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melquiades

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Target asks customers to leave firearms at home

So: I concede that a firearm in the hands of a responsible citizen could save the lives of innocent people and that mass shooters have not, so far, drawn down on innocents in places well-populated by armed and skilled professionals or even well-armed gatherings of private citizens.

But I find it impossible to deny that a firearm in the hands of anyone (responsible citizen, whacko, blind man with a tremor) could cost the lives of innocent people.

So, based on that, I am wondering why anyone would seriously consider or propose policy without a deep, dispassionate look at the statistics about guns and both crimes and accidents.

posted @ Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 15:34

District 3 commission contest is lone Athens-based race on runoff ballots

[quote][b]chockfullaquestions[/b] - She has shown a history of castigating those who seek compromise on difficult issues, she often takes strong adversarial positions without ever taking time to meet and personally question those she stridently opposes, she's shown herself capable of playing loose with information as factual when it's often not factual in order to push her agenda,[/quote]

Sounds like she's ready to run for National office

posted @ Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 09:21

Stossel: Time to chill on global warming

Actually, I think he makes some good points:

carbon-reduction technologies (other pollutions too) are expensive luxuries and have limited impact given the problem of chinese and other economies that are growing very rapidly and cutting those beneficial approaches...while maybe every little bit helps, its kind of frat in the wind while huge populations are playing economic catch-up

And, properly, he cites various improvements in pollution management as being of real benefit, for example in the rivers around New York...somehow he leaves out how difficult it was to pass these successes against the resistance of the very funding sources/network/party he works for.

However, all those idiots out there depending on the Fox news carefully politicized redaction of the ICC report, with its 17 year gap baloney, need to come to grips with the size of this problem. And, Mr Stossel, you might start with Typhoon Haiyan.

posted @ Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 10:16

Judge spikes photo ID requirement for Pa. voters

Certainly seems to me that a politician wanting to address a real problem with voting fraud, but still committed to the fundamental American principal of inclusive access to the political process, would:

a. provide convincing evidence of an actual problem
b. validate that the size of that problem justifies a proactive effort on the part of the state to assure that every qualified person can, and every unqualified person can NOT, vote

But the actual evidence, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, is that absentee balloting has a much higher rate of fraud and that the new laws have only one actual result: shifting voting patterns in favor of the sponsoring party (you know, the one that is always talking about family values while promoting corporate interests).

posted @ Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 06:59

Company files for bankruptcy after W.Va. spill

[quote][b]monkey_of_shame[/b] - It must be all big government's fault, corporations can do no wrong. Every con says so. [/quote]

I agree that one of the goofiest of right-wing platitudes is harping on government...however no one can miss the obvious challenge to your opening salvo: none have done so here this morning

posted @ Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 06:39

Kansas teen planning school shooting arrested

[quote][b]OCCountry[/b] - It is illegal for any 17 year old to posses a gun in any state, so where did he steal it from. Good news this was adverted.[/quote]

I don't think the first statement is factually true, else you've been might quiet about crimes occurring regularly in Oconee and Oglethorpe counties. Maybe OWNING is what you mean. In any case, the story as posted right now says nothing about a physical gun in the kids possession, just tangible evidence of an intent to murder. I am sure we all agree, though, that its good news that the intended crime was averted.

posted @ Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 13:07

Police: Shooting at middle school in New Mexico

Responsible gun ownership should be encouraged: I have no doubt it net decreases crime. Gun possession by others is a major problem: the laws and the police should not simply be obstacles at the point of public sale, rather the police should have broad powers to confiscate guns, even if only temporarily, on reasonable suspicion. Separate from all that, manufacturing should be controlled such that a) high-powered ammunition is available only in very limited quantities and circumstances b) high-volume capability (both weapons and their parts that can fire off many shots in rapid succession and also large personal stores of ammo) should be sharply curtailed.

The gun industry has way too much money invested the political world, and too many people spout mindless inanities in support of this: consider as idiot anyone that ever repeats:

'what part of the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed do you not understand?' --->remind them about the explicit statement in the amendment that says 'in order to maintain a well regulated militia'

'if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns': by that logic, we should make it legal to rob banks, murder people, go 100 miles an hour in a school zone. Of course, laws don't work perfectly, but it's not a reason to not have them

'the second amendment protects us from an oppressive or overreaching government': yeah, the biggest military/high-tech killing equipment conglomeration in the history of the world, you definitely are going to stop the government with your Glock...

