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This is just a general observation after reading a few of the diaries posted this week about populism and "the race card." While it was inspired by the commentary I'm not thinking of anyone in particular that it applies to; although it is clear that it does apply in this community and not just in general. Any prick of conscience felt or lack thereof is one's own business.

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Sat Mar 07, 2015 at 12:27 PM PST

On the labeling of GMO foods

by tytalus

Consumer Reports published an article in the March magazine covering some FAQs about GMOs. I was somewhat surprised to learn that they support the mandatory labeling of GMO products, that people have the right to know.

While their answers don't demonstrate either safety or harm from eating GMO foods (instead, they show why we don't know), they do make a good case for the labeling of GMO foods, an issue that has come under heavy fire from the industries that produce and use GMOs and prefer the status quo of people not knowing what's in the food they're eating.

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Mon Jan 26, 2015 at 07:18 PM PST

Who Would Jesus Snipe?

by tytalus

"I'm no theologian, but..." -- Todd Starnes
Leave it to PZ Myers over at Pharyngula to find this gem, a video so ridiculous I had to perform a modicum of research just to make sure it wasn't a spoof. As if I needed any more reasons to give American Crusade -- er, sorry, 'Sniper' a pass, here's another: extreme (rawk on) xians reveling in our awesome armies sending infidels on a one-way trip to hell.

This does also make mention of Michael Moore and his right-wing critics, but beyond that, just the smug self-righteousness of these chickenhawk xian crusaders, just loving the dickens out of violence, death and eternal suffering.

This particular fellow is probably one of those types who believes he'll be up in heaven someday, with a nice view of all the people he doesn't like burning in hell. Because that is what represents paradise for some people. I used to wonder why it is I have heard and read so much more about hell than heaven...

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Sat Jan 03, 2015 at 10:05 AM PST

Who goes to bed with a gun?

by tytalus

Peachtree City police Chief William McCollom
Yet Another Responsible Gun Owner
Although this question was perhaps innocently posed by the hosts of Good Morning America, I imagine the gun enthusiast community can make a case for it. This in spite of a police chief in Georgia who claims he accidentally shot his wife in the back, in bed, while they were sleeping, as he (ahem) adjusted his beloved. The gun, that is.
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Tue Dec 23, 2014 at 03:00 AM PST

Don't tell me what you believe

by tytalus

The K of C. Growing up indoctrinated in a catholic family, of course I had some passing familiarity with the Knights of Columbus. Mostly, as a meeting hall I occasionally saw the inside of, or perhaps the basement, with its pool table and bar and TV, shooting pool while my relatives watched the game. At the time, I thought nothing of it.

Funny what happens, though, when an organization like the K of C grows so large as to have hundreds of millions of dollars to throw around. Interesting what happens, when a catholic-minded organization has that much of catholics' money to fool around with. What's a million here, or a million there going to social conservative causes?

Oh, and you better not miss the next spaghetti dinner/fish fry/pancake breakfast...

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Fri Oct 31, 2014 at 04:28 PM PDT

The value of pessimism

by tytalus

It's always sad to see a person fall into a funk of despondency over politics, especially from my point of view, where I generally expect the worst to begin with. Sure, it may be characterized as a sense of hopelessness, or that evil will prevail over good, but to me that seems a bit of a misnomer: it's hard to talk about "good" when the folks under consideration seem more like varying degrees of bad.

Besides. The eventual heat death of the universe and the siren call of oblivion would seem to settle such matters in due time. Is it ultimately all meaningless? A distraction from my inevitable demise? I suppose.

Anyway...I'm not too familiar with any possible partisan bias in the Phoenix paper, the Arizona Republic. My friends joke about the paper here in Tucson being the Arizona Red (Daily) Star, but that's Tucson. We do what we can to balance the wackiness from up north. Phoenix? Well, naturally I expect the worst. Take this interesting pairing of an attack on Democrats and the bemoaning of cynicism that followed...

