Sunday, 8/11/13, Public Square

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by | August 11, 2013 · 6:00 am

32 responses to “Sunday, 8/11/13, Public Square

  1. Conservatives And Suicide: Study Suggests Link Between Gun Ownership, Republicans And Suicide

    Published in the February issue of Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, the study found that states with high levels of firearm availability and a proclivity toward political conservatism tended toward higher rates of suicide.

    However, church attendance, which is sometimes correlated to political conservatism, was shown to depress suicide rates.

    The state with the highest suicide rate was Alaska, which is second only to Montana in firearm ownership. Montana, for its part, had the third highest suicide rate in the nation. Other states with high rates of conservatism, suicide and gun ownership include Wyoming, Idaho, Alabama and West Virginia.

    The percentage of gun suicides were higher in the South and West than in the Northeast or Midwest.

    While a number of academic studies have looked at the relationship between gun ownership and suicide in the United States, this one is the first to draw from a national dataset of death certificates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    This study isn’t the first to posit a link between conservative politics and a heightened suicide rate. A pair of studies, released a little over a decade ago, found that suicides in Australia and Britain tended to increase when conservative governments were in power and shrink under liberal regimes.

  2. Chris Christie Signs Gun Control Legislation In New Jersey

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a likely Republican contender for the White House in 2016, on Thursday, Aug. 8, signed into law 10 bills tightening restrictions on guns in the state.

    The measures including banning the purchase of handguns by people on a federal watch list of potential terrorism suspects, stepping up penalties on some firearms violations and exempting gun records from the state’s open public records law.

    • Oh…Oh…..Chris Christie is toast for the coveted GOP nomination by the Far Right Wingers.

      I sense a Rand Paul nomination in 2016……

      And – let’s go right ahead with that one – and I hope Hillary mops up the flor with Rand Paul’s poodle-style haircut.

      • I also hope this is the year they choose the farthest far right candidate available. Rand Paul is probably nutty enough. Yep, they’ve been telling us for many election cycles this will be the year when they don’t allow either the democrats or the media to choose their candidate. Have you noticed once they do choose the person they hope will attract voters outside their narrowing Party of No they also say how this was their guy all along? Lots of entertainment available in the republican nominating process! Maybe they won’t let little bothersome facts like they don’t have enough votes to win at the national level without help from voters outside their radical views get in the way. Maybe, but I doubt it. Winning is still too important.

      • I just don’t know about it, Paul’s name whether it is Rand or Ron is not favorable to the power elite. To much of limiting Government power and the big money buying power within Government. Look at the support that his dad had. If the power brokers could have used that they would have.

  3. Words of wisdom from Robert Reich —

    Why is the nation more bitterly divided today than it’s been in eighty years? Why is there more anger and vituperation than even during Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, the struggle for civil rights in the 1960s, the Vietnam war, the Watergate scandal? Political scientists say the gap between the median Republican voter and the median Democrat is wider today on a whole host of issues than it’s been since the 1920s. And those on the regressive Republican right might as well be on a different planet.

    Undoubedly, as some of you point out, social media play a part, allowing people to pop off without bearing much responsibility for what they say. Most of us can cocoon within virtual or real communities that confirm all our biases and assumptions. We’ve also lost trusted arbiters of truth — the Edward Murrows and Walter Cronkites who told it like it was. We’ve also lost most living memory of times when we were all in it together — the Great Depression and World War II — which reminded us how dependent we were on one another, and how much we owed each other as members of the same society.

    But I think the deeper reality has economic roots. For more than three decades now, the middle class has been losing ground. The median wage of male workers is now lower than it was in 1980, adjusted for inflation. And all the mechanisms we have used to cope with this descent — young mothers streaming into paid work in the late 1970s and 1980s, everyone working longer hours in the 1990s, and then borrowing against rising home values until 2007 — are now exhausted. Wages are still dropping — the median is now 4 percent below what it was at the start of the so-called recovery. And upward mobility has become a cruel joke. Meanwhile, income, wealth, and power are more concentrated now than they’ve been in ninety years. As a result, many have come to believe that the deck is stacked against them, the dice are loaded in favor of the wealthy and the privileged. Both the Tea Party and the Occupier movements began with the bailouts of Wall Street — when both groups concluded that big government and big finance had plotted against the rest of us; the former blamed government, the latter blamed Wall Street.

