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I needn't repeat all the outraged commentary on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The sooner we all stop mourning and start thinking of how to constructively respond, the better.

So here's my idea ...

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Are you going to do something like this if you've got the time and there's a Hobby Lobby near you?

68%164 votes
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| 241 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:32 PM PDT

GunFAIL in American history

by Daniel Case

BLOOMINGTON, IL, 12/30/1912: Police are investigating an accidental shooting that killed a teenage girl. According to early reports a group of teens at a party had watched one of them, recently returned from military school, demonstrate the manual of arms with a rifle in the home. After he had finished, a 12-year-old present attempted to perform the drill himself, thinking the weapon was unloaded. However, a round remained in the chamber, and it discharged, striking the girl in the forehead.

You might not guess who this boy grew up to be ...

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How much should the 12-year-old Adlai Stevenson II have been held accountable for his reckless behavior with a gun that cost Ruth Merwin her life?

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| 10 votes | Vote | Results

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I have sometimes suggested in comments on David Waldman's weekly GUNFail posts (current one) that we could reduce these accidents and the attendant injuries and fatalities by just making and airing some quality PSAs reminding people about basic gun-safety rules like "all guns are always loaded all the time", rules that, RKBA advocates would have you believe, automatically download themselves into the central nervous system from the gun handle when you pick it up.

Well, someone else, the people at States United to Prevent Gun Violence, thought so too. They teamed up with the people at Grey Advertising and animator Yves Geleyn (creator of "The Bear and the Hare" for John Lewis last Christmas) to create this chillingly effective spot, "The Monster is Real"

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Do you think this will be seen by people who could benefit from it?

22%13 votes
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| 59 votes | Vote | Results

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Here in the Hudson Valley, we are especially mourning the death of Pete Seeger. I had the honor of meeting him once or twice, and he just seemed ageless, old though he was. He also struck me as pleasantly modest and unassuming with anyone he met, given all that he had done in his life and all the deserved veneration heaped upon him. When I remember him, he will always be in Beacon's Riverfront park at a community event, where he was the last time I saw him, over a decade ago.

Sometimes you can sum up everything someone is or was in a single anecdote about them. I have one for Pete that always made an impression on me. Even though it happened to someone else.

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Were you surprised by how this story turned out? Did you really expect Pete's concert to go over so well with an audience of a thousand hardened criminals?

89%34 votes
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| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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Today is 41 years after Roe v. Wade and, The New York Times tells us, abortion is just as much in political play as ever. And usually because new restrictions have been proposed by the Republican majority in one state or another. Meaning, as usual, those of us on the pro-choice side have to play defense, which gets to be tiring after a while (and don't think the antis don't know this).

More recently, there have been exceptions, where we've seen governments expand access to abortion (or try to). And these are, no doubt about it, good things. But these have been in places like California, or my home state of New York, where there are strong pro-choice majorities anyway (and even in New York, that bill couldn't pass the State Senate, although I expect that will change by at least the next redistricting when it will no longer be mathematically possible to slice up the state 64 different ways and still produce a Republican majority, and no one in line to lead a Democratic majority by then will have a corrupt past/present waiting to blow up on them (So I hope).

This accurately reflects that Americans as a whole are still sort of conflicted about the subject. Barry Goldwater, whose wife Peggy was very active in Planned parenthood of Arizona (he himself had a libertarian "personally opposed but don't think it's the government's business" position, which in his later years in politics a Republican could still get away with), wrote as much in his memoirs, that "the American people really want to have it both ways about abortion." It came out only ten years after his death that, in fact, he had helped his daughter get an illegal abortion back in 1955.

And I think part of it is because we on the pro-choice side have always had to play defense. Since Roe gave us what we thought we'd have to struggle years for (compare with the civil rights movement before and marriage equality now), we've never really needed to come up with any new ideas, just defend what we already have. And we can all see where that's led us ... the worst of both worlds.

I think the American people really would like to see an end to the abortion debate, but not an end to abortion. In the absence of anything that would accomplish the former, too many swing voters go along with those who advocate the latter (for whom, it always seems to everyone else but themselves, the repeal of Roe is like c—it's impossible to actually get to it, but at prohibitive cost you can get real close.)

And they wonder why we don't do anything. Because deep down inside, they want us to make the move that ends the abortion debate. Another Greatest Generation personage who is no longer with us, Andy Rooney, said, both in print and on TV that while he was against abortion personally, he liked the people for it (well, as we all know, we're not so much "for" abortion as for allowing it) much more than the people against it. I think he was speaking for a lot of people, a lot more than even he realized.

