Forum posts made by principessa

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 11 Oct 2017 18:09

No, I think your opinion of this has been warped a little to put yourself in the victimisation seat.

We all agree that discrimination against race, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, political views (yes, even political views) is wrong and something to be shunned. Of course, it is. All discrimination is, really, regardless. Let's address the actual basis of racial, sexual, gender and religious discrimination, though - as they are the main area that beleaguered society.

These types of discrimination create negative assumptions of the people they affect, purely based upon their race, gender, religion, etc. These are factors that people cannot control, but these are also not determining factors in someone's mental faculties, desirability or anything else. It's an unfair and ill-conceived judgement, based on what is only a very narrow-minded viewpoint on life. There's no REAL reason to avoid someone because they're black, gay, male, female or any other denomination, other than someone's own utter ignorance. There's no real basis requiring avoidance.

So we all agree that's wrong.

What you're describing is a little different.

These neighbours of yours weren't removing their child from your premises for unfounded reasons, such as skin colour or sexual preference. They identified that there was a danger in your house that they don't want their child around. Now you will counter this and say that your weapons are safe, but that's the opinion of every gun-owner until there's an accident - especially where children are concerned.

You yourself just said that your son knew where the guns were and knew he could get access to them. I think, more than anything, your neighbours took a very cynical, albeit realistic perspective: that allowing their son (who obviously wanted to lead your son down some path already) into a home where he might be able to access weaponry that he wasn't trained and safe to use was a bad idea.

Do you think they were doing it to isolate you and your family, or to protect their son from any trouble he might cause, or find himself in? Trusting a professional is one thing. Trusting your child to make the right decision is another and it's often a decision that's best taken away from them. What your neighbours did is remove their son from any chance of accessing weapons and there being an accident. They were looking out for their son in what they perceived to be a dangerous environment. You can't blame them for that.

Not to mention the fact that they don't know you and your gun control, or how safe you are. They just heard that the neighbour had guns and he was willing to show them to their son. If they don't want their son exposed to weapons, that's a perfectly valid, safe standpoint to take for a small child and you can't blame them for taking him away from there. They don't know you, they can't trust you with their son's life.

It's not discrimination. It's not picking on you for owning a gun. It's about removing their child from a potentially hazardous environment.

Thank you for taking the time to really explain it to him. I did not have the patience to do it.

There are two aspects of this that are related discrimination, one that does not exist and another that he is oblivious to in his own words. The first is that he sees himself as a victim when he is not. The second is that he found it necessary to point out that his neighbours were Jewish when that has absolutely nothing to do with making a decision to keep their child away from guns, a decision that is perfectly reasonable considering how many incidents there are of horrible accidents happening when children play with them.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 11 Oct 2017 17:49

I can and have explained it to you. But I obviously can't understand it for you. You believe things that are not there, and don't believe things that are. A classic psychology experiment proves that people see with their brains, not with their eyes. I this case your brain is simply refusing to believe something that goes against your world view. I cannot help you with that. Have a nice day.

Physician, heal thyself. I know of no human rights or equality legislation that mentions gun owners as a target of discrimination.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 11 Oct 2017 17:22

The ironic part? My neighbors and their son were Jews.

After all my efforts, my son's first lesson in prejudice came from a Jew.

What does their being Jewish have to do with wanting to protect their child from guns? It doesn't matter what race or religion or ethnic group your neighbours belonged to. The pertinent factor here is that they were anti-gun. If you are equating gun ownership with other forms of discrimination, what can I say? I will use a Quebec expression, "Tu reves en couleur" which translates as you are dreaming in colour (literally) and means it is a crazy idea.

Topic Why I voted for Donald Trump
Posted 10 Oct 2017 15:52

One New York woman told Waters, "Are you really asking me to pick out the shiniest turd in the punch bowl? I'll pass. I really don't feel qualified!"

IOW, Trump's obvious behavioral flaws do not mitigate Clinton's in any way shape or form.

The unknown and unknowable is how much of the vote total wasn't "for" either of them so much as "against" the other.

So one could just as easily say that 3 million more people voted against Trump than voted against Clinton.

Anyway, as Perry Mason's straight man Hamilton Burger would say "the popular vote was irrelevant and immaterial."

