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Sat Oct 25, 2014 at 08:27 AM PDT

My take on Oregon's Ballot Measures

by Cedwyn

I love that Oregon has a referendum process whereby we the people get to vote on proposed laws.

This year is especially exciting because we get to vote to legalize weed!  Again.  If the same passle of grower assholes causes it to fail becsuse they think their profits will go down, I will hunt them down and stwike them woughwy.

Anyhoo, follow me below the fold if you care.

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Allow me, please, to present to you, in no particular order, some things that are not healthy for the Daily Kos community.

Thing the first:  not being factual.  For example,  here is the verbatim quote from Markos about the NSA thang:

   I don't give a shit

    Seriously, I just don't care.

    NSA spying is bad! So is stop and frisk. So is splitting up families by deporting children to countries they've never been to and don't speak the language. So is harassing American muslims.

    Government overreach is bad. But to act like having the government track who you call is the height of government abuse is a very white privileged view of the privacy issue.

    But as for Greenwald and Snowden? Seriously, I don't give two shits.

As evident in the quote, Kos' failure to "give a shit" is limited to Greenwald/Snowden and is not directed at the NSA abuses.

The emphasis in the quote is mine.  Yes, Kos described something as being a "very white privileged view of the privacy issue."  Again, emphasis mine.  So let's review, shall we?

Things Kos described as constituting a very white privileged view of the privacy issue:  acting like what the NSA was doing is the worst thing a government could do

Things Kos did not describe as constituting a very white privileged view of the privacy issue: what the NSA is getting up to.

In fact, he said the NSA spying is bad, but according to a lot of people, Kos doesn't think it matters, or doesn't care if it does.  Misconceptions like that enable risible notions along the lines of Kos has sold site member data to the NSA, which of course explains his alleged lack of shit-giving on the NSA issue.  It's all very nice and epistemic closeure-y, but it's, as I said, risible, not to mention straight-up CT.  Which brings us to:

Thing the second:  All this talk about how some people are here only to disrupt, etc., and are quite probably paid to do so, is nothing but toxic to this community.  It's divisive and beyond pointless.    

Whether or not there are people paid to comment here, for whatever reasons, couldn't matter less and here is why:

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Mon May 20, 2013 at 03:00 PM PDT

R.I.P. Ray Manzarek

by Cedwyn

Sad, sad day today.  On top of all the tornado devastation, Ray Manzarek has passed away.  

: (


Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 11:36 AM PDT

Don't Support Komen This Mother's Day

by Cedwyn

As you all know, Mother's Day is coming up; it will be here May 12th.  Yay moms!  And yay flowers!  But since it's "Boo Komen!," one must be careful in choosing their Mother's Day bouquets.  To wit, one must not purchase them from ProFlowers, because they are still blithely promoting their "Pink Ribbon Collection" merchandise, the proceeds of which are partially donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

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Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:27 AM PST

Getting Specific on Gun Control

by Cedwyn

Oy vey...the gun debate is going to make HCR look like a church picnic.  By virtue of the technical and constitutional questions involved, there are few issues in which clarity of purpose and precision in language are more important.  By that I basically mean any attempts at legislative remedies need to be exceedingly well defined and focused.  

Contrast, for example, DiFi's proposed AWB with the bill aiming to limit magazine capacity.  One is clean and straightforward, with a chance of success; the other is riddled with vagaries, exceptions and grandfather clauses, appears to violate the constitution, and would likely end up facing legal challenges and injunctions while gun deaths continued apace all the while.

So what is a gun control proponent to do?  Push for measures that would actually be effective and could get out of Congress, like DeGette's, or better still, repeal of the Tiahrt amendment language pertaining to gun trace data.  If the goal is to keep guns out of the wrong people's hands, there are few things more immediately effective than properly equipping BATF to do its job, like appointing a director, funding the agency, and stop kneecapping BATF's efforts at prosecution.

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Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 07:39 AM PST

Gun Control vs Social Security

by Cedwyn

How's that for a sacred cow cage match, hey?  But why am I even putting them in the same sentence, let alone presenting them as in direct conflict with one another?

Well, in a word, it's about priorities, as in what is more important:  affecting an assault weapons ban or protecting Social Security and other safety net programs?  We on the left need to decide where we want to spend political capital, on what and when.  Why on Earth would I say such a thing?

