Gun Control That Actually Works – The New York Times

.FOR more than 80 years, the United States has enforced a tough and effective gun control law that most Americans have never heard of. It’s a 1934 measure called the National Firearms Act, and it stands as a stark rebuke to the most sacred precepts of the gun lobby and provides a model we should build on.Leaders of the National Rifle Association rarely talk about the firearms act, and that’s probably because it imposes precisely the kinds of practical — and constitutional — limits on gun ownership, such as registration and background checks, that the N.R.A. regularly insists will lead to the demise of the Second Amendment.

In speeches, publications and a steady stream of fund-raising literature, the N.R.A. rails against gun registration and gun owner databases. In 2008, the organization’s chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, claimed that photographing and fingerprinting gun owners was “the key gun control scheme” of the candidate Barack Obama, who, Mr. LaPierre predicted, would confiscate every gun in America before the end of his first term as president. The N.R.A. now says that the “real goal” of “gun control supporters” like Hillary Clinton is “ gun confiscation.”

But the longstanding National Firearms Act not only already mandated the registration of all owners of machine guns, short-barreled rifles, silencers and other weapons deemed highly dangerous at the time, it created a national database of those gun owners with their mug shots and fingerprints, and a detailed description of each weapon purchased, including its serial number. Purchasers of “N.F.A. weapons,” as they are known, must pass an F.B.I. background check, be approved by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and pay a $200 tax. Stolen weapons must be reported to the A.T.F. immediately — the sort of requirement the N.R.A. opposes for other gun thefts.”

Source: Gun Control That Actually Works – The New York Times

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As U.S. Admits Migrants in a Trickle, Critics Urge Obama to Pick Up the Pace – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — President Obama invited a Syrian refugee to this year’s State of the Union address, and he has spoken passionately about embracing refugees as a core American value.But nearly eight months into an effort to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States, Mr. Obama’s administration has admitted just over 2,500. And as his administration prepares for a new round of deportations of Central Americans, including many women and children pleading for humanitarian protection, the president is facing intense criticism from allies in Congress and advocacy groups about his administration’s treatment of migrants.

They say Mr. Obama’s lofty message about the need to welcome those who come to the United States seeking protection has not been matched by action. And they warn that the president, who will host a summit meeting on refugees in September during the United Nations General Assembly session, risks undercutting his influence on the issue at a time when American leadership is needed to counteract a backlash against refugees.

“Given that we’ve resettled so few refugees and we’re employing a deterrence strategy to refugees on our Southern border, I wouldn’t think we’d be giving advice to any other nations about doing better,” said Kevin Appleby, the senior director of international migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies of New York.”

Source: As U.S. Admits Migrants in a Trickle, Critics Urge Obama to Pick Up the Pace – The New York Times

 

“The Syrian situation is the most pressing humanitarian crisis of our time,” Mr. Durbin said in an interview,….” Possibly true. But climate change, the sixth extinction, and the global explosion of human population growth are the most pressing issues of our time, even as most politicians are afraid to even mention that over population is an issue.

The planet has gone from 2 to 7 billion humans in about 100 years. Our planet is starting to die. Some one in Washington should start mentioning that any immigration policy should be linked to family planning and population control. I support engagement in the world, and humanitarian efforts. It would be wonderful to take care of all the refugees in the world. But my thought is that what makes most sense for our country, is to contain populations, while trying to reduce misery and suffering.

It is not any country’s responsibility to take the excess population of another when population growth is the elephant in the room. Such thinking does lead me to probably support such serious interventions as a no fly zone in northern Syria. In dealing with the drug cartels of South America, legalizing all addictive substances, or at least, decriminalizing them, would help make those places safe for their own people to live in.

A Walk in the Dead Woods A certain climate-change denier wants to build a wall to protect a golf course “from global warming and its effects.” And get the ocean to pay for it? nytimes.com|By Timothy Egan

Tim Egan: “CRESTLINE, Calif. — They appear at random, cinnamon-and-silver-colored pines and firs, the standing dead amid otherwise healthy groves of cloud-snagging trees in the mountains of Southern California. Last week, the Forest Service said there were 40 million of them — that is, 40 million dead trees in this state, almost one for every resident.