posted @ Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 09:08

Thomas: Media going a political bridge too far

A. The bridge issue really ticked off a lot of people IN NEW JERSEY...it's been a headline object most of this week, and yes, Stewart and Colbert are having a field day calling Christie the former Republican front runner. But since the actions look really petty and the justification totally political, national voters, in both parties are seeing a little less gloss than they used to. I, for one, kinda liked Christie OK, but he's probably about as significant as that guy (democratic front runner, back a few elections??) was who howled on camera...silly but maybe final. So, sounds like a national new story for a few days.
B. tragic, but not even half the scale of the Battle of Wanat, which had immensely more forewarning. Political handling was kinda bizarre and about about as clumsy as Romney saying he had not paid less than 13% for ten years...but in the end, there wasn't much that could have been different, before, during, or after. Fox News spent thousands of hours trying to make it into a rallying point, but the hearings came and went and pretty much concluded like I just said: there wasn't much that could have been different, before, during, or after.
C. That was a real right wing propaganda victory in that in fact the low-level reviewers were ENTIRELY JUSTIFIED in resisting the tax-exemption claims being processed: the tea party (anti-government, anti-tax) trying to get some tax-exemption (see above) on the basis of being educational in nature? And again, in spite of thousands of repetitions of Fox innuendos about a larger conspiracy, there simple was no evidence of one
D. Yep, that's a really big one...kind of on the level of 'mission accomplished'

posted @ Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 17:18

Grantham reportedly leaving Georgia for Louisville

I am amazed at how often people mention (as this article does) NFL experience as though it were clearly an advantage for college football coaches. There are relatively few people who are notably successful in both environments, and for me the reasons aren't too hard to imagine:

1. In the pros, you OWN the players and can devise complex schemes that take years to master. In college, the kids are supposed to be students, full-time, and can only play 4 years, 5 counting a redshirt season. That, to me, was Grantham's biggest weakness: he was just to slow at coming up with an effective system he could actually teach in the college framework
2. NFL players have a LOT of advisory resources outside the team: agents, lawyers, the union. Steve Spurrier was fine as a flaming [filtered word] at Florida, brow-beating everyone and emotionally abusing anyone trying to play HIS position (QB)...but in the NFL, he just alienated a lot of grown-ups who, rightfully, expected to be treated like a major money-making asset
3. Pro systems aim at the margin between optimal and sub-optimal execution: it's not that complete bone-headed mistakes never happen there, but generally the ball and the players go pretty consistently where designed. In college, by contrast, excitement, jitters, inexperience make reacting to who-knows-what be a big factor: enthusiasm and emotional intensity are a bigger part of what good college coaches bring out in their players.
4. let's face it, they are kids at the college level. While they are sometimes only a little older when they hit the pros, they are practicing and playing with and against adult professionals: assuming a college and pro coach can exchange jobs is about like assuming that a third grade teacher and a seventh grade teacher can trade easily...

posted @ Monday, January 13, 2014 - 14:51

UGA climate scientist to take part in White House-sponsored online discussion

[quote][b]RightWingExtremist[/b] -
And instead of arguing the guy, you resort to argumentum ad hominem, as well as a cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy to boot.
If you would like, you could try to counter my assertion that global warming and cooling are symptoms of sunspot cycles via the Sun. Or will you insult my intelligence, too?
[/quote]

Your latin armament would seem more impressive if you weren't resorting to argumentum ad hominem as your complaint against my statement: the irony is just overwhelming.

As to your silly reference to sunspots: name a mechanism (with global warming, the basis is the fundamental chemistry of greenhouse gases, established without ambiguity in the 18th century), and some proposed evidence or study (for GW, the body of evidence is more than a hundred models, many hundreds of types of collected physical evidence, and 50 years of vigorously debated scientific publication, all the way up to the most prestigious journals Science and Nature) and I;ll be happy to evaluate it with an unbiased eye (I mean, not ignoring it simply because you otherwise sound insubstantial)

posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 - 17:50

UGA climate scientist to take part in White House-sponsored online discussion

the willful suspension of disbelief on the part of the right is scarily close to what happened in Nazi Germany. The oil companies (and especially the refinery magnates the Koch Brothers) are spending millions to foment the ludicrous theory that ten thousand climate scientists around the world, who live modestly and mostly don't speak the same native languages, are somehow motivated to make up stuff about a climate process which was already anticipated by 18th chemists. I agree: it's NOT a slam dunk what to do, if anything. But to go around parroting the inanities put out by Big Oil on their propaganda shills, like Fox News, without even READING INDEPENDENT MATERIAL is stupid to the point of being dangerous

posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 - 13:00

UGA climate scientist to take part in White House-sponsored online discussion

[quote][b]Athens_Rottweiler[/b] - Since the global temperature hasn't increased in over 17 years, I hope they are going to discuss the global warming reversal, or global cooling, that we now seem to be experiencing. If they were smart, they'd just say that global cooling is caused by burning fossil fuels.[/quote]

