Good Morning Sky Dancers!
Sunday greeted New Orleans with 16 shootings including a Mass Shooting on Canal Street early Sunday Morning that injured 10 people with two in critical condition. Another shooting killed two later that day in the 7th ward, Our City’s crime has seen a downward trend in crime over the last 4 years but this isn’t exactly new to us or anywhere in the country.
Why do we have so many trigger happy Americans?
It’s amazing to me that the NRA can still have so much power after so much controversy surrounding its leadership and actions. It also amazes me that so many people seem to think they a “well regulated militia” doesn’t mean what they think it means. They to be a personal militia with no regulation. Hence,the real American Carnage … death by gun.
In a timely coincidence, today’s case at the Supreme Court deals with a Second Amendment Case. Many Republican politicians these days appear to recognize the Constitution only when it deals with this particular amendment and they’ve been busy stacking the court to be pro life except when it comes slaughter by gun.
What may happen today at the Court? This is from today’s NYT. “After Long Gap, Supreme Court Poised to Break Silence on Gun Rights
Following a change in personnel, the court could expand the scope of Second Amendment rights and chastise lower courts that have upheld gun control laws.”
It has been almost 10 years since the Supreme Court last heard a Second Amendment case. On Monday, a transformed court will return to the subject and take stock of what has happened in the meantime.
The nation has had a spike in gun violence. And lower courts have issued more than 1,000 rulings seeking to apply the justices’ 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which established an individual right to own guns but said almost nothing about the scope of that right.
The new case concerns a New York City ordinance that limited the transport of guns outside an owner’s home. Fearing a loss in the Supreme Court, to say nothing of a broad ruling from the court’s conservative majority on what the Second Amendment protects, the city repealed the ordinance and now argues that the case is moot. But the court may be ready to end its decade of silence, elaborate on the meaning of the Second Amendment and, in the process, tell lower courts whether they have been faithful to the message of the Heller decision.
Proponents of gun rights and some conservative justices say lower courts have been engaged in lawless resistance to the protections afforded under the Second Amendment by sustaining unconstitutional gun-control laws.
Again, what don’t they get about “well regulated” and the 18th century idea of a “militia”?
On Monday the court hears arguments in a case from New York, a city and a state with some of the toughest gun regulations in the country. Several gun owners and the NRA’s New York affiliate challenged the rules for having a handgun at home. They contended the city gun license was so restrictive it was unconstitutional.
Specifically, they said the state law and city regulations violated the right to bear arms because they forbid handgun owners from carrying their pistols anywhere other than seven firing ranges within the city limits. That meant that pistol owners could not carry their guns to a second home, or to shooting ranges or competitions in other states nearby. The lower courts upheld the regulations as justified to protect safety in the most densely populated city in the country.
But when the Supreme Court agreed to hear the gun owners appeal, the state and the city changed the law to allow handgun owners to transport their locked and unloaded guns to second homes or shooting ranges outside the city.
With those changes, the first question Monday will be whether the case is moot and should be thrown out because New York has already given the gun owners everything they asked for in their lawsuit.
“This is an instance where it appears the petitioners won’t say ‘yes’ for an answer,” says James Johnson, counsel for the city of New York.
But former Solicitor General Paul Clement, who represents the gun owners, counters that the amended regulations still give the city too much power to regulate.
“The city of New York never expressed any doubt about the constitutionality of these regulations when they were winning in the district court and the court of appeals,” argues Clement. “And then lo and behold, all of a sudden the city decides you know maybe we don’t need these regulations after all.”
And, he observes, the city is still defending the original regulations.
The city is indeed doing that because the justices refused in October to throw the case out on mootness grounds, opting instead to hear the mootness arguments today, along with the direct challenge to the regulations themselves.
Testing a “moot” law seems odd to me. New Orleans wasn’t the only city with gun violence yesterday. Two kids were wounded in a shoot out in the The Bronx. Trace.org includes all these stories in it’s gun related news today.
Two kids were wounded in a mass shooting in the Bronx. Five people, including a 10-year-old and 14-year-old boy, were shot on a retail strip in the South Bronx on the afternoon before Thanksgiving. An after-school program was about to start classes when the unknown gunman began firing at a busy intersection. The director of the program was unconsoled by the fact that all the victims survived. “That’s just luck,” he told The New York Times. “Every bullet has its own trajectory. We might not be so lucky next time.”
These shootings have also gone into the Gun Violence Archive where you can be horrifed by the list and dots on a map of the USA showing the 2019 shootings for the country.
This hopeful analysis argues the case could “fizzle” but it also explains the politics involved. The Republicans are as entrenched as ever.
The mootness fight has taken on political dimensions. In August, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and four colleagues filed an unusually pointed brief that said the court would be undermining its own legitimacy if it ruled in the case.
The Democrats’ brief pointed to the millions of dollars spent by outside groups on recent Supreme Court battles. Trump’s two appointees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were confirmed in the Senate on nearly party-line votes.
“To stem the growing public belief that its decisions are motivated mainly by politics, the court should decline invitations like this to engage in ‘projects,’” the Democrats argued, highlighting a word the challengers used in one of their court filings.