You're right, but it was a binary choice. Trump was by any measure not qualified for the office, never mind less qualified than Clinton. The presidency of the US is a hell of a way to express a protest vote against the establishment and the status quo. Aside from all of the other reasons why Trump should not be there (as listed previously in my post quoting the NY Times) and so many more I could add, let me just say that a face off of escalating schoolyard insults between two narcissistic, childish boy men, Trump and Kim Jong-un, could lead us to world war. So, Clinton, with all of her flaws, would have been the better choice and an infinitely better president.

Topic Why I voted for Donald Trump
Posted 10 Oct 2017 15:08

More obvious answer to the title of this forum " Because I didn't want to vote for a bitch like Hilary Clinton."

Except she got 3 million more votes than he did. The obvious answer is that a lot of people just like you voted for Trump.

Topic Why I voted for Donald Trump
Posted 09 Oct 2017 17:47

Will do.

My intent wasn't to refute all of the article, just to refute the NYT point that the list was stuff unique to Trump.

I went over the rest of the list and picked up a few more:

Nixon -> Obstruct justice

John Kennedy -> Hire relatives for key White House posts

Obama -> Display complete ignorance about international relations, your own administration’s policies, American history and the basic structure of our system of government

Obama -> Skip daily intelligence briefings

Given that he taught constitutional law before he became a senator, I have to push back on the one I have bolded. I disagree with you.

Topic Why I voted for Donald Trump
Posted 09 Oct 2017 12:54

Will do.

My intent wasn't to refute all of the article, just to refute the NYT point that the list was stuff unique to Trump.

I went over the rest of the list and picked up a few more:

Nixon -> Obstruct justice

John Kennedy -> Hire relatives for key White House posts

Obama -> Display complete ignorance about international relations, your own administration’s policies, American history and the basic structure of our system of government

Obama -> Skip daily intelligence briefings

Perhaps some of them are not unique to Trump, but cumulatively they are a resounding indictment of a man with no moral compass who has no place in the office he holds. The more we find out, the more convinced I am that he will be impeached at the least and also subject to criminal charges for actions before his inauguration. Whether he can be charged with obstruction of justice as a sitting president is an open question, but if there is sufficient proof it would certainly support impeachment.

Topic Why I voted for Donald Trump
Posted 09 Oct 2017 12:07

I didn't go through the whole list. But there's at least one standout that makes me discount the whole article. And that's the last: Lie.

The NYT knows damn well of the lies of previous Presidents:

Johnson lied when he used the Gulf of Tonkin Incident to justify putting US combat troops into South Vietnam.

Nixon lied when he famously declared "I am not a crook."

Clinton lied when he said under oath "I did not have sex with that woman, that Ms. Lewinski." He lost his law license as a result of that perjury.

Two more possible/probable lies:

Bush the Younger said that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction yet none were found after his overthrow. It is certain he had some at one point because he used them against the Kurds in northern Iraq and against the marsh Arabs in southern Iraq. When he got rid of the last of his stockpiles, and whether or not Bush knew he had done so is unknown and possibly unknowable.

Obama famously said "If you like your health care plan you get to keep it. If you like your doctor you get to keep him." Whether or not he knew that the bill written by Pelosi's staff made both impossible is again unknown and possibly unknowable.

Anyone, anywhere who tells you that politicians do not lie is either a fool or a liar in their own right.

I'll leave it to you to decide which is true in the case of the NYT.

If your only response is that all politicians and all presidents lie, that doesn't exactly refute it. You should really take the time to read the rest of the list.

Topic Why I voted for Donald Trump
Posted 09 Oct 2017 12:05

That's some list, there. Damn, that is some list. I wish I could say that it was all faked, but it's really not, is it?

'God bless America'? I think he might have to.

It was not faked. They have been keeping tabs of his lies too. It makes interesting reading.

Topic Why I voted for Donald Trump
Posted 09 Oct 2017 07:57

The editorial in the NY Times today has ""The Republican's Guide to Presidential Etiquette" which lists what Trump has done contrary to past presidents. It is a long list. Perhaps it will make some who voted for him wonder about that choice.