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Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 01:37 PM PDT

Of goats and scapegoats

by tytalus

More relevant than you might think!
Here in Tucson, there's a certain degree of detachment from the extremity of our state legislature, from the likes of Jan Brewer. We have our share of problem children, though. Take for example this letter I saw in the paper during the week, which the editors titled "It's Christian to reject child migrants".

That someone would make such a ridiculous claim -- seriously -- make it -- wasn't what I found interesting, really. It was more the fact that the argument was not made via some scripture or somesuch. It was more along the lines of, it's christian because I am and I believe it. It's intriguing to contemplate the sort of mind that would call this reasonable.

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Mon May 05, 2014 at 07:58 PM PDT

It's all in the reflexes

by tytalus

Although this case may appear in GunFAIL LXVIII, it may be worth a moment's sorrowful remembrance for another gun owner moving from the 'responsible' column over to 'arrested for homicide.' Well, that or the 11-year-old boy who nobly sacrificed all of his rights and liberties so that the rest of America's innocents can enjoy their gun rights. For as long as that lasts.

The tree of liberty says please stop, it's drowning...

Hunter Pederson
Sorry, Hunter, society has failed you utterly
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Sun May 04, 2014 at 02:32 AM PDT

Cruelty is always attended by cowardice

by tytalus

To start this off, I've quoted James Wilson, one of our vaunted 'founding fathers,' revered like some kind of secular saints, even if the principles they stood for are often ignored by the same folks who claim to venerate them. Please forgive the source, the 'Bill of Rights Institute' appears to be run by fellows with Koch brothers ties; but in quoting their own material back at them, there is a point to it.

James Wilson lectured on justice and punishments, saying in 1791, “A nation [that tolerates] cruel punishments becomes dastardly and contemptible. For in nations, as well as individuals, cruelty is always attended by cowardice.” He argued that punishments should be swift, certain, and moderate in order to be effective and prevent further crime.
Unfortunately, this nation rightly stands accused of having become just that, dastardly and contemptible, tolerant of cruel punishments that are neither swift, certain, nor moderate.
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Fingerprinting, criminal background checks and licensing, and all it needs is Jan Brewer's signature. Oh, there'd be an armed revolt in Phoenix most likely, if that were really the case.

It's true that the lege passed a background check law. What's so dangerous here in Arizona? Healthcare, of course! And the lucky recipients of the new law, should governor Brewer sign it, are the navigators and counselors for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Meanwhile, Arizona Republicans continue to pass ridiculous laws concerning actually dangerous guns, like allowing gun enthusiasts to take their pets into gov't buildings as long as strict security measures aren't in place. Now, take a wild guess how strict the security is where the Republicans work.

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Sat Jan 11, 2014 at 09:52 AM PST

Partisan is the new liberal

by tytalus

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 28:  U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) listens during a news conference on a comprehensive immigration reform framework January 28, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A group of bipartisan senate members have reached to a deal of
I image searched for 'partisan'...
Now, I don't mean that only liberals are partisans, no. It's more the idea of partisan turning into a curse word, a pejorative. So much so that, even here, I've observed a pretty straightforward definition of the word be misinterpreted to be only negative.

Apparently I'm not alone in this sense of wonderment, as Mother Jones had an article up about the evils of partisanship on Friday.

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It's not exactly breaking news that gun enthusiasts oppose stronger gun laws intended to curb domestic violence and save lives. The NRA is on record, after all, fighting to keep guns in the hands of domestic abusers. More recently, the gun lobby has been busy arguing that women need guns to defend themselves, with one of them going so far as to claim feminists support Stand Your Ground laws.

Survivors of domestic violence, on the other hand, are taking time during this awareness month to testify before Congress in support of stronger gun laws. ThinkProgress interviewed one of these survivors about her personal experience, which doesn't fit the NRA script of armed women naturally resulting in righteous self-defense and safety.

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