Whitehouse’s brief provoked an equally sharp response from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his Republican colleagues. They told the justices to “stand firm” and “not be cowed by the threats of opportunistic politicians.”
Trump has had strong support from gun owners and the National Rifle Association since his 2016 campaign. He has occasionally stated support for expanded background checks — particularly when mass shootings lead to a public outcry — but later backed off, expressing doubt they would be effective in curbing gun violence.
The administration is urging the Supreme Court to decide the case, telling the justices the dispute is still meaningful because residents could seek damages.
The court has hinted it may want to rule. In October, the justices refused to dismiss the case as moot but said they would revisit the issue at the argument.
But he also pushed back on Trump’s recent claims about corruption in Ukraine, and questioned the fairness of Trump’s decision to freeze American aid. “If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us,” he said. “I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo.”
Zelensky’s focus during the interview, as it has been throughout his time in office, was on the effort to end Ukraine’s war against Russia and its proxies, who still control two separatist strongholds in the region of Ukraine known as the Donbass. More than 13,000 Ukrainians have died as a result of that conflict, and more are killed or wounded every week. Yet the European attempts to mediate an end to the fighting have been stalled for over three years.
So much violence, so many lives, and so many power grabs and that’s enough for me today. I’m pretty sure the judiciary committee’s impeachment hearings will fill up the week shortly. His lawyers declined to become involved as did the Kremlin Potted Plant who complained that he will be in NATO meetings this week. Obviously this trip will interrupt his Presidential Fox an Friends time so he will be peevish.
President Donald Trump on Monday blasted House Democrats for holding impeachment hearings while he is at a NATO summit in London and claimed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had cleared him of wrongdoing in an interview published earlier in the day.
Speaking to reporters as he departed the White House for the summit, Trump said Democrats had “decided” to hold the upcoming hearings at “the exact time” he’s in London. The president also said Zelenskiy “came out and said very strongly that President Trump did nothing wrong,” adding, “that should end everything, but that will never end it.”
Please go read that quote up there again and see if that’s your take away. It certainly isn’t mine.
Anyway, let’s get through the month and the year as well we can. Love to you all! May peace surround you!
What’s on your reading, blogging, and watching lists today?
I think this part of Boston Boomer’s post title from yesterday was spot on: “These Days I Often Cry While Reading News” …yup, I do that too! Only I would take it a step further, and say that lately, I often start to hyperventilate and have anxiety attacks while scrolling through the Twitter feed. (I am not being hyperbolic with that statement either. I do start to hyperventilate.) I can feel my breathing becoming more intense and faster…forward towards out of control. My heart rate increases dramatically. My palms sweat and feel distinctly cold at the same time. I can actually feel my eyebrows becoming one, from the pained expression my face has contorted into…
Yeah, I think we all know that feeling I am describing above…am I right?
That is why this little asteroid of a nugget that passed my way this morning made me cringe:
And as you will see, no one corrected the “misstatement?” If that is what the fucking thing was…
During an interview with former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, [Abby] Huntsman interrupted to noted that Trump had arrived for the summit in Singapore.
“There is the president of the United States, Donald Trump, about to walk down those [Air Force Once] stairs, stepping foot in Singapore as we wait this historic summit with the North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un.”
“Anthony, talk to us about this moment,” she said, turning to Scaramucci. “This is history. We are living — regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators — what we are seeing right now, this is historic.”
Scaramucci then agreed… adding that Trump is a “disruptive risk taker”…not even missing a beat while continuing to fawn over the tangerine ass mouth, lavishing more praise on his dear leader as the segment went on. Video at the link.
The links I bring you today are pretty much things you may already be aware of, I don’t know anymore…War with Canada? I guess things are going as Putin planned?
President Trump feuded with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and threatened to impose penalties on foreign automobile imports Saturday, capping an acrimonious meeting of the Group of Seven industrial nations that further frayed ties between the United States and its closest allies.
Trump said Saturday evening that he had instructed U.S. officials to withdraw support for a joint statement with other member nations he had backed just hours earlier, saying the United States would not join after Trudeau publicly criticized Trump’s trade policy.
European officials described things much differently. Their leaders confronted Trump about how his protectionist policies had given them no choice but to retaliate with tariffs of their own, a person familiar with the encounter said. These tariffs, they told Trump, would hurt everyone. Trump had tried to essentially splinter the European leaders by negotiating some changes with Germany and different ones with France, but those leaders appeared locked together.
They had been careful not to reveal their approach before meeting with Trump, although it appeared very calculated.
“If you have a strategy, do not explain your strategy before the meeting — because if you are explaining your strategy before the meeting, you are losing your strategy,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters.
(I thought that was funny…don’t know why.)
“What worries me most . . . is the fact that the rules-based international order is being challenged,” European Council President Donald Tusk said as the G-7 summit got underway. What is surprising, Tusk said, is that the challenge is driven not by the “usual suspects, but by its main architect and guarantor, the U.S.”
By the way:
Kudlow was on the Sunday shows, fucking things up even more:
Speculation on the Twitter is that Kudlow is drunk.
I don’t know, that sounds like crazy shit to me….Dak, your thoughts?