Mock a foreign leader with a demeaning nickname and threaten his country with nuclear annihilation over Twitter

Call for the firing of “son of a bitch” athletes who choose to exercise their right to free speech

Refer to the White House as “a real dump”

Spend the weekend golfing at your private club while the mayor of an American city wades through sewage-filled water to help citizens after a catastrophic hurricane, then accuse that mayor of “poor leadership” when she criticizes your administration’s slow response to the storm

Criticize victims of that hurricane still living without drinking water or electricity by saying they “want everything to be done for them”

During a visit to some of those victims, throw rolls of paper towels at them and tell them they should be “very proud” that only 16 people have died so far, unlike in a “real catastrophe”

Attack a senator battling terminal cancer

Pick nominees to the federal bench who call a sitting Supreme Court justice a “judicial prostitute” and refer to transgender children as part of “Satan’s plan”

Campaign hard for a Senate candidate; then when he appears likely to lose, say “I might have made a mistake” and later delete your tweets supporting him

Behave so erratically and irresponsibly that senators of your own party resort to saying you’re treated like an adult day-care student to keep you from starting World War III

Spend one of every three days as president visiting at least one of your own properties

Publicly and privately humiliate your own attorney general for recusing himself from an investigation into your campaign

Say nothing when a foreign leader’s bodyguards brutally attack peaceful protesters in the streets of Washington, D.C.

Tweet GIFs of yourself violently attacking the media and your former political opponent

Encourage police officers not to be “too nice” when apprehending criminal suspects

Help draft a misleading statement about the purpose of a meeting between your son, other top campaign aides and representatives of a rival foreign power intent on interfering in the election

Deliver a speech to the Boy Scouts of America that includes mockery of a former president and winking references to sexual orgies, and then lie by claiming that the head of that organization called and told you it was the best speech ever delivered in Boy Scout history

Hang a framed copy of a fake Time magazine cover celebrating your business acumen in your golf clubs around the world

Mock a female television anchor’s appearance, saying the anchor was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” at a holiday gathering at your private resort

Force your cabinet members to take turns extolling your virtues in front of television cameras

Welcome into the Oval Office a man who threatened to assassinate your predecessor, whom he called a “subhuman mongrel,” and who referred to your political opponent as a “worthless bitch”

Continue to deny that Russia attempted to influence the presidential election, despite the consensus of the American intelligence community — and yet also blame your predecessor for not doing anything to stop that interference

Grant temporary White House press credentials to a website that, among other things, claims that Sept. 11 was an “inside job” and that the massacre of 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax

Block people who criticize you on Twitter

Claim that an investigation into your campaign’s possible collusion with a foreign power is “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

Pressure multiple intelligence chiefs to state publicly that there was no collusion between your presidential campaign and the Russian government

Without consulting anyone at the Pentagon, announce a new policy barring transgender soldiers from serving in the military

Pardon a former sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to obey the law

Continue to repeat, with admiration, a false story about an American military general committing war crimes

Mock the mayor of a world city for his careful, sober response to a terrorist attack

Tell Americans that a march of torch-carrying white supremacists and neo-Nazis includes “some very fine people” — and when one of those marchers murders a peaceful counterprotester, condemn violence on “both sides”

Run an administration whose ethical standards have, in the words of the federal government’s top ethics enforcer, made the United States “close to a laughingstock”

Hide data that don’t support your pre-existing policy preferences

Admit to trying to intimidate a key witness in a federal investigation

Leave hundreds of executive branch positions unfilled

Profit off the presidency, accepting millions of dollars from foreign government officials, businesses, politicians and other supporters who pay a premium to patronize your properties and get access to you — while also attempting to hide the visitor lists at some of those properties from the public

Promise to drain the swamp, then quietly grant ethics waivers to multiple former industry lobbyists who want to work in your administration

Tell a lie, on average, more than five times a day

Call for criminal investigations of your former political opponent, seven months after winning the election

Appoint your family wedding planner to head a federal housing office

Shove aside a fellow head of state at a photo-op

Attack private citizens on Twitter

Delegitimize federal judges who rule against you

Refuse to take responsibility for military actions gone awry

Fire the F.B.I. chief in the middle of his expanding investigation into your campaign and your associates

Accuse a former president, without evidence, of an impeachable offense

Employ top aides with financial and other connections to a hostile foreign power

Blame the judiciary, in advance, for any terror attacks

Call the media “the enemy of the American people”

Demand personal loyalty from the F.B.I. director

Threaten the former F.B.I. director

Accept foreign payments to your businesses, in possible violation of the Constitution

Occupy the White House with the help of a hostile foreign power

Intimidate congressional witnesses

Allow White House staff members to use their personal email for government business

Neglect to fill thousands of crucial federal government positions for months

Claim, without evidence, that millions of people voted illegally

Fail to fire high-ranking members of your national security team for weeks, even after knowing they lied to your vice president and exposed themselves to blackmail