Soon, they will be fuel, for what rangers fear will be a catastrophic wildfire season — “40 million opportunities for fire,” as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack put it. Or they will be ghosts, gone in that sweep when the earth broke all records for overheating……
….”Of course, Trump would never take a walk in the dead woods; he’s nature-averse, unless it’s tailored to his tastes. And truth, to a demagogue, is a bark beetle to a thick tree. But if Trump won’t pay a visit to reality, reality may soon pay a visit to him. He acknowledged this in his filing to build a giant sea wall to protect one of his golf courses in Ireland “from global warming and its effects.” Perhaps he’ll get the ocean to pay for it.”

A certain climate-change denier wants to build a wall to protect a golf course “from global warming and its effects.” And get the ocean to pay for it?
nytimes.com|By Timothy Egan

States Lead the Way on Justice Reform – The New York Times

“In New Jersey, voters and lawmakers gave judges more power to release low-risk defendants who can’t afford bail, letting them go home rather than sit in jail while they await trial. In Idaho, a new law created 24-hour crisis centers to help keep people with mental health issues from being locked up unnecessarily. Georgia and Louisiana established courts for military veterans accused of crimes. Hawaii funded programs to help reunify children with parents who are behind bars.

These are just a few of the hundreds of criminal-justice reforms that states around the country have put in place over the last two years, according to a new report by the Vera Institute of Justice.”

Source: States Lead the Way on Justice Reform – The New York Times

“Big Fish” Acts to preserve image, environment. – Mereconomics

“Date: May 27, 2016Author: Brooks Kaiser 0 Comments Industrial concentration can sometimes be good for the environment, if not cheap prices or even economic playing fields.This week a group of mass retailers and processors of Northeast Atlantic Cod (Espersen (Privately held, Danish), Nomad Foods Europe (NOMD on the NYSE), Icelandic Seachill/The Saucy Fish Co. (Icelandic Holding company/subsidiary), Young’s Seafood Ltd (Privately held, British), Tesco (TSCO on the LSS), Morrisons (MRW on the LSS), ASDA (British subsidiary of WalMart (WMT on the NYSE)), Marks and Spencer (MKS.L on LSS), Sainsbury’s (JSNSF on OTC) and McDonalds (MCD on NYSE)) acted in concert with Norwegian and Russian fishermen (Fiskebåt, Karat) to stem the trawl fishing that Greenpeace has identified moving toward Svalbard as the Arctic ice retreats and grants access.”

Source: “Big Fish” Acts to preserve image, environment. – Mereconomics

The Dying of the Third-Party Dream, by  Ross Douthat – The New York Times

“Of all the strange images of this strange campaign, I find myself particularly struck by this vision: Mitt Romney, pacing alone in one of his many houses, his angst evident in his faintly mussed-up hair, placing pleading phone calls to Republican politicians asking them to run as a third-party candidate against Donald Trump.That bizarre, existential one-act play — “Conversations About Trump,” opening Off Broadway, with Josh Brolin as Romney and the voice of William H. Macy as John Kasich — is apparently where the quest for a conservative alternative to Trump and Hillary Clinton ran into a wall.”

Source: The Dying of the Third-Party Dream – The New York Times

This piece so enraged me that I wrote a tirade, that the NYT would not print. And I was in a hurry, and didn’t make a copy.

I wrote something like, the subtext of Douthat’s argument is that Hillary Clinton is a disaster for the country, equal to Trump,  and  that Obama has been a disaster. According the right wing propaganda hate machines, the extraordinary leader, President Barack Obama has been a disaster. The reason, unsaid, is because he is a nigger. Mitch McConnell said, we will oppose him on everything, regardless of what he is for. Hillary Clinton is of course, a disaster for the country, because she worked for the the first black predident, and she is a lying corrupt witch.  I admitted that I hadn’t even finished the op-ed piece, but though my language was harsh, the ideas are sound. Had I finished Douthat’s lament, I would have realized it was mostly about Mitt Romney, and I should have incorporated that into my rant.

Many of the commentators were nearly as upset as I was, but more articulate or polite.
Here is an excellent one, but where I have cleaned up some typos and double negative issues.
Bounarotti Boston. MA 1 day ago

“Can we please nip this Hillary is despised because she’s patently corrupt nonsense in the bud. This is the fruit of a long standing Republican smear campaign 25 years in the making. What exactly has Hillary actually done – not is accused of having done – that earns her the label “corrupt.” We all have developed such short attention spans that we seem to forget that with all the Republican accusations of misdeeds by Hillary, careful investigation ultimately reveals that there is no substance to any of them. She did nothing wrong in Whitewater, she didn’t kill or move the body of Vince Foster, and she didn’t willfully let 4 Americans die in Benghazi.
Why are we letting a long standing, carefully cultivated, manufactured narrative about her take on credence? Why is there suddenly rising an infamous equivalence between Hillary’s moral character and that of a well-documented sleaze ball like Trump? Why do even some Democrats sink to believing these baseless smears, thereby validating the Republican dirty tricksters who since Lee Atwater have believed that if you repeat a thing often enough – regardless of its lack of factual basis – a lot of intellectually lazy people will believe it.
Start demanding factual support for Republican allegations of wrongdoing on Hillary’s part. And while you’re at it, start demanding that Trump provide the occasional fact for the wild things that fly out of his mouth on a daily basis.
Have we really become this stupid a people?”

