Tuesday, November 14, 2017

WestCoastFredCalifornia is right

From WestCoastFredCalifornia from the comments in the New York Times. 

The most corrosive thing about guns in something that is almost NEVER discussed. It is what possession of a gun does to the INSIDE OF THE HEAD of the person carrying it.

With a gun in one's pocket, one becomes a self-styled arbitor of right and wrong. In EVERY interaction with others -- no matter how trivial -- one becomes an "enforcer" who always has the option of forcing his own way - his own opinion on what is right or wrong - upon others. It creates a feeling of superiority. A feeling that "I am the one who is good, and if I decide you are bad, I can blow you away."

The more time one spends carrying a gun, the more pervasive and penetrating this feeling becomes. It corrodes the way judges other drivers, the way one interacts with the waitress or check-out person, the way one parents, and certainly, the way one filters political news and events. That attitude is what creates the swaggering, smug arrogance that is so pervasive among gun owners. And in an unhealthy person, it can, and does, lead to an obsession. An obsession that can grow and grow - like any addiction - until the person becomes crazy enough to go out and act on the very fantasy that prompted him to buy the weapon in the first place: commit mass murders.

If you buy a people-mower-downer AR-15 or the like, it's because you are fantasizing about mowing down people.

Nov. 12, 2017 at 1:18 p.m.

The history of mass shootings

America.  We're number one!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

Thank you, Senator Chris Murphy

"The paralysis you feel right now — the impotent helplessness that washes over you as news of another mass slaughter scrolls across the television screen — isn’t real," wrote Sen. Chris Murphy.

"It's a fiction created and methodically cultivated by the gun lobby, designed to assure that no laws are passed to make America safer, because those laws would cut into their profits," the Connecticut Democrat continued.
Link from here.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Words of wisdom...

Quote from 'The Late Scholar' by Jill Paton Walsh (working with the wonderful characters Dorothy Sayers created of Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane):

"One of my colleagues in Birmingham University, where I come from,' said Trevair, 'is a moral philosopher. He taught me that one of the ways to judge a course of action is to consider what company it puts one in. I doubt if that's very good philosophy, but I find it a good rule of thumb." (109)

I think the GOP could use this about now....

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Las Vegas shooter was not alone....

"New theory suggests the Las Vegas gunman didn't act alone, but was assisted by 51 senators and 298 representatives."

Cowardly politicians, greedy NRA, indifferent rich people....

When politicians say it's too soon to talk about gun control, we need to say it's not this shooting we're talking about but the last one.... and the one before that.... and the one before that.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

Fighting Trump and White Supremacists

Mother Jones:
They may not be ready for the Ku Klux Klan yet, but as anti-white hatred escalates, they will.” 
That was Rachel Pendergraft, a spokeswoman for the political arm of the Ku Klux Klan (yes, this exists), talking last year about the way the Trump campaign was helping racist and white supremacist groups reach a growing audience. Mother Jones interviewed her as part of a big investigation, which found that these extremists were seeing Trump as legitimizing their once-hidden views. 
Hearing people like Pendergraft talking this way—taking off the hood, as it were—was shocking enough. But here’s what really stunned us in reporting out that story: Not only were extremists excited by Trump’s campaign. Not only were they using it to recruit on a scale they hadn’t imagined before. They felt that the campaign was signaling to them actively and deliberately—and the more we dug, the more we realized they were right.

Monday, September 04, 2017

He can't even fake it.

He doesn't know how.
In addition to the basic body language he keeps saying things like “Have a Good Time!” to people stranded in a shelter. Or, ‘it’s going great‘ to people who’ve just lost everything. Or, look at this huge turnout to people who … well, you get the idea. When it comes to acting human or compassionate it’s like the part of his brain governing that species of behavior has been removed. It’s like watching a person who has profound social awkwardness in a meet and greet situation at a cocktail party. It’s painful. But again, with Trump it’s not social awkwardness. It’s a basic, seemingly fundamental inability not only to experience but even to fake the experience of empathy or human concern. That additional part is what is remarkable to me.

How Trump got this way I have no clue. But it’s the behavior of a very damaged or emotionally stunted person.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Paul Krugman

Krugman would like to be optimistic that a bipartisan solution is possible, but he's not holding his breath. He concludes, "Republicans have spent decades losing their ability to think straight, and they’re not going to get it back anytime soon."

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Now this is how good ads are made...

Congressional campaign announcement video for retired Marine Lt. Colonel Amy McGrath (D) in Kentucky's Sixth Congressional District

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Republican wishes:

No automatic alt text available.
And after that, purging voter rolls, tax cuts for the rich, not having to talk to constituents, becoming rich.....

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


If you really want to decrease abortions, here's one common-sense way to do it.

All you have to do is copy what Colorado did. The state funded access to education, health services like Planned Parenthood, and long-term birth control access. From 2009 to 2014, teen pregnancy rates plummeted by 40%And abortion rates plummeted too — by 42%.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Keeping track of Trump

His first 100 days and what he hasn't done, or isn't doing, doesn't know how to do, or won't do even though he said he would.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

A moment of your time

A friend is taking Psych 80 and has to make up a survey. If you have a moment, could you take this? (2 minutes or so) I think it's to practice how to set up a questionnaire, word the questions correctly, and judge the outcome. Thanks!


