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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:31 PM
Number of posts: 5,346

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Gun control: Prohibitive gun/ammo tax instead of prohibition?

Why not impose a federal prohibitive ownership fee on guns and/org ammo, where the money would go to fund those who are injured or killed in gun violence-- say $1000/year for small arms and $10000/year for AR class weapons--payable first at the time of purchase. Taxes should pass 2nd amendment muster, and failure to pay would mean loss of the gun or prison time for failure to pay a tax. That might be the only way to achieve effective gun control.

Could a freedom of privacy Constitutional amendment pass in the current environment or hurt the GOP?

Might be useful to try and at least get opponents on record being against a key liberty. Would make any SC decisions trying to strip decisions based on privacy as an implied right, such as Roe v Wade, Griswold v Connecticut etc, moot.

Nevertheless, the attempt would be a great way to destroy the propaganda that the GOP is the party of liberty.

Early human development is inefficient: as many as 60% of fertilized embryos spontaneously abort

Though the anti-abortion movement welcomed scientific knowledge about conception to define human life which they claim begins at conception (a concept that was not well understood before science discovered the mechanism), they have not accounted for the inefficiency of early development and embryos that will not develop to term. Of pregnancies women are aware of, ~15% will spontaneously abort in the first trimester, with the estimate as high as 60% for all pregnancies (women are often unaware of earliest pregnancies). Embryogenesis is a complex, inefficient process.*

Such knowledge clearly impacts any definition of when human life legally begins, but also has implications for anti-abortion laws in red states. Will they decide to make any evidence of an abortion, spontaneous or not a crime? Hopefully not, but given their biblically-oriented motivations it could happen, and the underlying science will be ignored. Perhaps it is only a matter of time when courts begin to rule that life legally begins at conception (due to challenges to antiabortion laws) making women legally responsible for failed pregnancies, and the conservative Supreme Court gives its seal of approval, despite biological facts that suggest that this definition is unworkable.

*Larsen, E.C., Christiansen, O.B., Kolte, A.M. et al. New insights into mechanisms behind miscarriage. BMC Med 11, 154 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-11-154
"Human reproduction is characterized by its inefficiency. Prospective cohort studies using sensitive and specific daily urinary hCG assays in women trying to conceive have demonstrated that only around one-third of conceptions progress to a live birth [3436]. An estimated 30% of human conceptions are lost prior to implantation and a further 30% following implantation but before the missed menstrual period, that is in the third or fourth week of gestation. These are often termed preclinical losses."

Take the culture wars seriously-- they represent the real interest of the GOP

Far more than economics, it has been the social issues that drive Republican votes in recent years. Anti-abortion and anti-gay rights are the key issues that bind the most rabid Republicans, but do not doubt the power of conventionalism and traditionalism to motivate the GOP and even persuadable swing voters who harbor some number of "traditional" values. For them it's "progress" to codify their religious and social values and prevent any socially liberal ideas from taking root. That's why they so wanted control of the Supreme Court. The underlying echoes of favoring their in-groups over "others" helps drive the process.

Trump will be considered the winning general for the extreme right's culture wars, although it was McConnell who did the dirty work. This Supreme Court decision guarantees Trump's renomination and he will refer to "his victory" in the culture wars vociferously and often. After they dismantle abortion rights, gay rights are next, followed by at least partial removal of the separation of church and state.

Mischaracterization of accepted social norms that evolved over the last 80 years, such as education which includes an accurate history of slavery and subsequent exploitation of and bias against African-Americans is and will be par for the course going forward in order to attempt to win over members of their in-groups. That is the basis of their attacks on "CRT," which itself is not even taught outside of universities.
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