No they wouldn't, because that would be stupid. Intelligent people understand that, like the economy, climate is a very complicated system which also has a lot of randomness in it. But only stupid people act like when it doesn't behave exactly as predicted, that means you are wasting your time trying to manage it.

posted @ Friday, January 10, 2014 - 09:24

Young: Rather than fight inequality, seek opportunity

Having lived or worked or traveled abroad in a number of countries (India, Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia) I can say absolutely that based on my general impressions talking to people, reading their newspapers, etc:

No where in the world I have been matches the US in the extent to which big money rules, except Saudi Arabia and Colombia. Australia and Canada both were places where I saw government evaluating decisions impacted big businesses in one direction and the people as a whole in the other direction, and unlike the US, they pretty much told big business to suck it up

posted @ Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 11:31

Young: Rather than fight inequality, seek opportunity

Having lived or worked or traveled abroad in a number of countries (India, Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia) I can say absolutely that based on my general impressions talking to people, reading their papers, etc:

No where in the world I have been matches the US in the extent to which big money rules, except Saudi Arabia and Colombia. Australia and Canada both were places where I saw government evaluating decisions impacted big businesses in one direction and the people as a whole in the other direction, and unlike the US, they pretty much told big business to suck it up

posted @ Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 11:31

2 newspapers call for clemency for Edward Snowden

[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - @E.J.:
From time to time the Times will venture into real Journalism. I believe this surveillance of the American people is so over-the-top that even the most liberal are in fear. What is most concerning is that many conservatives approve of the intelligence gathering on a National Security basis even though it flies in the face of the Constitution.
[/quote]

Please name a few NY Times invalid, unretracted reports: I read them (not enough to have to pay, so right now I think that's < 5 articles a week, maybe a month?) and I find them to be factually scrupulous and (in strong contrast with Fox News) completely clear about what is news and what is opinion...

I do agree with your comments about who fears the surveillance and why: kinda quirky, role-reversal type of thing. But I don't particularly agree with the kind of leniency suggested in the media. I believe that our strong suit is as a nation of laws and due process. Therefore, this case, like any other, should be used to help clarify and strengthen the laws we have on the books and to alter or craft new ones (which wouldn't apply to this case unless specifically written to). Eraly on, Obama took a stand on whistleblower legislation and this case ought to be framed up in THAT context.

posted @ Friday, January 3, 2014 - 08:00

Riordan, Broad: It&#039;s no sin to be wealthy

This article has the seeds of truth: automation and off-shoring are the biggest reasons why labor is now a commodity and therefore laborers are getting less and less. And the education mantra is BS, in this context: why do we need to spend more on education in order to produce workers whose jobs are just one step (right now, anyway) above robots? BTW: there IS an answer to that, I believe, and that is that the purpose of education is to enable people to think and expand their world views so that most effectively achieve happiness and stability...but that's another topic.

This quote is so typical of the right wing/Republican shill:

We also need wealthy Americans to create those jobs.

The MARKET creates jobs, by creating demand. The investor class creates an imaginary and noble job for itself: creating jobs, driving innovation. But that is the most ludicrous of arguments. Imagine a space-invaders pushing a button and eliminating broad groups in society at whim. Kill the workers, pretty big delay while new workers are put in place. Kill the managers, gradual but immediate loss of productivity, as savvy people get put back in charge of complex, evolving processes. Kill the consumer, the shelves grow full of unprofitable products. Kill the investors: system doesn't skip a beat, lawyers get heavy in the action to command that power.

But what's our Republican legacy? The capital gains tax: hey dumb azz Madiosn county construction foreman: you worked weekends and long days to raise your income up, and paid LOTS more in taxes than the computer clicker who thinks he's smart because, in this round GHY did outgain PCVG, by a lot [even though studies have shown that chimpanzees are as good at playing the market as anyone else]. BUT you keep voting with'em because they talk about the things that tick you off, although nothing really changes about those. And the restructuring of the tax code into a less progressive form which is a moral outrage because: people making enormous volumes of money are dpending on MANY MORE roads, educated workers and consumers, legally safeguarded processes and everything else that tax dollars pay for: they are the top of the food chain and get the DERIVATIVES of everything below them....so fair would be paying a MUCH higher percentage.