Saturday, April 01, 2017

April Fool's Day

We don't need to think of jokes.  The biggest one is in the White House.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

David Kurtz of Talking Points Memo has a warning:

Perhaps the White House had planned all along for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to make an appearance at today's press briefing to rail against sanctuary cities. But the timing is consistent with what I've long feared will be the impulse for the Trump administration: When the going gets rough (failed Obamacare repeal, low poll numbers, etc), it will fall back on appeals to racism and xenophobia to regain political footing. 
With so much incompetence taking root, it's not difficult to envision a scenario where those base appeals must become more amped up, extreme, and scurrilous to be "effective." It threatens to turn into a vicious cycle the likes of which we've never seen in this country.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

March 15th

On March 15th, each of us will mail Donald Trump a postcard that publicly expresses our opposition to him. And we, in vast numbers, from all corners of the world, will overwhelm the man with his unpopularity and failure. We will show the media and the politicians what standing with him — and against us — means. And most importantly, we will bury the White House post office in pink slips, all informing Donnie that he’s fired. Each of us — every protester from every march, each congress calling citizen, every boycotter, volunteer, donor, and petition signer — if each of us writes even a single postcard and we put them all in the mail on the same day, March 15th, well: you do the math. No alternative fact or Russian translation will explain away our record-breaking, officially-verifiable, warehouse-filling flood of fury. Hank Aaron currently holds the record for fan mail, having received 900,000 pieces in a year. We’re setting a new record: over a million pieces in a day, with not a single nice thing to say. So sharpen your wit, unsheathe your writing implements, and see if your sincerest ill-wishes can pierce Donald’s famously thin skin. Prepare for March 15th, 2017, a day hereafter to be known as #TheIdesOfTrump Write one postcard. Write a dozen! Take a picture and post it on social media tagged with #TheIdesOfTrump ! Spread the word! Everyone on Earth should let Donnie know how he’s doing. They can’t build a wall high enough to stop the mail. Then, on March 15th, mail your messages to: President (for now) Donald J. Trump The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 It might just be enough to make him crack. Not my original post but someone else's great idea! Copy and Paste

Trump's few weeks in office

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


The Trump administration:

For all the talk about 'populism', what really imbues this White House is nationalism. But not just nationalism in a general sense which can have positive, communitarian aspects. It is a hateful and aggressive nationalism based on zero-sum relationships and a thirst for domination and violence. These are dangerous people.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Erik Prince and the power behind Mike Pence and the throne

And here comes the Praetorian guard, first hired to protect the ruler... then began to choose the ruler.

Mike Pence and the Republicans took the party of conservatism and morphed it into the party of nationalism, i.e., white supremacy. Groups which were previously "fringe" in the Republican Party, to wit the Nazis and the KKK, heretofore languishing and diminishing in numbers, found themselves in 2016 flourishing in a way unprecedented in this century and most of the last. There is a thread of commonality shared by the Nazis and the KKK, which is of course, white supremacy. The white supremacy theme is amplified and echoed by the Christian Supremacists, (or “evangelicals”) who also see the “traditional” white race, people of Northern European descent and with a bible in hand, as God’s Chosen People.
 Another point of ideology shared by the white supremacists and the Christian Supremacists is the idea of patriarchal superiority. The doctrine of the Christian Supremacists is the same, if not more pronounced, than the Nazis or the KKK where the “natural” role of the sexes is concerned. And the views on so-called deviant sexual behavior are identical in all three groups. The LGBTQ people are bad. Period. And heterosexual women choosing abortions or even inadvertently having miscarriages are circumspect as well. Sexual behavior is the main plank in the broad platform supporting the new Republican party and particularly the Christian alt-right under the loving guidance of religious fanatic Mike Pence and his friends and mentors in the evangelical/televangelical world. The need to control other peoples’ sexual behavior is the most emotional doctrine of the Christian Supremacists and fuels their drive for power.


Amongst themselves the evangelicals began to formulate plans to take over the government of the United States, no matter that the constitution clearly prescribes the separation of church and state. Flying in the face of both constitutional prescription and more importantly the tax exempt status enjoyed by churches, the evangelicals took their fat coffers and converted them into a “war chest” for all intents and purposes, so that the economic takeover of the Republican party by the evangelical sect of the right wing could be firmly set in place. Mike Pence found a major source of funding in a man named Erik Prince; and even found possible military support for his evangelical quest (should same ever be needed) in a purported “private security” outfit which was called “Blackwater,” which was founded by devout evangelical-family member and former Navy SEAL, Erik Prince. In point of fact, Blackwater operated as more of a mercenary militia group than as a security agency, as that term is generally understood.


Mike Pence sees himself as a crusader and he has sold this image to the evangelical alt-right -- "alt-right" merely being a whitewashed term for Nazi, nationalist, white supremacist views. The noxious brew of religion and politics which Mike Pence embraces is in fact the blend of one part white supremacy and two parts religious fanaticism. Both the nationalists and the evangelicals see Mike Pence as, literally, their great white hope. And only Erik Prince could tell you the full nature and extent of how he views Mike Pence or the role that Pence and Prince should play together in furthering the Christian Supremacist agenda and fighting for the “moral restoration of society,” as Prince’s father fought for, before him.