, in the Cabinet Rm this am

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Moooooorning!




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