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A hard progressives take on the current gun debate

Basically this is an assembly of a few posts I wrote on the Voices facebook group in a gun ban discussion.

Summary - my key point is at the bottom, that republicans will just use a gun ban as a political football to appeal to the independents, the centrist dems, and to motovate their base. They will use gun bans as a key issue in the elections, may win, and will just overturn gun bans. They did it before.

So, a gun ban hands them a political opportunity, and plays to  their strengths.

I think we should instead impose heavy pigouvian taxes on guns, by class, with the heaviest taxes on military style weapons.

We should police gun crimes and gun incidents much more severely and strictly.

We should criminalize gun mishandling. Letting minors access guns unsupervised should be considered a crime. Gun accidents should be treated as crime.

We should be teaching gun wisdom and gun awareness, probably thru a series of well designed PSA's and television shows and other venues. Try to reduce the fear and paranoia, rather than increase it.

All of these things are constitutionally allowed, and will appeal to the rights love of punishment and morality theatre. Read more »

Ironic. Pa woman, star of the open carry movement, shot dead in front of her kids by husband another open carry enthusiast.

This is an old shooting - but someone sent me the news item as if it were recent...

Ironic. A Lebonan Pa woman, star of the open carry movement, shot dead in front of her kids by husband another open carry enthusiast. And the neighbor is "surprised she didn't defend herself".

Yes, every wife should be ready to blast her suicidal husband, whenever he starts to get hinky. And vice versa. The only good marriage is a a marriage with mutually assured destruction. The new most-popular wedding gift? His and her's glocks, with bullets engraved with the spouses name.
Read more »

Two comets are coming! "2013 could be the year of the great comets."

They say another bright comet could be coming in 2013,

Remarkably Ison might not be the only spectacular comet visible next year. Another comet, called 2014 L4 (PanSTARRS), was discovered last year and in March and April it could also be a magnificent object in the evening sky

Then Comet Ison, the Holiday Comet of 2013, gets bright in november and december and may be visible for months. You know, I really hope we get together a sample-return mission - send a robot to the comet to collect samples, then send another ship to follow to bring them back. (Break it up into two missions so you have extra time to prepare).

This was an excellent article - worth the click. Read more »

Why are males (child-men, calling them 'men' causes nausea and the risk of projectile vomiting) such idiots?

As someone with a lot of experience on the net, I am often appalled by male posters, whose immaturity is only exceded by the utterly predictable and copied stupidity of their opinions.

Males do not become men in our society - they fail utterly, forever trapped in some kind of whining and pathetic emotionally stunted monster-adolescent stage. No pride, no honor, no manhood.

And they wonder why women despise them...


Laurie Penny: A woman's opinion is the mini-skirt of the internet

For criticising neo-liberal economic policymaking, it was suggested I should be made to fellate a row of bankers


"You come to expect it, as a woman writer, particularly if you're political. You come to expect the vitriol, the insults, the death threats. After a while, the emails and tweets and comments containing graphic fantasies of how and where and with what kitchen implements certain pseudonymous people would like to rape you cease to be shocking, and become merely a daily or weekly annoyance, something to phone your girlfriends about, seeking safety in hollow laughter.

Honesty - a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular - Adlai Stevenson


How to Be Honest Without Being Harsh

  1. Focus on how you present your honest assessment of any situation. This is the most important part of reducing any sense of harshness––the how of delivery matters. Begin from a position of kindness, of acceptance that it is better to be tactfully honest than to let someone go on believing something that isn't true. Be prepared to stick to the objective, identifiable facts and avoid making emotional observations. Act from the goodness of exposing a problem in need of a solution. And be aware that this is a communication skill––as with all skills, it will take time and practice to perfect, with a good dose of humility thrown in.
    • Consider the person with whom you must be honest. Don't be brash or too pointed where the person is usually shy or very sensitive. Take into account their nature when adapting your message. There will be a different approach between telling your best friend something delicate and motivating a slack co-worker with whom you're trying to complete a project.
    • If you need to rehearse, do so! It is much better to have gone over what you're going to say to iron out any insensitive or thoughtless comments that might crop up through nervousness or an over-willingness to "set things right". It won't make you sound forced; practice will actually help you to work through whether this is the right thing to do, and which words are the right ones to use.
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