Because of current realities meeting historical trends; the picture painted ain't a pretty one.

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Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:33 AM PST

The Thing About Social Security

by Cedwyn

We've heard it from all the major pols:  Social Security does not contribute to the deficit.  So why is it even being mentioned in grand bargain-type talks?  That would be because Social Security has a deficit problem of its own, unrelated to the larger debt question.

According to the SS Trustees, Social Security will not be able to meet its obligations beyond 2033. They are already taking in less in non-interest income than they pay out.  They currently make up for that shortfall by cashing in securities they invested in in time of surplus.  That savings will be depleted in 2033, just about the time Gen X goes into retirement.  If no modifications are made to SS's financing structure, Gen X will only see 75% of their benefits.

Here is the Trustees' report.  Yes, it's based on projections, and they do revise it from time to time as warranted.  The last revision bumped the depletion date up by three years.  Anyhoo, the Trustees' own words:

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Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:22 AM PST

Solutions We Can All Agree On

by Cedwyn

The cold, cold comfort coming out of Newtown is that at least the country seems a little more ready and willing to address the question of (gun) violence.  It's a national dialogue that's been a long time coming; now that we have this tremendous opportunity, what should we do with it?

One approach, obviously, is to focus on guns.  DiFi is waiting and ready to introduce an assault weapons ban once Congress returns.  But what about other solutions?  I say we focus instead on remedying the social ills that lead people to commit acts of (gun) violence.  This is what I mean by "solutions we can all agree on."  Let's take this golden opportunity to do a full-court press for the progressive policy solutions we all love and want:  properly funded education, a strong social safety net, e.g. anti-poverty measures, and providing for mental wellness.

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Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:01 AM PST

"Regardless of the Politics"

by Cedwyn

President Obama made this statement at his presser following the Newtown shooting yesterday:

And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
Of course, he is absolutely right; we should take meaningful steps to solve the issue of gun violence.  The problem is, he is the only one who would be left unscathed by pursuing remedies "regardless of the politics."  He has no more re-elections to worry about, but I'm not so sure how our Dems in Congress might fare should the party pursue and pass laws restricting gun access/use/licensing, etc.

But what if there were a way to address the issue such that "regardless of the politics" posed a danger to no one?  I say there is:  we should be using this opening in the gun control debate to demand a stronger social safety net and prevention programs.  Because this is not about guns; it's about what drives people to embrace violence as a solution.  Violence is ultimately a function of despair; when people feel empowered and have hope, the less they resort to extreme measures. When people feel they have no voice and no control over their fate, desperation sets in.  Fewer people reaching that point means fewer Columbines, VA Techs (my alma mater; I worked in the building involved), and Newtowns.

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Okay, wow.  If current headlines are any indication, one would think we were right back at the grand bargain hoopla of yore, as though we'd entered a wormhole or something.  So, in the spirit of "when in Rome..." I present to you, in no particular order, some headlines and stories that ceased being news a long time ago.

Here is Harry Reid in March, 2011:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) has consistently denied there is an immediate Social Security crisis, and, therefore, he says won’t consider Social Security reform. He was at it again yesterday:

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) has consistently denied there is an immediate Social Security crisis, and, therefore, he says won’t consider Social Security reform. He was at it again yesterday:

    “Two decades from now, I’m willing to take a look at it,” said Reid, 71, in an interview to air Wednesday evening on MSNBC. “But I’m not willing to take a look at it right now.”

    Reid’s remarks may well signal a death knell for hopes that lawmakers might be able to accomplish Social Security reform this Congress.

He made similar remarks in September, far predating last week's headlines.

Harry was right then; have we any reason to doubt him now?

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Hopefully with Steven D's forgiveness, I am re-posting his diary from earlier, because really, seriously...there is no subject matter more important or more deserving prominence today of all days.  Why, because of this, and this and this:

So, without further ado, there is a simple online tool created by The League of Women Voters to locate your polling place anywhere in the United States at the following website:

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Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 04:31 AM PST

Diary That Needs to be Rec'd

by Cedwyn

that diary needs to sit atop the rec list all day today.  i can think of just about no story that could be as important as this info today.

remember:  this place isn't read only by us.  the rec list isn't only for us, the dkos community, or us as individual kossacks.

so please rec this diary that is chock full of useful infoz:


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