    Political scientists have also discovered a high correlation between inequality and political divisiveness. The last time America was this bitterly divided was in the 1920s, which was the last time income, wealth, and power were this concentrated. When average people feel the game is rigged, they get angry. And that anger can easily find its way into deep resentments — of the poor, of blacks, of immigrants, of the well-educated, of government. Demagogues throughout history have used anger to target scapegoats, thereby dividing and conquering, and distracting people from the real sources of their frustrations. Make no mistake: The savage inequality we are experiencing is deeply dangerous.

  4. How to spot a misogynist

    But misogynist isn’t a very fashionable kind of word – I mean, no one saunters into a room proudly pronouncing, ‘My name’s Don and I’m a misogynist!’ So because people know it’s not really kosher to be a codified turd, they try and hide their misogynist views under the guise of legitimate arguments.

    If you’re not trained in the spotting of smug, self-satisfied misogynists, you might not know the general thrust of their shtick. Luckily for you, I’ve become somewhat of an expert in the field since they all started following me on Twitter. So to help novices and outsiders, I’ve taken the following five popular misogynist arguments and parsed them into some kind of legible (if not logical) format for your benefit.

  5. (from the link): “I do think that one of the characteristics of our age is the growth of this culture of offendedness. It has to do with the rise of identity politics, where you’re invited to define your identity quite narrowly – you know, Western, Islamic, whatever it might be.”

    He continued: “Classically, we have defined ourselves by the things we love. By the place which is our home, by our family, by our friends. But in this age we’re asked to define ourselves by hate. That what defines you is what pisses you off. And if nothing pisses you off, who are you?”

    We’re all too offended now

    • So…the bottom line is…..yet again….a pissing contest?

      IMHO – this is a side effect from having too many men in total control for too long…

      • What I amusing to watch is when a bunch of Far Right Wingers are on television and they are each trying to out-piss the other guy.

        I can actually see a smirk comes across their face when one will say something even more outrageous than the previous one – so I guess it is some type of satisfaction they get from this juvenile locker-room behavior?

        It helps to picture these Far Right Wingers as junior-high boys in some locker room and they are all measuring up to brag about all their quests and glory (99% of which are all total B.S.)

      • On a serious note –

        Do you think women are pissed off about the same issues as men?

        Remember – Mitt and Ann Romney both tried to say during the 2016 election that women cared more about jobs and taxes than anything else.

        Both of these folks used this argument to contradict the media press about the GOP War on Women.

        Seriously – do you think women are worried about jobs and taxes more than their reproductive rights and healthcare being threatened?

        Let’s not forget – women already know that Republicans bragged about voting against the Lily Ledbetter Act (equal pay for women) and the Violence Against Women Act.

        When asked how he felt about Rush Limbaugh’s vicious 3-day attack rant against Sandra Fluke – what did Mitt Romney say? – I would have not used those words.

        Yeah – so from that statement, we can assume he feels the same way as Rush but he would have chosen different words… Sure, Mitt, we hear you.

        While I fully agree that women are concerned about jobs and taxes – I disagree that those two issues are the ONLY issues women care about.

        Women are multi-tasking folks – we can think about more than one issue at a time.

      • Correction: the 2012 election. – surely Mitt has the good sense God gave a goose and NOT try to run again in 2016?

      • The republicans still have no alternatives, plans or policies. All they have is hating and being against. They sometimes come up with sketches and outlines — like The Ryan Plan — that once fleshed out even they can’t support. When was the last time a republican plan that benefited America and her citizens was adopted? Their talking points are silly once you realize they have no substance. In the U.S. House they’re against the Senate immigration bill but have nothing of their own, they’re against Obamacare (well except for all those provisions their constituents like, ie, no annual or lifetime caps, no restrictions on pre-existing conditions, spending premiums on health care…) but, again, have nothing to counter the law of the land. They can’t pass a Farm Bill or even their own budget plan — but they can hold 40 votes to repeal Obamacare even though they know the votes are a waste of time and money. They are obstructionists who don’t have the skills it takes to govern.