This is something>>>>
And I think we should revisit this thread:
And if all that shit doesn’t scare the shit out of you:
Over the many years since Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) of 2001, the ACLU has dedicated itself to defending the civil liberties and human rights that have been threatened as a result of this resolution and its successors. The harms have included the drone killings of American citizens, broad surveillance of American citizens, the kidnapping and torture of suspects, and indefinite detention without charge or trial, even of an American citizen apprehended in the United States.
Now, Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) are working on a new AUMF that is even more damaging to our freedoms.
It would be hard to overstate the depth and breadth of the dangers to the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights that the Corker-Kaine AUMF would cause. The Corker-Kaine AUMF would give the current president and all future presidents authority from Congress to engage in worldwide war, sending American troops to countries where we are not now at war and against groups that the president alone decides are enemies.
Uh, yeah…you read that, Kaine.
The Corker-Kaine AUMF would authorize force, without operational limitations, against eight groups in six countries. The president could then add to both lists, as long as the president reports the expansion to Congress. To be clear — the president would have unilateral authority to add additional countries — including the United States itself — to the list of countries where Congress is authorizing war. And the president would have unilateral authority to add additional enemies, including groups in the United States itself and even individual Americans, under its new authority for the president to designate “persons” as enemies.
Their proposal also contains a sleeper provision with the innocuous title, “Sec. 10 Conforming Amendment,” that would create a new legal basis for the military to capture and imprison individuals in indefinite detention without charge or trial. This greatly expands the scope of the infamous indefinite detention provision in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Like the NDAA, the Corker-Kaine AUMF has no statutory prohibition against locking up American citizens or anyone picked up in the United States itself. While we continue to believe it would still be unlawful for a president to try indefinite detention of an American citizen in the United States (again), there is no reason for Congress to risk it.
About that photo released by Merkel:
Let’s look at a few other photos from the G7 Summit:
Macron had a couple good ones…he released his own tRump smackdown picture…you can see he is looking exasperated as he jesters toward the tRump asshole below:
What do you think he was saying to him? What’s a matter with you?
Oh wait, that is more of an Italian thing right?
(tRump has that covered as well, you see, he is already love crazy over Italy’s newly elected right-wing prime minister.)
Wow, the hard on tRump gets for these far right assholes is disgusting.
Back to Macron: Did you see the lasting impression he left on tRumps little hand?
Just a few other links for y’all:
Can you describe to me what you saw there?
I’ll tell you what was very difficult to see. One room had smaller cyclone fences—they look like the way you construct a dog kennel. They’re larger, but that’s the thought that comes to mind when you see them. Then they have these space blankets [light foil blankets], which is a very strange sight, to see kids using a space blanket as a cushion—but they don’t provide any cushion—or as a cover for privacy. There’re no mattresses in that section.
After they go through interviews, they go into a big warehouse. I called them cages, and the White House said that’s unfair, they aren’t cages. Well, call it a cell, then. It’s a cyclone-fence-constructed area. There were all these boys in this big enclosure, maybe three to four dozen boys, and they lined up, from smallest to largest, to get ready to go eat. The tiniest kid at the front of the line, he was knee-high to a grasshopper; he was 4, maybe 5 years old. They go up to age 16 or 17.
I understand that the McAllen facility operated under the Obama administration, to accommodate the surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America we saw in 2014. Do you know whether the children you saw last weekend are mainly unaccompanied minors, who came here alone, or whether they’re mainly kids who’ve been separated from their parents under this new DOJ policy?
Well, some may have come as unaccompanied minors, but many have not. The 4-year-old, it’s extremely unlikely he did, I suppose an older brother might have brought him across, but he was just so, so tiny. Many of them are kids who were taken away from their parents, in that facility. I asked: “Where are the kids who’ve been separated from their parents?” And they said “Here.”
But here’s the thing—as soon as they take the kids away from their parents, they call them “unaccompanied minors” too! I asked, which are the kids who came alone, and which came with their families, but no one could tell me. We do know that during a 12-day period in May 658 kids were separated from their families. We know that the number of immigrant children detained without parents went up 21 percent from May to June.
Another question is: Where do the kids end up, and can the parents reach them? They told me, “Oh yes, they get an A code,” and I asked, “Well, what’s an A code,” and it turns out it’s an “alien code,” a number where they can be tracked through the system. So it’s really not a difficulty for parents to find their children, they said. But the children are actually in one agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the parents are in another agency, the Department of Homeland Security. And according to immigration advocates I spoke with, they’re saying it’s actually not easy to track down the kids. The younger kids may be in a foster family, where the foster family doesn’t speak Spanish.
Ugh…I can’t take anymore!
This is an open thread.
I just want to share one more thing with you.
It is personal, but it is too sweet not to post…
Here is the wedding video from my daughter’s wedding. It is done by Izra Lopez, to the song
L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole.
It’s lovely and hopeful. And not just because it is my kid…the video is awesome.
Y’all have a better day today, here’s to love and hoping that tRump doesn’t fuck things up beyond repair this week.
Once again…today’s thread will be a short one. Springing ahead…time change, is always a difficult one for me to handle. I wish Georgia would take a leap from Florida and make this latest time spring forward…the last.
