Perhaps summary ex-communication is better than summary execution. Yet either can happen with such speed. One day you are the darling revolutionary and the next you’ve defied the revolution. Or put another way, your own revolution revolts against you. Such was the fate of “Second Amendment fundamentalist” Dick Metcalf. And Robespierre. Metcalf’s crime was writing a column that opened with this:

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Note carefully: Those last four words say, “shall not be infringed.” They do not say, “shall not be regulated.” “Well regulated” is, in fact, the initial criterion of the amendment itself.

The column goes on to make even more sense. For gun enthusiasts nuts this wasn’t just an innocent fart in church. This was a career ender. After a huge reader and advertiser backlash, Metcalf was kicked to the curb and his editor fell on his sword (or ate his gun for a modern metaphor) by retiring a few weeks earlier than planned.

By posting this, some readers will assume that I’m in favor of repealing the Second Amendment and determined to take their guns away. Until more people join the debate I’m afraid these are the only voices being heard. For all the gun lobby’s abhorrence of regulations, they regulate themselves rather well.


Categories : Gun Control, Media
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Jan
05

Sunday Morning Music

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Jan
03

Battleground NC

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No, John Travolta is not the star. But YOU are.


Jan
03

Friday Open Thread

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Wasn’t yesterday Monday?


Categories : Open Thread
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Wow! That’s terrific bunny …

Federal judge strikes down Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s welfare drug testing law

A federal judge in Orlando, Florida ruled Tuesday that the state’s law requiring drug tests from all applicants for public assistance is unconstitutional. According to the New York Times, Judge Mary S. Scriven found that the law — Tea Party Gov. Rick Scott (R)’s signature piece of legislation — violates the U.S. Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

“The court finds there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied,” Scriven wrote.

South Korea: Rail Workers, Repression and Resistance

In South Korea, no one can hear you scream. Workers have the right to organize, just not the right to do anything with it.

As the strike dragged on -soon becoming the longest rail strike in Korean history -the repression intensified. On December 17, police raided the headquarters of the Korean Railway Workers’ Union (KRWU) in search of top leaders to arrest -but found none. Instead they confiscated office equipment. including disk drives and confidential documents. Two days later, they carried out similar raids on union offices in four other cities.

Frustrated by their inability to locate the union leaders, police then besieged the headquarters of the KCTU, where they believed the railway workers’ leaders had sought protection. Trade unionists formed a defensive cordon but eventually riot police charged the building, smashing down glass doors and firing pepper gas, causing several injuries. There were reports that some of the trade unionists responded with improvised water cannon.

On Christmas, Republicans Quietly Declare War on Themselves

The news came in the Wall Street Journal, where the Chamber of Commerce disclosed that it will be teaming up with Republican establishment leaders to spend $50 million in an effort to stem the tide of “fools” who have overwhelmed Republican ballots in recent seasons. Check out the language Chamber strategist Scott Reed used in announcing the new campaign:

Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates… That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.

Good luck with that.

The primary NSA issue isn’t privacy, it’s authority

Government’s access to that data must be determined, in turn, by a separate and much more stringent set of laws born of the principles set forth in the Bill of Rights and built with the knowledge that government has the means to use our information against us, in secret. Does theNSA’s mass collection, analysis, and use of communications metadata violate the Fourth Amendment? I think it does because it acts as surveillance over innocent citizens, treating all of us as criminals in government’s dragnet without probable cause or due process. Or as Jay Rosen puts it: “My liberty is being violated because ‘someone has the power to do so should they choose.’ Thus: It’s not privacy; it’s freedom.”


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Dec
29

Aquapalypse Now Redux

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Rep. Tim Moffitt’s legislation to terminate (with extreme prejudice) the city’s control of its water system is in the courts. So it’s been quiet lately. Still, file this away for future reference. If things don’t change in Raleigh soon, you might need it.

This report from Europe is from last March, but does this sound familiar or what? [Emphasis mine.]

The European Commission has in recent weeks gone on a PR offensive in response to growing criticism of its pro-privatisation agenda for the water sector …

Read More→


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Dec
29

Sunday Morning Music

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Mother Falcon, from 2013: The Year In Tiny Desk Concerts


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Categories : Education, National
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Dec
27

Friday Open Thread

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This from Charles Lenchner at dKos:

A new report published by a German think tank is worth looking at. World Protests 2006-1013 doesn’t contain any major surprises, but our communities should take a look. The short version: citizens are angry at the world’s elites. More of them are taking to the streets. And increasingly, the protestors are sophisticated enough to place a finger on the lack of real democracy because of unaccountable corporations and multinational institutions.

Your next, big chance to participate is February 8, just down the road in Raleigh. Lots of your friends will be there.


Categories : Open Thread
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Dec
26

Tim Muppet

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