47 Recommended

Bernie Sanders, Eyeing Convention, Willing to Harm Hillary Clinton in the Homestretch – The New York Times

“Defiant and determined to transform the Democratic Party, Senator Bernie Sanders is opening a two-month phase of his presidential campaign aimed at inflicting a heavy blow on Hillary Clinton in California and amassing enough leverage to advance his agenda at the convention in July — or even wrest the nomination from her.Advisers to Mr. Sanders said on Wednesday that he was newly resolved to remain in the race, seeing an aggressive campaign as his only chance to pressure Democrats into making fundamental changes to how presidential primaries and debates are held in the future. They said he also held out hope of capitalizing on any late stumbles by Mrs. Clinton or any damage to her candidacy, whether by scandal or by the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump.”

Source: Bernie Sanders, Eyeing Convention, Willing to Harm Hillary Clinton in the Homestretch – The New York Times

My comment to the NYT:
Bernie Sanders is spoiling his good record. It is no gift to progressives to force the Democratic party strongly to the left wing. Modern history has not been kind to the left wing of the Democratic Party.
1968 Nixon beat Humphrey
1972 Nixon beat McGovern
1976 Carter beat Ford
1980 Reagan beat Carter
1984 Reagan beat Mondale
1988 George HW Bush beat Dukakis
1992 Bill Clinton beat George HW Bush
In 16 of the 20 years above of that the Republicans won the Presidency, the Democrats lost with a candidate representing the left wing of the Democratic Party. The exception to this rule was when Reagan beat Carter. Jimmy Carter was a hero to me, but whether it was fair or not, the voters probably held him responsible for the year long hostage crisis in Iran.

Paying for Years Lost Behind Bars – The New York Times

“Glenn Ford served 30 years in Louisiana prisons — nearly all on death row — for a murder he did not commit. He was freed in 2014 but died in 2015 from lung cancer that had gone untreated while he was behind bars.Louisiana law provides for up to $330,000 in compensation to people who have been wrongfully imprisoned, but state courts have repeatedly denied Mr. Ford, and now his estate, even that inadequate amount. They say he could not prove he was innocent of a robbery that was connected to the murder for which he was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death, even though he was never charged with that robbery.”

Source: Paying for Years Lost Behind Bars – The New York Times

My comment at the NYT:

David Lindsay

Hamden, CT 2 hours ago

Great piece of work, NYT. Thank you. So much to clean up.
According to Robert van Gulik, in his Judge Dee mysteries, in Ancient China, if a magistrate sends an innocent man to prison, or death, he gets the same punishment that he gave incorrectly. Magistrates were motivated to not mistakenly send an innocent person to punishment. It is time to make court officials in our system pay heavily for misconduct, including matching periods of incarceration.
How do we make the States take responsibility for compensating their own victims? Could it be done by Federal legislation, in a congress that wasn’t on the the take?

Donald, Save Your Golf Greens, and the Planet, Tom Friedman – The New York Times

“So here’s the advice: I know that you’ve tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” (Just as an aside, Donald, that’s incredibly stupid. The Chinese are ahead of us in putting a price on carbon because they can’t breathe.) But let’s put that aside. We both know that you know as much about climate change as you did about abortion rights and the nuclear triad. It was just one of those things you put out there to keep you looking like a Republican good ol’ boy.