Lawmakers in Florida are tired of the whole “fall back” and “spring forward” rigamarole. So they’ve approved a bill to keep Daylight Saving Time going throughout the year in their state.It took the state Senate less than a minute Tuesday to pass the “Sunshine Protection Act.” There were only two dissenters. (The House passed it 103-11 on February 14.)The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott — but it’s far from a done deal after that,Even if the governor approves, a change like this will literally take an act of Congress.But if all is approved, Floridians — who’ll set their clocks ahead one hour this Sunday when Daylight Saving Time begins — won’t have to mess with it ever again.
Act of Congress or not…Scott signed a bill last week bringing the legal age to buy a rifle in Florida up from 18 to 21. And now the NRA is suing.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is suing Florida after it passed a gun control law in the wake of a school shooting that left 17 people dead.
Governor Rick Scott, a staunch ally of the gun lobby, enacted the bill, which the NRA says violates the constitution.
The law raises the legal age for buying rifles in Florida, but also allows the training and arming of school staff.
It does not ban semi-automatic rifles like the one used in the 14 February massacre in Parkland.
But it does introduce a three-day waiting period on all gun sales and a ban on bump stocks, a device that enables semi-automatic rifles to fire hundreds of rounds a minute.
What’s in the new law?
- It raises the minimum age for buying rifles from 18 to 21 in the state – although 18, 19 and 20-year-old police officers and members of the security forces will still be able to buy rifles and shotguns
- It bans bump stocks – devices that raise the firing speed of semi-automatic rifles
- It introduces a three-day waiting period on all gun purchases (previously this only applied when people bought handguns)
- It makes it easier for police to confiscate weapons and ammunition from people who are deemed to pose a threat of violent behaviour (a measure that has been proposed by five other states in the last month, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)
- It allows school staff to carry guns, with the agreement of their school district authorities and sheriff’s department. This is already allowed in the states of Wyoming, South Dakota, Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas and Texas
NRA filed a lawsuit within an hour from Scott signing the new law…you would think that the bloody bloodthirsty gun lobby would be ecstatic about that last part of the new legislation. The bit about school staff being able to carry and lock and load.
According to this article from The Tampa Bay Times, school districts are too big on arming their staff: Florida’s biggest school districts may skip out on armed ‘guardians’ program, even if Rick Scott signs it | Tampa Bay Times
“I believe the people carrying weapons should be law enforcement officers and not our employees,” said Seminole County school superintendent Walt Griffin, echoing comments of his large-district peers.
The Legislature’s new plan to arm school employees as a last line of defense to an active shooter might never get tested in Florida’s biggest school districts.
Officials in 10 of the state’s largest systems, which educate nearly 60 percent of all Florida school children, said they have no intention of giving teachers or other staff guns to carry into classrooms.
“I believe the people carrying weapons should be law enforcement officers and not our employees,” said Seminole County school superintendent Walt Griffin, echoing comments of his large-district peers. “I do not support our hard-working teachers having the responsibility of carrying a weapon.”
The Broward, Duval and Hillsborough county school boards adopted formal statements Tuesday opposing the idea of arming school personnel, and calling for adequate funding to support sworn officers in the schools instead. A day earlier, Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho made clear his district’s position, saying anyone who thinks arming educators is a solution is “absolutely out of their mind.”
Also this week, a majority of Pasco County board members have signaled their dissent, as have officials in Pinellas County.
“What’s the liability on that?” Pinellas board chairwoman Renee Flowers asked in an interview. “We’re here to educate our students. Everyone has their own area of expertise. Cafeteria workers, maintenance people, librarians. … That’s not what they were hired for.”
This is good to hear…I am glad that question on liability is being brought up.
Remember this victim of gun violence, from Alabama?
That “accidental” shooting?
A 17-year-old high school junior was charged Friday with manslaughter and illegal firearms possession in a classroom shooting that killed a fellow student at an Alabama high school.
The charges against Michael Jerome Barber were announced after authorities interviewed witnesses and reviewed video in connection with the shooting at Huffman High School in Birmingham. Courtlin Arrington, 17, a senior who had dreams of becoming a nurse, was killed in the shooting.
Barber recklessly caused Arrington’s death after bringing a gun to school, prosecutors said. They did not release details of the shooting.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Ms. Arrington, all of her friends, and those whose lives would have been changed through her nursing dreams had this event not occurred. This is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Anderton said in a statement.
The shooting took place Wednesday as school was dismissing for the day. Police initially said it was possible the shooting was accidental.
It is so disturbing…
Arrington’s mother, Tynesha Tatum, was quoted by al.com as saying that she told her daughter she loved her and to have a “blessed day” as she left for school that morning. The next time she saw her was to identify her body at a Birmingham hospital.
Arrington was a caring and fashion-conscious teen who was determined to become a nurse, her mother said.
“Whatever she put her mind to, that’s what she was going to do,” she told the newspaper.
Her funeral will be held the same weekend as what would have been her senior prom.
Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring this week described Arrington as a bright student “lost to senseless gun violence.”
“She was friendly, energetic and well-liked by peers and teachers alike,” Herring said.
Barber is a junior who plays on Huffman’s football team and has posted recruiting videos online. Court records were not immediately available to show whether Barber had a lawyer to speak for him.
Huffman High School has metal detectors but they were not in use on the day of the shooting, school officials said.
Herring said the school has increased security and is reviewing safety procedures and protocols.