And I think it's time that we realize that we can ... end this destructive conflict.

My gamechanging proposal below the fold ...  

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Do you think this could actually get passed somewhere in the United States?

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| 36 votes | Vote | Results

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You've probably heard the gun lobby successfully oppose safe-storage laws meant to keep firearms away from young children with two talking points:

1) too few children die from negligent-discharge accidents each year to justify infringing the Second Amendment rights of Responsible Gun Owners this way, and
2) most of the children that do die from the negligent discharge of firearms die when criminals are the ones negligently discharging firearms.
Accidental Gun Deaths Undercounted
Those of us who regularly read David Waldman's weekly GunFAIL diaries were finding both of those harder and harder to believe, if we ever did.

And now, after Michael Luo and Mike McIntyre at The New York Times got into the drawer where the statistics were kept and started playing with the data, well, #1 is being loaded onto the ambulance and #2 is lying face down in a pool of blood at the scene.

Join me below the fold.

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He was too embarrassed to call the police himself and asked his assistant to make the call instead. Dave Evans, a staffer for Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-110, left his loaded gun behind in a Capitol bathroom while he was taking a dump.

Missouri Capitol Building, Jefferson City, Missouri
No harm was done—another staffer found the gun and brought it to the police.  
Tom Smith, Speaker Jones’ chief of staff, says Mr. Evans will have to take a gun-safety course, even though he already was legally carrying a concealed weapon.
Everyone in Jefferson City, Missouri can thank that staffer for using common sense and doing more than the minimum required by Missouri law. It is shocking that Missouri
does not require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to the police. Even more shocking is the fact that, as of 2010, only seven states have passed laws requiring lost or stolen guns to be reported to the police, (MI, OH, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA).

When Hillsborough County, Florida, Deputy Luke Hussey did the same thing at a movie theater three months ago, he was demoted and suspended by his boss, Sheriff David Gee.

The 13-year veteran of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office was off-duty and celebrating Father's Day on June 16 when he left the loaded 9mm Glock pistol with a 10-round magazine filled with bullets on the toilet dispenser in a Tampa theater bathroom
Two guns left in a public bathroom. One carrier, a sworn sheriff's deputy, has to take a bite or two of a huge shit sandwich. The other, whose job does not require him to carry, a man working in a building with ample professional armed security already, has to take gun-safety classes. Two very different punishments for the same offense.

And if you think sloppy civilian gun owners get off easy compared to sloppy cops, you should consider what happens to soldiers who lose their guns.

Join me below the fold.

Poll

What penalty should Dave Evans face for leaving his loaded handgun in a public restroom in the Missouri Capitol Building?

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| 58 votes | Vote | Results

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Driving south on the New York State Thruway tonight in Ulster County, I spy ahead of me a blue Prius with a Virginia vanity plate: DLYKOS, and McAuliffe and Herring bumper stickers. Driver was an older white guy, with a woman in the passenger seat of indeterminate ethnicty due to he hat and sunglasses she was wearing. Is this anyone here?

I'm the grey Honda Civic that passed you shortly before crossing Rondout Creek, and you returned the favor at about the Wallkill River (nice symmetry here). Then I had to pass you again to get off at New Paltz, and I think you saw me give you the thumbs-up as you passed me again, which I think you realized I was doing.

Anyhow, just thought I 'd put it out there in case you missed it. Not every day you see that on a vanity plate.

Discuss

http://www.explosm.net/...

I think that sums it up.

Discuss

Apart from the questions about how much Scientologist dogma has been sneaked into After Earth, another reason to be leery of the film has emerged: its metanarrative.

The film (which I probably won't be seeing in any event, unless I happen to chance across it while scanning channels) isn't really about Scientology. The real story is how it came to be, a story of the rich growing richer and making sure the money stays in the family. Literally.

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Since it hasn't gotten notice here, I want to note the passing of Dr. Henry Morgentaler in Toronto, a few months past his 90th birthday. All his obituaries remembered him best for what he fought for most his life for: the legalization of abortion on request in Canada. South of the 49th (or, in my part of the country, the 45th) parallel, we should take notice because it reminds us just how fortunate we were in our effort to do the same thing—and how much we still need to do to make reproductive freedom a practical reality.

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Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 07:23 AM PDT

Sarah Palin attacks Elon Musk

by Daniel Case

Hadn't seen this here so I thought I'd post a quick diary about it.

Apparently Snowflake Snooki used the announcement that Fisker Automotive of Anaheim, CA, is laying off three-quarters of its workers despite a federal loan to help it build a plant here for yet another rant about Obama's crony capitalism.

But she didn't stop there.

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