Yep, we need to take back the truth: it's not the redistribution of wealth we need to achieve it's the REredistribution of wealth.

posted @ Wednesday, January 1, 2014 - 09:01

Atlanta nightclub owner fatally shot

So, the perps disabled the battery so the intended victim would be an easy target, and then some Samaritans came along and got in the way???

posted @ Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 08:58

Ambrose: Christmas challenges are war on common sense

This article falls into one of the principle categories of tripe: using anecdotes to frame up a supposed point, then never including any general information justifying how general the problem is, or why it should make its way higher on our list of important topics to work on as a society. The media of course, loves a cat fight: doesn't really matter which side does what goofy thing, if they think it's possible many thousands of eyes and ears will channel in on a topic, they are gonna put it fairly front and center.

But right here in Athens, I see lots of poverty, unemployment, lack of personal accountability, cultural division, jobs gone overseas, redistribution of wealth towards the investor class, and hypersexualized people of all ages, and spasmodic attention to what our politicians actually are doing...so if you think someone's decision somewhere to take a creche out of a tax-payer funded lunchroom is the most important thing for you to be worrying about right now, go ahead, take a number. I on the other hand, amd ready to let lots of other complainants slip in front of you.

posted @ Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 07:42

McManus: What is reasonable expectation of privacy?

Extraordinarily germane...personally, I at least halfway expect a tremendous backlash, where people suddenly realize that NOTHING they do on an internet-potential device is private, ever. We used to think we could whisper, and no one that we could not see, and personally assess, knew what we were saying. But now we have this insane sense that we can type something on a facebook site, and only those we choose[the whisper heard 'round the world], even if in Mahabaleshwar, can read it. Since this assumption is absolutely, invalid, there some learning to be done. And many internet-based businesses stand to make up the difference...

posted @ Monday, December 23, 2013 - 07:08

Johnson: Faith, politics and &#039;War on Christmas&#039;

Fox News, and much of the conservative mindset it caters too, is mostly about the same things: today's world is scary, changing a lot of things that were taken for granted in the past (which is not the same as true). But for all their repetitive blather, they seem to have utterly NO ability to open their eyes and see simple realities all around them. For example, darned tooting, Christmas is WAY different than when I grew up...but while I totally don't recall or care whether the school principal used this trite euphemism or that one when ending the fall term, I do remember clearly that there were NEVER stories about fights breaking out on Black Friday. And as a last minute shopper, I was used to most things being closed on the holidays so any number of hand-made gifts ended up in my santa-bag.

So, no kidding, Christmas has changed a LOT, and I don't need pundits to tell me this...but it's because the commercial world, spurred by endless, trivial demand on the part of we the people has taken a huge portion of the collective mindset. So, go ahead, keep listening to the Fox News parade of announcements about how them liberals have screwed this all up: but only a moron would actually believe it.

posted @ Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 08:53

Johnson: Faith, politics and &#039;War on Christmas&#039;

[quote][b]CJJ[/b] - Sweetie, get your thoughts together before you sit down to write. That way we'll have some idea of what it is you are trying to say.
[/quote]

talking to your self?

posted @ Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 08:39

Hacker, Hathaway: Beware the power of an unchecked president

I roundly agree with this article, although I would have reversed the order of the three recommendations: we will never have a congress that represents our (rather diverse) interests as long as there are candidates whose campaigns are funded out the wazoo by monied institutions. For example, our own Paul Broun, whose statements please some in our district and offend others, is most significant in the actual congress as the tool of the health insurance lobby, whose contributions (across state lines, no coincidence with respect to his bill) put him over the top campaign-wise.

posted @ Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 08:48

VIDEO: Newtown to release 911 calls from school shooting

@bredsouthern: inbredsouthern?

posted @ Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 22:22

Brown: Democrats moving America toward &#039;Hunger Games&#039;

Hmmm, yeah, demo president Clinton, great economic gains. R pres Bush: all in the tank. Dem Obama: rose up somewhat from the low that Bush achieved. But you're a useful idiot of you fall for that basic truth...right

We are headed for revolution and violence: there are not multiple versions of reality, just multiple filters. The democrats are limited, old-fashioned, and unimaginative...but the right is the same self-righteous, self-deceiving mentality that achieved the third reich and the imbecilic secession of the south precipitating the american Civil War.

posted @ Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 19:14

Grimes: Good news for U.S. from Middle East

[quote][b]Used2baFreeCountry[/b] - @cairopilots:
Yep.
About on the same par as Dupuy, but not as incoherent. . .
[/quote]

I notice that neither of you can make a statement stronger than "they're wrong" without an iota of supporting facts or arguments. But I can't say I recall ever hearing you say anything of substance.

As for the article: Both Syria and Iran are major on-going policy challenges...but the fact is we are seeing positive progress without either really spending money or killing anyone.

posted @ Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 18:24

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