More on Courtlin Arrington here: Mom, family heartbroken after daughter’s promising life ended in shooting at Huffman High | AL.com
What a beautiful young woman, such a tragedy.
I am so glad that the students are standing up to the NRA and gun lobby lovers…
The survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida, have inspired us with their determination, grit, and relentless courage. We owe those brave students more than awe and admiration; this moment of national outrage must become a moment of national action. Right now, powerful special interests are betting against them and cynically speculating that the urgency will pass and America will return to business as usual. The National Rifle Association (NRA) underestimates the power of young people. In doing so, they are fools.
There is a new “old” language afoot….it is taking some fucked up folks by storm…I should say “stormfront.” Check this article out, By Ryan Lenz at Southern Poverty Law Center: White Nationalists Are Pushing for a ‘Blue-Eyed’ English | Alternet
They call it Anglish.
White nationalists have gone looking for a mothertung. No, that isn’t a misspelling; rather, it’s how the word would look for white nationalists obsessed with seeing Anglish in widespread use.
Anglish? I must mean English, right? Nope.
Derived from “linguistic purism,” an idea that dates to the 16th and 17th centuries, Anglish is the English language either expunged of words with Latinate or Greek origins, or with those words completely reimagined with deference to Germanic roots. In the 19th century, writers such as Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy favored the style, even introducing words like “birdlore” instead of ornithology and “bendsome” in place of flexible.
But in the last year, as the so-called “alt-right” has moved further into the mainstream, this old idea has seen some newfound enthusiasm. (Maybe racists have come to realize that if a white ethnostate can’t be built on a gene pool, grammar will do.)
As early as 2010, Anglish was casually discussed in places such as Stormfront, once the largest white supremacist website in the world. Last summer, someone with the username Hail Britain, lauded Anglish after someone posted a YouTube video exploring the question, “What if English were 100 percent Germanic.”
“Good to see this sort of thing circulating,” a user named Branmakmorn wrote. “Hopefully it’ll spur a few normies to start asking more questions about their white identity.”
More recently, last November, an author revisited the idea of Anglish in the Renegade Tribune, an online anti-Semitic newspaper that has dabbled in Holocaust denial and featured headlines such as, “The jewish [sic] Plans for 2018: Immigrant Invasion, Miscegenation, and White Genocide.”
“How is that White countries with languages derived from Latin fell easier to Jewish universalism than Germany? Of course language is not the main reason but it is certainly related to it, and it had its own contribution,” an author last opined last November for the Renegade Tribune.
He added, in a comment to his own post: “Latin is a slave language because it is intended to be universal, to facilitate the breeding together of different humans.”
While the idea is bizarre, there have been discussions about pushing Anglish into the mainstream on Reddit and online forums elsewhere dedicated to Anglish.
Read the rest at the link above…I doubt the new “anguage???” will take hold…as it is way too difficult for these racist shitasses to learn something new.
Here is something to ponder: Colombia’s Farc: Choosing the ballot box over violence – BBC News
In the Colombian town of Fusagasugá, about two hours from the capital, Bogotá, Senate hopeful Julián Gallo Cubillos is on stage for the close of his campaign.
It is pouring down with rain but for a man used to living in the jungle, it is hardly a problem.
Better known by his nom de guerre, Carlos Antonio Lozada, he fought for three decades with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the left-wing rebel group better known as Farc.
I remember Farc, and Colombia and all the shit that was going down when I was in high school in 85/88 and college in the end of the 80’s and early 90’s and when I was getting my second degree in the mid 90’s. If any of you have seen the series Narcos…I am sure it will be fresh in your minds.
The Farc started life in the 1960s as a Marxist-inspired rebel group demanding land reform.
The guerrillas soon became a key player in a conflict involving the government, right-wing paramilitaries and other armed groups, which left an estimated 220,000 dead and millions displaced over five decades.
The turning point was the peace agreement signed between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Farc in 2016.
As part of the deal, the Farc were given 10 seats in Congress up until 2026, regardless of how many votes they received.
Same name, different game
After the Farc rebels disarmed last year, the group announced its new party. It kept the acronym Farc but changed what the letters stand for to the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force.
“We had to maintain our name because it’s linked to our history of struggle and resistance,” explains Mr Lozada.
“It wouldn’t have been ethical to hide behind any other acronym.”
But the new political party is having trouble convincing the general public of its new role.
“How are we going to pardon a group who has spilt so much blood and is now expecting us to put them in power?” asked Alejandro Castañeda, who was walking through Bogotá’s main square, Plaza Bolívar.
It seems there aremany who feel this same way, but to them I would ask…how many deaths can be linked to a corrupt government that continued to propel a drug war and its devastating violence.
Colombians are not against the idea of peace but they are divided about how to go about it.
And for many, it is hard to forget the crimes the Farc committed during more than five decades of armed conflict.
One of the biggest criticisms of the deal was allowing Farc members to run for office without having to serve prison time first.
“They get seats with no votes and they aren’t facing justice,’ says 24-year-old Nicolás Ordoñez Ruiz, who is part of Colombia’s main opposition party, Democratic Centre. “It’s an irresponsible message. It will create more violence in the future.”