  6. Here is all you need to know when preparing for the 2016 election cycle.

    Can you imagine the outrage of a lot of women if Reince Priebus actually comes out and throws a major hissy fit if and when any documentary comes out about Hillary Clinton?

    Besides – what is the BFD about having a documentary about Hillary Clinton? She has been in multiple important jobs – and her political career rivals, – and surpasses (IMHO) – many in the GOP elephant herd.

    Do you think Reince and his Boys are intimidated by the prospect of Hillary running against them in 2016?


    Way to Go —- HIllary…

    • If you’re looking for someone who is a real team player and get things done – look no further than Hillary Clinton.

      Let’s not forget – Hillary took a loss from Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary race -and there were some very tense and bitter moments during those months.

      BUT……Hillary accepted the Secretary of State’s position and did one hell of a job……in spite of the sore loser Republicans.

      The question should not be why is a documentary being made about this remarkable and successful woman.

      The question should be – why not?

      But I sense Reince Preibus is very good at throwing temper tantrums….what do you think?

      • I try really hard to ignore Reince Preibus. I adore children but think adults in leadership roles who behave like children shouldn’t be encouraged by giving them and their childishness any attention.

    • I’m still far from convinced Hillary Clinton will run for president. But I’m full of hope she will. America is ready for a woman president — with the exception of republican neanderthals whose numbers are rapidly shrinking — and she certainly has more than earned the right to be the first woman who holds that office.

      I also am full of hope that women will continue to be elected to Congress in increasing numbers. I are not impressed with men making decisions that affect us without our input.

      • When Obama won in 2008 – my son summed it quite well…

        The country would rather have a black man in the White House than a woman.

        I think Hillary is giving serious consideration to running – and I would love it if she brought Elizabeth Warren into her group – either as V.P. or Treasury Secretary

      • I agree, though I think there are other women who would also make at least good Presidents if not some great one. I do think if the Republicans finally did decide to put a woman up it would be Rice. Name recognition and experience. She would get some Liberal votes because of her exposure in association with President Obama.

    • A Facebook post about the Reince Preibus tantrum that spells out how childish and foolhardy he truly is —

      “Republican national committe chair Reince Preibus said the republicans would boycott CNN, CBS and NBC if they ran a documentary of Hillary Clinton. (by the way Fox ran 12 documentaries on President Obama and that was cool) That leaves Fox and if the republicans only use Fox, then republicans would be at a disadvantage. The viewers of Fox will vote republican anyway. Republicans need to try and convince voters of CNN CBS, and NBC they are better for America than the democrats.”

  7. Rand Paul should stop having that pissing contest with Chris Christie and worry about his real competition for that coveted crown given by the Far Right Wingers as their boy for president…

    What is truly sad – IMHO – this Ted Cruz guy was speaking to a crowd of Christians…..

    When did Jesus ever applaud at the idea of denying health care to anyone?

    Our current society is turned upside down…..our priorities are all wrong.

    • Republicans arenot only The Party of NO, but also the Party of MEAN. They scream about personal responsibility and parrot Reagan’s “government is the problem” without offering any solutions and sadly it seems without a grain of humanity or caring.

      Did you read about the family who were rescued after they sailed to wherever God led them? I’m sure glad their “personal responsibility” included a loving God who sent help to save their lives — and the lives of their small children!

      • Speaking of small government and Libertarian posing as a Republican Rand Paul —


        Many who oppose “big government” do so because they claim government is inefficient, corrupt and inhibits growth.

        These people believe the betterment of our nation is best served by handing it over to the private sector and removing government altogether.

        My question to these people is simple: What makes government inefficient and corrupt?

        The most common answer: Politicians.

