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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
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'If others have rifles, we'll have rifles': why leftist groups are taking up arms


Kim Kelly in Seattle
Mon 22 Jul 2019 01.00 EDT

The van lumbered down one of Seattle’s many steep hills. A half dozen people packed inside but despite the heat, most wore long pants and boots, and several sported black hoodies. The atmosphere was subdued, except for the occasional joke. It wasn’t so much tension as seriousness – there was work to be done.

The people in the van are members of the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club (PSJBGC). Their stated aim is to fight white supremacy and build community defense in America’s Pacific Northwest, and their presence has become a fixture of protests in the Seattle and Tacoma areas, where the group is often invited to provide security against rightwing aggression.

The night before, several of them had been called to a library in nearby Renton, Washington, where a Drag Story Time Hour, an event series in which a local drag queen or drag king reads to children in a library or bookstore, was being disrupted by rightwing protesters. The protesters, who opposed the event as “immoral”, held up signs equating drag with pedophilia, and screamed “Shame! Shame!” at parents and their kids. Among them were members of the Proud Boys, a violent rightwing street gang, and Three Percenters militia, who were open-carrying firearms.

The north-west has been at the center of tense political clashes over the last two years. The area is an adopted home base for far-right groups like Patriot Prayer, Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement and the Proud Boys, who have organized numerous marches that have ended in violence. In response, a range of leftist groups have organized self defence groups and, in doing so, present gun ownership as a way to protect themselves and others...

An unfortunate, but necessary, development- no amount of well-meaning laws will disarm violent right-wingers.

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Jul 22, 2019, 04:11 AM (12 replies)

Moderate Democrats Warn That AOC Is Distracting From Their Nonexistent Message


Moderate Democrats are sick and tired of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her “squad” dominating the headlines. Thus, to ensure that those four progressive congresswomen do not garner any additional media attention, several House moderates decided to complain about them anonymously in interviews with CNN Wednesday...

If your goal is to galvanize media attention around bread-and-butter issues, whining to Jake Tapper seems like a less effective tactic than, say, taking interesting stances on bread-and-butter issues. And yet, as Vox’s Matt Yglesias notes, it has been House moderates — not Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, or AOC — who have prevented House Democrats from advancing several of their most compelling messaging bills. Nancy Pelosi’s caucus finally passed a $15 federal minimum wage Thursday. But Pelosi had promised to pass that (popular) policy within 100 hours after assuming the speakership. Instead, it has taken seven months for her to grind down moderate opposition.

Meanwhile, centrist Democrats have blocked their party from passing a bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, a measure that would effectively transfer large sums of money out of Big Pharma’s profit margins and into seniors’ pockets. This a winning issue in every district in the country (at least, if you value the approval of voters more than lobbyists). A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 86 percent of Americans approve of Medicare negotiating lower drug prices. There is a reason that Donald Trump pretended to support such a policy through the bulk of his presidential campaign, and is now desperately searching for more industry-friendly means of pushing down the cost of pharmaceuticals. The GOP cannot compete at the national level without winning an outsize share of older voters. And older voters cannot stomach the rising cost of their pills. This gives Democrats a golden opportunity to expand their coalition by gaining the upper hand on a high-salience issue: As the party that’s less allergic to price controls, they’re well-positioned to give a right-leaning constituency something it desperately wants, but cannot get from the GOP.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Jul 19, 2019, 09:11 PM (16 replies)

San Francisco: wealthy opponents of new shelter claim homeless are bad for environment

Source: The Guardian

The wealthy San Francisco residents who launched a crowdfunding campaign to block construction of a new homeless shelter in their waterfront neighborhood are employing a new tactic: arguing that homeless people are bad for the environment.

In a lawsuit filed against the city of San Francisco and the California State Lands Commission, the residents called for the project to undergo an environmental review before breaking ground.

“This project will have a significant effect on the environment due to these unusual circumstances, including by attracting additional homeless persons, open drug and alcohol use, crime, daily emergency calls, public urination and defecation, and other nuisances,” the lawsuit states...

...In addition to the environmental concerns, the lawsuit states that the project is “likely to decrease the fair market value” for any future projects in that location.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/11/san-francisco-navigation-center-shelter-lawsuit

Neoliberalism in its purest ray serene...

Walter Benn Michaels had these assholes number years ago:

Let Them Eat Diversity: multiculturalism as an artifact of neoliberalism



...I think you can find examples in American society everywhere of the extraordinary power, the hegemony of the model of anti-discrimination, accompanied by defense of property, as the guiding precepts of social justice. You can see this in the study that people have recently been making fun of — the one that shows that liberals are not as liberal as they think they are. What it showed was that when people were asked about the question of redistribution of wealth they turned out to be a lot less egalitarian than they thought they were. People who characterized themselves as “extremely liberal” nevertheless had real problems with the redistribution of wealth. And someone pointed out, I think he teaches at Stanford, that that’s the wrong way to think of this, because yes it’s true that especially as people get more wealthy they tend to become less committed to the redistribution of wealth but there are lots of ways in which they become “more liberal” — with respect to gay rights, antiracism, with respect to all the so-called “social issues,” as long as these social issues are defined in such a way that they have nothing to do with decreasing the increased inequalities brought about by capitalism, which is to say, taking away rich liberals’ money.

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Jul 11, 2019, 08:59 PM (16 replies)

I hope Jeffrey Epstein sings like a bird. And if some Democrats go down, so be it


Jill Filipovic

Tue 9 Jul 2019 11.53 EDT
Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 18.33 EDT

Epstein allegedly groomed and recruited dozens of underage girls, many of them vulnerable runaways, for sex with him and his friends. Despite being caught by authorities, Epstein has largely evaded serious punishment. Thanks to heroic reporting by Julie K Brown at the Miami Herald, Americans learned that back in 2008, Epstein was given an exceptionally favorable plea deal by then-prosecutor Alex Acosta – now Trump’s secretary of labor. The deal was shamefully hidden from Epstein’s victims, and while it forced Epstein to register as a sex offender, it allowed him near-total freedom for the 13 months he was technically in jail – he was allowed to leave the facility to work in his luxurious private office instead of serving life in prison...

...This is not a story in which anyone should find satisfaction. Dozens of vulnerable girls were allegedly sexually exploited and abused by Jeffrey Epstein. A great many adults, who should have done the right thing and stood up for these children, chose to look the other way. A few may have even participated in exploitation and rape.

The only way forward is to demand accountability from Epstein, his co-conspirators, and his enablers, without exception and without excuse. Who knew what was going on? Who participated? How, exactly, did Epstein get such a sweet plea deal in Florida?

Wherever these questions lead prosecutors and reporters must follow. And the public must demand real accountability, no matter the answers.

I am entirely in agreement with Ms. Filipovic on this one-

No guilty party should be allowed to escape
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Jul 9, 2019, 08:52 PM (13 replies)
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