That, says conflict expert Jorge Restrepo, will be reflected on voting day. “People won’t want to vote for them because they were not punished,” he says.
“That lack of justice, that need for revengeful justice, has not been satisfied in Colombia.”
More at the link…I don’t know, I just find it all very fascinating.
Coming up to the end of the thread…just a few more links.
These next two video embeds are from Facebook. If you cannot see them, just click the links I’ve provided:
She’s a 91-year-old practicing physician, granddaughter of a slave, and one of the first doctors to treat women with opioid addiction. #InternationalWomensDay
Activist Fraidy Reiss On Ending Forced Marriage In AmericaChild marriage is still legal in all 50 states — but this activist doesn’t want any girl to go through what she experienced
Speaking of Child Marriage. I wanted to share this letter/email I received from Rachana this past week. I am so honored to be connected to this woman. The plans are shaping up for her school for girls…and now they are getting down to the point where they can begin the fund raising.
Dearest JJI wish you a happiest day on this beautiful occasion of international women’s day. I wouldn’t lose this moment to think of women whose are special to me and who have potential to change the world. I’m blessed to be in touch with such an amazing, bold, creative, generous women over seas.I’m very grateful for what I have got and very optimistic for the future that will bring us together to fix things and fight for human rights.It’s been a long time I was trying to reach you out since my sister in law was in the hospital plans got changed.finally I managed to tell the things i was keeping in my heart.Hope you’re having good time there.Here i have a good news to share.Last week our team members have planed to open a kindergarten in Surkhet from May.The idea behind of opening a kindergarten1: provide childcare, good education2: to raise children in respectful, peaceful and in friendly environment.3: to generate young mothers, give them life skills, training, parenting skills and income opportunity4: to make healthy and happy livelihood5: to give second opportunity to child bride to continue their school and free time to set their carrier.6: to end violence against women and children.These are our goals to achieve from the small step towards changing the bad train by educating children and women.What do you think of It?I would like to invite you to Nepal someday to help in our plan. We need people to bring different ideas, methodology and strategies.For this difficult but beautiful missions we need money• To build the house• rent for the land• For furniture•For teaching materials• playing toys and children books• food and nutritionWe also need fund for organizing different events and activities for young mothers.What are your thoughts on this? Do you think can we make this mission as our mission? Can we be a part of this dream project? I feel there is something really connected with you. I get good vibes when I think of you.Could it be possible to donate us to make our dream come true?I’m passing this email holding my heart with big hope.I believe investing in education today will empower our next generation tomorrow.I wait for your responseOnce again happy women’s day.Cheers for us.Warmest thanks regards
It is thrilling to be a part of this movement in Nepal. I feel like this can be a chance to actually do some good and see it come to fruition. In a small village…for a small group of young girls, women and mothers. It will be an opportunity to give aid and watch the empowerment work through the daughters of this amazing corner in our world.
This is an open thread.
A world full of ignorant people is too dangerous…
-Paul Verrall from Born Yesterday
This is frightening:
Speaking at a GOP fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago Saturday afternoon, Donald Trump dropped a bombshell. First, Trump talked about the 2016 election, which he won but still can’t get past. He remains distraught over a “rigged system” and wonders why Hillary Clinton hasn’t been prosecuted, among many topics in a free-wheeling speech.
But his off-the-cuff remarks took a bizarre turn when he praised China’s President Xi Jinping for consolidating power and effectively making him president for as long as he wants. It’s an appealing idea to Trump.
“He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great,” Trump said. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.”
Pause and think about that for a second. What would possess him to say this out loud? This is scary territory. The remarks were closed to the press but a recording was obtained by CNN.
What the fuck, right?
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said he thinks President Donald Trump will and should have a Republican challenger in the 2020 presidential election.“I do think the President will have a challenge from the Republican Party. I think there should be. I also think that there will be an independent challenge,” the Arizona senator said in an interview for David Axelrod’s show…
More Tweets of note:
I know a lot of you are like me, overwhelmed at all the shit. Who knows, maybe it is just that we are not meant to be up in the morning…Check this out: Can’t get to sleep early? Science is on your side. – Vox
We live in a world that worships the early riser. Think of everything we’re told on the virtues of waking up early:
”The early bird catches the worm.”
”Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man… “ (Ben Franklin’s most famous saying).
”Nice of you to join us today” (snarky dictum of teachers and bosses everywhere).
The message is clear: Starting early is the way to get ahead; lateness is ugly as sin.
In 2016, I reported on the science of chronobiology, which finds we all have an internal clock that keeps us on a consistent sleep and wake cycle. But the key finding is that everyone’s clock is not the same. Most people fall in the middle, preferring to sleep around 11 pm to 7 am. But many — perhaps 40 percent of the population — don’t naturally fit in this schedule.
There are night owls among us — whose whole circadian schedules are shifted later — and morning larks, who are shifted earlier. These traits are determined by genetics and are extremely hard to change. What’s more, the research is finding that if we fight our chronotypes, our health may suffer.
But most striking to me wasn’t the health implications of messing with your clock. It was the stigma late sleepers feel in a society ruled by early risers. Simply put: These late sleepers are tired of being judged for a behavior they cannot easily control. If they can’t change their sleep patterns, maybe society should become more accepting of them.