        Which I follow up with: Well, what makes politicians inefficient and corrupt?

        The most common answer: Special interests and money.

        Then I follow that with: Then tell me, what controls the special interests and money which makes these politicians, and in turn our government, inefficient and corrupt?

        This is where they usually get stumped. But the answer is pretty simple and obvious.

        Wealthy donors and big business.

        But wait, I thought advocates for “small government” claim that our economic prosperity is best served by giving more power to those who already have power (the wealthy and big business)? How can our best chance at economic success be found by giving unchecked (and unregulated) power over to the very same people and big businesses which, by using their money and influence, make our government corrupt and inefficient?


        more (and the comments are good too) —

  8. fnord – how is the family doing? Hope your grandson is doing well..

    • Thanks for your concern and your cherished friendship!

      He is doing pretty well. Learning to eat small amounts often, and not tolerating some of the foods young people like most, isn’t easy for anyone. He went back to work and will soon add college classes too. He tires more easily, but gains strength daily. We won’t know whether or not those are the only challenges until he hits the six month mark and they do a scope.

      • The waiting times between tests are the hardest – IMHO

        When my son was diagnosed with celiac disease (after 2 months of doctors not knowing what it was) – he had lost 45 lbs and was put on I.V. iron treatments for 7 days straight.

        But….the amazing thing was – he went on a gluten-free diet and he has not had any symptoms since… It’s been 4 years now…

        It’s amazing how just a change of diet can do so much….

        But, it is hard to not being able to enjoy all foods like your friends….my son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 5 yrs old – and taking away sugary foods was a monumental task..

        Birthday parties were a real pain….all that cake and frosting….and then Halloween candy…

        I still remember those days…

  9. You’ll love this! Just over three minutes, and you’ll laugh a lot while this man makes sensible statements in funny ways —

  10. An old article but it puts into perspective and pinpoints the juncture where America took the wrong turn toward the Housing and Financial collapses, and which party initiated them.

    “On the latter point: traditionally, the U.S. government ran significant budget deficits only in times of war or economic emergency. Federal debt as a percentage of G.D.P. fell steadily from the end of World War II until 1980. But indebtedness began rising under Reagan; it fell again in the Clinton years, but resumed its rise under the Bush administration, leaving us ill prepared for the emergency now upon us.

    The increase in public debt was, however, dwarfed by the rise in private debt, made possible by financial deregulation. The change in America’s financial rules was Reagan’s biggest legacy. And it’s the gift that keeps on taking.

    The immediate effect of Garn-St. Germain, as I said, was to turn the thrifts from a problem into a catastrophe. The S.& L. crisis has been written out of the Reagan hagiography, but the fact is that deregulation in effect gave the industry — whose deposits were federally insured — a license to gamble with taxpayers’ money, at best, or simply to loot it, at worst. By the time the government closed the books on the affair, taxpayers had lost $130 billion, back when that was a lot of money.”

    Read More:

    • IMHO – Reagan was nothing more than a Hollywood actor who had the gift of the silver tongue..

      Too bad the damn thing was forked…

      What was it we all commented last week or the week before about how people are willing to believe anything that is said if it is what they ‘want’ to believe?

      Hey – Reagan was very good at making people feel good when he spoke…..but how I wish more people would have actually given serious thought to what this doofus actually said and did… their name as great American patriots…

      Yeah….that Ronnie was so intelligent he actually tried to get ketchup classified as a vegetable for school lunches.

      Yum…a big ol’ bowl of ketchup as a side dish …….doesn’t that sound good?

      • Trying to get these modern-day Conservative Republicans to acknowledge that Reagan was actually a union man that used collective bargaining to get health care benefits for fellow actors is a futile endeavor.

        Conservative Republicans are very good at sticking their heads in the sand as long as they being spoon fed that 24/7 diet of ‘what they want to hear and believe’.

        I also think this is why so many of these same Conservatives have no problem with rewriting history…… makes them ‘feel better’.

  11. Bob White

    Isn’t it just great what a creative graphic can say about the truth.