Donald, you’ve done something truly revolutionary: You’ve single-handedly reshaped the agenda of the Republican Party, mixing some left-of-center and centrist positions with the G.O.P.’s traditional right-of-center stuff. You should do the same now, embrace the reality of climate change and vow as president that you will be “huge, huuuuuge” on this issue — that “I’ll make the whole planet great again.” ”

Source: Donald, Save Your Golf Greens, and the Planet – The New York Times

I wrote the following to the NYT comments:

David Lindsay

Hamden, CT 9 minutes ago

Great piece, I second this. Here is my poem for Mr. Trump.
Talking Climate Change Blues by David Lindsay
1) Have you heard of, Bill McKibben, / not trying to be funny and I ain’t kidding.
This fellow got steamed, under the collar, /when he noticed the planet getting hotter and hotter.
He noticed some problems, heard solutions,/Many scientists said it was carbon pollution
It wasn’t just about, how a few people felt / Al Gore showed films of glacier melt
The Antarctic loses ice, and the Arctic, forsooth / An inconvenient pointer to the scientists truth.
Hurricane Sandy, with a rising sea, / flooded New York, and New Jersey.
CH) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid
/They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid
Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming / Our world is threatened by Global Warming!

2) McKibben likes to quizz, eany meany miney moe/What do you think are the numbers to know
Three hundred and fifty, and four hundred/ these are the numbers the scientists thundered.
I asked a young man, selling solar panels / he looks blank, smiles like a camel
We need to know, these numbers says McKibben / or we’ll be faced with Armageddon.
Parts per million, is the technical print / Greenhouse gases is another hint.
All around the world, the oceans are rising / while the coral reefs are slowly dying. (from acidification)

The rest at David’s blog 1, InconvenientNews.wordpress.com, and with guitar on Youtube. © 2016

Talking Climate Change Blues by David Lindsay

 © 2016

1)  Have you heard of,  Bill McKibben    /  not trying to be funny and I ain’t kidding.

This fellow got steamed, under the collar  /  when he noticed the planet getting hotter and hotter

He noticed some problems, heard solutions  /  Many scientists said it was carbon pollution

It wasn’t just about,   how a few people felt  / Al Gore showed films of glacier melt

The Antarctic loses ice, and the Arctic, forsooth  / An inconvenient pointer to the scientists truth.

Hurricane Sandy,     with a rising sea    / flooded New York, and New Jersey.

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                   / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

2) McKibben likes to quiz, eany meany miney moe/What do you think are the numbers to know

Three hundred and fifty, and four hundred/ these are the numbers the scientists thundered.

I asked a young man,  selling solar panels / he looks blank, smiles like a camel

We need to know, these numbers says McKibben  / or we’ll be faced with Armageddon.

Parts per million, is the technical print   / Greenhouse gases is another hint.

All around the world,   the oceans are  rising  / while the coral reefs are slowly dying. (from acidification)

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                  / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

3)    Remember when Katrina, hit New Orleans?  / People died, many drowned, the  hoods all cleaned.

We thought it was big, then Sandy and Haiyun  (Haiyan)  / bigger droughts and fires, hurricanes and taifun

Hurricane Sandi,  in New York City  / the water hit the subway and it wasn’t pretty.

My friends lost their house, the neighbors too  /    60 billion dollars went up the flue.

But we ain’t see nothing, like Tacloban  / a Philippine city blown down to the ground, and then drowned.

For New Orleans, our military froze, / for Tacloban, our military rose.

Their Heroes. — Al-le-lue Ya-hoo  /  Forty nations came to their rescue.

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                  / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

4) We’re hoping James Lovelock, got it all wrong / and we’ll be here centuries with dance & song.

Three hundred and fifty,   parts per mill,   /  The Scientists think is sustainable

Who are these scientists, sounding so strange /just the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Two hundred seventy-five, normal for long time, /Till we burned coal and oil, and spewed out the grime.

Four hundred parts per mil now, we are courting disaster, /Today, tomorrow,  and in the hereafter.

Doomsday approaches, but you can relax, /if you work real hard and pass a carbon tax.

And a methane tax,  and sell it to the Chinese.  /     Oh yeah, the Chinese!

In Beijing the air is, thick as molasses /While the kids are getting sick from the greenhouse gases

So start walking, or riding your bike, /cut your carbon footprint, and we’ll be all right,

Hopefully,    If it’s not too late./ And all the greenhouse gases we deflate.

And reduce our numbers, duck and roll  /  With a Marshall Plan for population control.   If not,

The lucky ones, will make to the morgue  /  It is time to check out Three Fifty dot org.

Chorus) The folks at Businessweek Saw, the damage was horrid

                                     /They put on their cover, It’s Climate Change Stupid

Wake up, my friends, cataclysms are forming

                                     / Our world is threatened by Global  Warming!

 

Talking Climate Change Blues © 2016 can be found at David’s blog #1, InconvenientNews.wordpress.com,  and with guitar on Youtube.