Then there is a story like this to just get you so pissed off….There’s No Such Thing as ‘Consensual Sex’ When a Person Is in Police Custody | American Civil Liberties Union
On the night of Sept. 15, 2017, Edward Martins and Richard Hall, narcotics detectives with the New York Police Department, pulled over an 18-year-old woman and her two male friends for being in a park after dark. After finding marijuana in the car’s cup holder, they handcuffed the woman and told her friends to leave. The woman says that the detectives then put her in their unmarked police van with tinted windows and raped her as she cried and repeatedly told them “no.” Semen collected in a forensic evidence kit matched the DNA of both men.
In November, Martins and Hall resigned from the NYPD and currently face rape and kidnapping charges. Both pleaded not guilty. Their defense against these allegations is almost as disturbing as the crimes they are accused of. They claim that they had consensual sex with the woman while she was in their custody.
And here’s the thing: This defense might actually work because New York state law allows it.
Read the rest of it at the link…
Tonight is the Oscars…will you be watching?
Hope everyone has a good day and evening…this is an open thread.
For your consideration today:
— POLITICO (@politico) February 21, 2018
On the gun control fight….
But as students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida last week continue to speak out publicly against the NRA’s “blood money,” the gun-rights group has announced that it will send spokeswoman Dana Loesch to participate in Wednesday’s CNN town hall conversation with Parkland shooting survivors.
The move comes as the NRA appears to be attempting to dial down attention to the speech that longtime leader Wayne LaPierre is scheduled to give at CPAC later this week. Instead it is putting Loesch in the spotlight.
Just one week after surviving a massacre that killed 17 people, grieving students confronted Florida lawmakers Wednesday to demand a ban on assault weapons.
As they took up their fight in Tallahassee, students from Palm Beach to Washington walked out in solidarity — disgusted by yet another school massacre with no change in gun laws.
Here are the latest developments:
Go to the link to read the latest…
Here is something of interest, it is the National Rifle Association – Member Discount List this links to the state of Georgia…however, if you go to the page you can search for your own state’s discount list. Funny…one of the lawyers I used to work for is on the Georgia list. He used to tell me all the time, he was a “Christian” first. Hypocrisy at it’s finest.
You may remember this cartoon from last week…
This is an open thread.
Good Afternoon, Sky Dancers.
It’s another heartbreaking day in Trump world, in the GOP-controlled USA, where the ability to buy semi-automatic rifles is more important than the health and safety of our children. Why is that? Because the Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA. And Russia: let’s not forget that Russia is in bed with the NRA too.
It was recently revealed that the FBI is investigating the National Rifle Association to determine whether a Russian central banker, and Putin ally, illegally funneled money through the organization to help the Trump campaign.
These allegations have now prompted a complaint to the Federal Election Commission and an effort by Sen. Ron Wyden to obtain documents from the Treasury Department and the NRA. As shocking as other Russia-related revelations have been — attempts to hack voting machines, vast Internet propaganda, leaking of stolen campaign information — this allegation illustrates a problem of even broader scope. For legal consultation, contact Maryland birth injury lawyers.
Although much of the reporting on Russia has focused on whether there was “collusion” with the Trump campaign — a genuine concern — the investigation is also revealing another disquieting reality: that American democracy has a money laundering problem. On other law related article about accidents and injuries just visit Call 1800-Car-Wreck in Ft Worth, TX.
Both in their personal finances and in their campaign support, politicians are relying on money hidden to the public, money which threatens to make them answerable to interests beyond those of the citizens they represent. The only way to combat this problem is to start shining a light on the dark corners of our politics….
Moreover, in the case of the NRA, the FBI is now investigating whether illicit funds were spent in support of Trump’s political campaign. Wehave long warned that our broken system of campaign finance disclosure creates opportunities for foreign governments to illegally influence American elections, undetected.
The NRA is among the largest “dark money” organizations, reporting the greatest amount of campaign spending without revealing the source of the funds — over $35 million in the 2016 election cycle alone. Still, this amount was just a fraction of the over $175 million in reportedcampaign-related spending that came from unknown sources.
Could this explain why some Republicans who have spoken out against Trump (e.g., Lindsey Graham and Bob Corker) have suddenly switched to sucking up? Are they being blackmailed by Trump, the NRA, or Russia?
Here’s another article on the NRA and Russia by Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone: The Trump-Russia-NRA Connection: Here’s What You Need to Know.
The National Rifle Association spent tens of millions of dollars backing Trump’s presidential bid in 2016. The NRA endorsed Trump in May 2016. And the NRA disclosed it spent at least $30 million on Trump’s behalf and attacking Hillary Clinton. That level of support is unprecedented – more than twice what the NRA disclosed it spent on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential run.
The true sum the NRA spent to install Trump in the White House may be far higher. Campaign finance disclosures do not cover spending on unregulated Internet advertising or voter mobilization; citing two sources close to the gun group, McClatchy suggests the NRA may have spent upwards of $70 million on Trump’s presidential bid.
President Trump is clearly indebted: “You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you,” Trump promised the NRA at its 2017 convention. “I will never, ever let you down.” [….]
