Monday, June 27, 2016

Protecting your family with a gun

PZ Myers puts this so well that I'm just going to post what he said:
Christy Sheats posted this on her facebook page last March.
It would be horribly tragic if my ability to protect myself or my family were to be taken away, but that’s exactly what Democrats are determined to do by banning semi-automatic handguns.
You know exactly where this is going, right? Sheats is dead, shot by the police after she refused to drop that handgun, after she’d used it to murder her 17 and 22 year old daughters.

I think the tragedy is that no one took her guns away before she killed two people with them.

Sorry about the depressing story. But we can't keep ignoring things like this.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

More bigoted lies from Donald Trump

Donald Trump just gets crazier and crazier, doesn't he? He's like the past few decades of the Republican Party on fast-forward.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

President Obama stands up to Trump bigotry

Refreshing, isn't it? When did sanity become so refreshing?

But it's the age of Donald Trump. It's the age of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and many other Republican lunatics, who are encouraged by Republicans willing to use that insanity in order to advance their own political ambition, no matter what it does to our country.

Note my last post, where I pointed out Christian pastors who were praising the Orlando shooting. Well, the Bible does tell Christians to kill gay people. Like Muslim extremists, those Christian extremists take such primitive superstition seriously. Does Trump want to discriminate against Christians, too, then?

No, it's just bigotry. It's the unholy combination of bigotry and politics, that's all. Barack Obama has faced that for almost eight years now. He's got to be getting pretty sick of it, don't you think?

Trevor Noah addresses the Orlando shooting

These events are so sickening that I hate to talk about them at all, or even think about them. But what's especially sickening is that we never do anything about it.

Well, if a grade school could be shot up without America actually trying to do something about it, what would get us to take action?

Here's another perspective:

And re. that last video, check out what these Christian pastors say about the Orlando attack:
After 49 people were gunned down in an Orlando gay nightclub in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, pastors in California and Arizona praised the gunman for massacring “perverted predators” and “pedophiles.”

In Sacramento, Pastor Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church said the killer succeeded in making Orlando safer.

“Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?” Jimenez said in a sermon originally posted on YouTube. “Um no, I think that’s great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.”

In the sermon, delivered just hours after the rampage on Sunday morning, Jimenez also said, “I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a wall, put a firing squad in front of them and blow their brains out.”

Tempe, Arizona preacher Steven Anderson also rushed to praise the “good news” that “there are 50 less pedophiles in this world.” ...

"The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive, so they're going to continue to molest children and recruit children into their filthy homosexual lifestyle," he said, adding the attack would be used to attack Christians and push gun control.

Maybe Republicans would like to ban all Christians from entering America?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Elizabeth Warren, my favorite politician

This is Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the 2016 American Constitution Society convention.

She's great, isn't she? The whole speech is great, but the part about Donald Trump - which seems to be getting the most attention - starts at 13:44 (if you don't have time to watch the whole thing).

You know, Bernie Sanders should be more like Elizabeth Warren. Warren knows what's important. Sanders seems to be letting his personal ambition, and his unhappiness at losing the Democratic nomination, get in the way of doing what's right for America.

Look at Sen. Warren. She doesn't just point out how despicable Donald Trump has been, she ties that into the rest of the Republican Party.

And yes, despite their frequent unhappiness at Trump's blatant racism and crude language, this is exactly what Republican Party leaders have been doing for years. They just don't like it being expressed so bluntly.

Well, Elizabeth Warren isn't going to let them get away with that. This is why she's my favorite politician, and although it would be a step down for her, I'd love to see Hillary Clinton choose her as our next vice-president.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Trump University and the get-rich-quick seminar

I'm only posting this teaser, but it's a fascinating article:
In 2005, both of us became fixated on a late-night infomercial that promised access to "hundreds of billions of dollars" in "free government money." As journalism grad students at the time, our evenings often ended with a couple beers as we decompressed by watching whatever was on our tiny 13" TV. And what was on at the time—repeatedly—was a half-hour advertisement for an outfit called "National Grants Conferences" (NGC).

Why did the NGC infomercial captivate us? It wasn’t the charisma of the commercial’s star, ex-football player and former Congressman J.C. Watts (R-Okla.), who was busy making a mockery of whatever credibility he once had. And it wasn’t the enthusiastic couple who founded NGC, Mike and Irene Milin, proclaiming that numerous government grants were there for the taking.

No, we couldn't stop watching because NGC just felt so sleazy. Even in comparison with other get-rich-quick schemes competing for time in the twilight TV hours—the obnoxious guy with the question marks all over his suit, the insufferable smile factories bragging about their real estate conquests from tropical locales—this one seemed suspect. ...

Intrigued, we spent the better part of a year researching NGC, its claims, and its founders’ pasts. We ultimately found that NGC—with several seminar teams circling the country and clearing tens of millions of dollars each year in sales—and its memberships produced no money for any of the customers we interviewed.

Arriving at that conclusion was no great surprise. Nor was it surprising that the NGC money train would continue running well after we wrote a piece about it, which was published on the front page of The Sacramento Bee on July 5, 2006. What was remarkable—and what still feels surreal more than a decade later—is what happened near the end of our reporting.

Donald Trump waltzed into our story.

Yup, this was the start of Trump University. But I'll let you read the rest of the story here.

It's no surprise. Indeed, Donald Trump has always seemed like one of those sleazy pitchmen milking the gullible for their own profit (and no more than since he's been running for president).

This is interesting, too. For one reason or another, Texas politicians let Donald Trump off easy, in an investigation into Trump University:
“Once they got our first subpoena, the first thing the lawyers said was, ‘Okay, we’ll stop doing business in Texas.’ That's common. We didn’t do anything,” Owens said. “In no other case of this magnitude did we leave consumers with $2.6 million out-of-pocket, some of them their life savings, high and dry like this.”