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Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:40 PM PST

Melt the guns, now.


Many of us here are familiar with the 80's UK band XTC and their simple yet highly emotional plea of a song: "Melt the Guns".  I've heard the song hundreds of times, beginning right when it first came out in 1982.
Through the numbness of this past week I finally pulled it out for yet another listen the other night.

What struck me rather strongly in lieu of Newtown was hearing the song's climactic "rap" where America is scolded for its insane embrace of guns and violence- it's depressingly accurate in a Sartre, No Exit, nauseating way:

I am speaking to the justice league of America.
The u. s. of a. Hey you! Yes you! Yes you! in particular.  
When it comes to the judgement day and you're standing at the gates in your weaponry.
You dead go down on one knee, clasp your hands in prayer and start quoting me
'cause we say...    
We  say:
'Our father we've managed to contain the epidemic in one place now.
Let's hope they shoot themselves instead of others help to sterilize the race now.  
We've trapped the cause of the plague in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And if you listen quietly you can hear them shooting from grave to grave.'
Yikes.  Ugh.  It's all true.  In this respect we are truly the scourge of the earth.

Melt the Guns.  As good advice now as it was 30 years ago.  
And even if the lyrics are too depressing the music is still pretty good:

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OK. Sorry but: The conflict of interest represented by Susan Rice's $300-600k holdings in Trans-Canada tar-sands XL Pipeline interests make her absolutely toxic to this Democrat as a candidate for Secretary of State.  In fact, I feel things are such a mess because of this that I now believe Hillary must remain SoS until 2014 so that John Kerry can finish out his current term and help his heir step in to keep his Mass. Senate Seat Democratic before he then moves on to the Cabinet post he really wants.

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You know it's bad for the GOP when you open up your NYTimes and read this:

In October 2010, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, famously told The National Journal, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” And that’s how he and his party acted.

Well, Mitch, how’s that workin’ out for ya?...

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This is what happens when the Bush/Cheney/Romney/Halliburton version of government is in charge:

Pennsylvania Report Left Out Data on Poisons in Water Near Gas Site

Published: November 2, 2012

.... In a deposition, a scientist for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection testified that her laboratory tested for a range of metals but reported results for only some of them because the department’s oil and gas division had not requested results from the full range of tests.

The scientist, Taru Upadhyay, the technical director of the department’s Bureau of Laboratories, said the metals found in the water sample but not reported to either the oil and gas division or to the homeowner who requested the tests, included copper, nickel, zinc and titanium, all of which may damage the health of people exposed to them, according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

Ms. Upadhyay said that the bureau did not arbitrarily decide to withhold those results. “It was not requested by our client for that particular test, so we did — it is not on our final report,” she said in a deposition on Sept. 26.

 So you got that?  You have to know what you're being poisoned with or they simply won't tell you!  However, this is not to excuse Ms. Upadhyay from her ethically challenged decision to remain silent on the presence of toxic metals in someone's drinking water.

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You know it's all over for Scott Brown when he takes to the streets of Boston with America's most famous NY Yankees fan: Rudy Giuliani

With the election just days away, US Senator Scott Brown campaigned in Boston’s North End Friday with former New York City mayor and fellow Republican Rudy Giuliani. Their visit drew a large crowd of supporters, who accompanied Brown down Hanover Street, chanting “Go, Scott, go!”
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UPDATE:  OK it's been cancelled.  However, I stand by my characterization that this was the 99% (first responders, storm victims et al...) winning a battle against the 1% (Bloomberg and the corporate sponsors).  If you are with me rec this dairy.  It's about the 1% BEING OUT OF TOUCH!
Looks like the backlash against holding this year's marathon has grown to the point that they may very well cancel it due to the protests that seem to be growing against it.  And I am writing this as a New Yorker AND a marathoner.

Why do I say it is a privilege of the 1%?  Well, first of all, this year's entry fee ballooned to $266.  $358 if you are not an American citizen.   Furthermore, the sad truth about running, especially training for marathons, is that it is a very selfish and self-centered activity.  Only full time athletes, or folks leading very comfortable, economically stable lives have both the time and resources to participate.  Only clueless 1 percenters like Mayor Bloomberg or NYRR CEO Mary ($500,000/yr) Wittenberg would insist on running it amidst NYC's current conditions.  Apparently they have given little thought to the fact that while the race starts in Staten Island, (where Sandy has claimed 20 New Yorkers), it does so with the runner's backs to the island- leaving the borough both literally and symbolically behind.

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I see little mention of this phenomenon in many of the diaries here, (although I know it is common knowledge amongst our expert diarists, including FishOutofWater who has posted an excellent diary) but that is one of the main reasons why the low pressure of a hurricane is so dangerous:  the low atmospheric air pressure of the storm is physically lifting the level of the ocean beneath it.  This is in addition to the added heights of wind driven waves and precipitation in the air, etc...

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As usual the NYTimes has absolutely nailed a very inconvenient (for Republicans that is) political truth in this morning's editorial: The ‘Moderate Mitt’ Myth

...The best way to judge candidates is not by the popular way they describe their plans near the end of a campaign; it is by the most divisive presentations of themselves earlier on. A candidate’s political calculations when fewer people are watching is likely to say far more about character than poll-tested pleasantries in the spotlight.

That’s what is disingenuous about the “Moderate Mitt” in recent speeches and the first presidential debate. He hasn’t abandoned or flip-flopped from the severe positions that won him the Republican nomination; they remain at the core of his campaign, on his Web site and in his position papers, and they occasionally slip out in unguarded moments...

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Scant Oversight of Drug Maker in Fatal Meningitis Outbreak (NYTimes)

...some doctors and clinics have turned away from major drug manufacturers and have taken their business to so-called compounding pharmacies, like New England Compounding, which mix up batches of drugs on their own, often for much lower prices than major manufacturers charge — and with little of the federal oversight of drug safety and quality that is routine for the big companies.

“The Food and Drug Administration has more regulatory authority over a drug factory in China than over a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts,” said Kevin Outterson, an associate professor of law at Boston University...

Was it Republican sponsored deregulation?  That's not a certainty, but there is this:
The F.D.A. did develop a clear set of rules for compounding, but subsequent litigation that culminated in a Supreme Court decision in 2002 struck them down,
Now, while that would be the Scalia/Rehnquist court, in fact the decision in Thompson v. Western States had Souter joining the evil 5, with Rehnquist actually leaving them in support of Breyer's dissent along with Stevens and Ginsburg. Not sure of the legal questions therein, but no matter:


32%21 votes
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Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 07:11 AM PDT

I did good


a lot of good.

I testified in court this week and helped a priest sex abuse victim win a major settlement against the church. He was awarded half a million dollars.

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It's getting dizzying keeping up with Scott Brown's version of reality, and to add to today's hilarity, this Boston Globe article is quite hilariously written:

First, it was kings and queens. Now, it is heads of state — and the secretary of state.

During a CNN interview that aired Tuesday, Senator Scott Brown said that President Obama and other powerful Democrats are regularly phoning him to get help passing their legislation...

“I can name a litany of Democratic-sponsored bills that I’ve done that never would have passed hadn’t it been for me,” Brown told CNN. “And the president had called me, and vice president calls me, and Secretary [of State Hillary Rodham] Clinton calls asking for my vote all the time.”

In reality, Brown’s staff says he has spoken by phone with Clinton just twice during his Senate career — most recently over a year ago, on July 5, 2011.

The other call occurred in December 2010, when the Obama administration was seeking votes to pass the New START Treaty.

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An architect has died.


Boston City Hall

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