In the age of Citizens United and unlimited campaign donations, the NRA has emerged as an important “dark money” hub in Republican politics. Under its tax code designation, the NRA is a “social welfare” organization, largely exempt from disclosing its donors. To skirt disclosure, other big-dollar political players – including a SuperPAC linked to Karl Rove and a “chamber of commerce” controlled by the Koch Brothers – have routinely steered money into the NRA, confident that the gun group’s spending will advance the GOP cause.
It is illegal, however, for foreign money to be used to influence U.S. elections. According to McClatchy, the heart of the FBI investigation is whether the NRA became a conduit for Russian cash, linked to the Kremlin, that bolstered Trump.
Trump was the perfect candidate for Russia and the NRA, because he has no moral values whatsoever. He’s the culmination of the GOP sellout that began with the Southern strategy, grew with the acceptance of evangelical “christian” “values,” and reached peak evil by bowing down to Russia in 2016. There’s no hope for our country as long as Republicans remain in control of the government. We will continue to see mass shootings on an almost daily basis until we can get turn these NRA/Russia-controlled automatons out of office.
How many more times will we have to see scenes of children running for their lives and sobbing in their parents’ arms on our TV and computer screens? Writing about yesterday’s disaster in Parkland, Florida feels nearly unbearable; but I guess I at least have to post some articles about it. So here we go.
The New York Times: Death Toll Is at 17 and Could Rise in Shooting.
PARKLAND, Fla. — A heavily armed young man barged into his former high school about an hour northwest of Miami on Wednesday, opening fire on terrified students and teachers and leaving a death toll of 17 that could rise even higher, the authorities said.
Students huddled in horror in their classrooms, with some of them training their cellphones on the carnage, capturing sprawled bodies, screams and gunfire that began with a few shots and then continued with more and more. The dead included students and adults, some of whom were shot outside the school and others inside the sprawling three-story building.
The gunman, armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle, was identified as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who had been expelled from the school, the authorities said. He began his shooting rampage outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in this suburban neighborhood shortly before dismissal time around 2:40 p.m. He then made his way inside and proceeded down hallways he knew well, firing at students and teachers who were scurrying for cover, the authorities said.
By the end of the rampage, Mr. Cruz had killed 12 people inside the school and three outside it, including someone standing on a street corner, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. Two more victims died of their injuries in local hospitals. The aftermath at the school was an eerie shrine, with chairs upended, a computer screen shattered with bullet holes and floors stained with blood.
On Thursday, the authorities charged Mr. Cruz with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
“This is catastrophic,” said Sheriff Israel, who has three children who graduated from the high school. “There really are no words.”
Here are some words: let’s clean house of the blood-soaked Republicans who care more about their blood money than about democracy or our children’s lives. Then let’s pass some intelligent gun control laws so we don’t have to have any more bloody massacres in our children’s schools.
John Cassidy at The New Yorker: America’s Failure to Protect Its Children from School Shootings Is a National Disgrace. Following a summary of the events of the mass shooting, Cassidy writes:
On Twitter, President Donald Trump offered his “prayers and condolences to the families of the victims,” adding that “no child, teacher, or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.” Fox News interviewed Marco Rubio, Florida’s junior senator, who has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. “I hope people reserve judgment…. The facts of this are important,” Rubio said. As soon as the facts are clear, Rubio went on, “we can have a deeper conversation about why these things happen.” The forty-six-year-old Republican added, “It’s a terrible situation. It’s amazing the amount of carnage that one individual can carry out in such a short period of time.”
Yet some pertinent facts are already known. According to local police, Cruz was armed with an AR-15 assault-style rifle—the same type of gun that Adam Lanza used to kill twenty-six pupils and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in December, 2012. Evidently, Rubio still isn’t aware of the power of such weapons, which fire bullets that can penetrate a steel helmet from a distance of five hundred yards. When fired from close range at civilians who aren’t wearing body armor, the bullets from an AR-15 don’t merely penetrate the human body—they tear it apart. It “looks like a grenade went off in there,” Peter Rhee, a trauma surgeon at the University of Arizona, told Wired.
To spare the families of the victims—and the public at large—additional anguish, these sorts of details are often glossed over in the aftermath of mass shootings. But it’s surely long past time that we acknowledged these facts, and that we begin to more fully discuss the complicity of N.R.A.-backed politicians like Rubio, and Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, in maintaining the environment that allows these tragedies to happen again and again and again.
One of the first duties of any government is to protect its citizens, through collective action, from violent threats they’d otherwise have to fend off themselves. Even most libertarians accept this principle. But when it comes to mass shootings, the Republican Party falls back on constitutional arguments that have no proper basis in history, and it refuses to budge from this stance. Nothing can shift it—not Sandy Hook, not the Orlando night-club shooting, not the Las Vegas massacre, not weekly shootings in schools. (According to the Guardian, Wednesday’s attack in Parkland was the eighth school shooting this year that has resulted in death or injury.) Nothing.
That’s right. And nothing will happen this time. Absolutely nothing.
More reads, links only
The New York Times: After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings.
The Miami Herald: Florida school shooting suspect was ex-student who was flagged as threat.
The Daily Beast: Florida Shooter Made Sick Use of School’s Active-Shooter Drill.
That’s all I have for today. Please share your thoughts and links in the comment thread below.