Refuse to release tax returns

Hide the White House visitors’ list from the public

Vacation at one of your private residences nearly every weekend

Use an unsecured personal cellphone

Criticize specific businesses for dropping your family members’ products

Review and discuss highly sensitive intelligence in a restaurant, and allow the Army officer carrying the “nuclear football” to be photographed and identified by name

Obstruct justice

Hire relatives for key White House posts, and let them meet with foreign officials and engage in business at the same time

Promote family businesses on federal government websites

Tweet, tweet, tweet

Collude with members of Congress to try to shut down investigations of you and your associates

Threaten military conflict with other nations in the middle of news interviews

Compare the U.S. intelligence community to Nazis

Display complete ignorance about international relations, your own administration’s policies, American history and the basic structure of our system of government

Skip daily intelligence briefings

Repeat untruths

Share highly classified information with a hostile foreign power without the source’s permission


Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 08 Oct 2017 10:12

Except for trump... I refuse to capitalize his name, regardless of where in a sentence it appears. Also, if a pronoun referring to him starts a sentence, I won't capitalize that either. he just hasn't earned the respect IMHO.

That made me smile because I never refer to him with the title President, also as a matter of respect and my lack of it for him.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 08 Oct 2017 09:59

Here here. I think that whole section ought to be strung up on the front of the White House.

I just cannot understand the mentality that defends the 'right' to own what are essentially weapons of warfare, designed not for self-defence but for mass killing. To own one of these would be bad enough, but allowing people to own their own arsenal is asking for trouble. What sensible, defensible need could anyone have to own a weapon like that, other than the occasional 'pleasure shoot' in the back yard? It's not for hunting. It's not for sport. It's not even for self defence. It's for murdering people by the multitude. If you're determined to fire one for fun, there are ranges where you can do that. You don't need to buy your own - and definitely not a collection of them.

The mental health argument has been passed around to death. It's tiring, and it's people passing the excuse down the line. If this man was mentally ill, it just proves that it can come in a moment, with no warning or any chance of stopping it. He was perfectly sane just days before, if you believe the reports. In which case, as you say, he's corrupted in some other way that you can't control. Mental health acts won't change a person's vindictive, selfish, aggressive nature when that little bit of sanity in their head finally snaps. But if, when that person cracks, the only thing they can lay their hand on is a kitchen knife, do people really think he's going to manage to injure ~600 people?

There needs to be more done for the mentally ill, that's a given - and it goes for almost every state in the world. We could all do more for the mentally ill. But again, limiting their access to deadly weaponry should be #1 on the list, with a big ring around it, highlighted in red. Nevermind the extra few guns the gun companies will sell. It's not worth people's lives.

There's a gun culture in America, that's so deep-rooted, I genuinely can't see it changing for a long, long time. It's almost religious, if you listen to some people. It's a scarily blind attitude to hold, but people do. I don't see anything happening to change things just yet. There's too much good hard cash to be made selling these guns for the Americans to allow something like a few thousand people a year dying to change things. Change is a slow process, but the more people shouting for it, the more likely it is to succeed.

I think it's maybe easier to see these things from the outside. Maybe it is just too deep-seated a philosophy amongst much of the American populace. Maybe the reliance on guns is something we just can't relate to, because our societies function perfectly well without them. The attitude towards race is something I see through-out, though. Terrorist, lone gunman, mentally unsound... What's the difference? These are all people who, for their own twisted, irrational reasons, decide to vent their anger, frustration and hate into killing and maiming the lives of innocent people. Label them however you want, but regardless or religion, race or belief, they all suffer from the same sickness, the same twisted perspective on reality that drives them to these acts. Don't put them into separate boxes, as though they're a different breed. These are all symptons of the much bigger problems we all face. Anyone can be a terrorist. Anyone can be a shooter, or a bomber. If this proves anything, it's that we need to focus on society as a whole and not the little boxes we put people into, because no one is safe and no one is beyond suspicion.

When you treat everyone as a suspect; when everyone has the capacity and potential to be a mass murderer, suddenly the prospect of all those guns becomes a lot more terrifying. That's the truth of it. We make the mistake of thinking that these actions, and these beliefs in people, are somehow rare and to be ignored; but it keeps happening, and it keeps proving that maybe they're not as rare as we thought they were.

Thanks, Lupus. I think you are on to something as well.

There was a book written by Hannah Arendt called "The Banality of Evil" about Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem for war crimes. Part of what it described was the normalization of human wickedness. That is what is going on with the gun debate. People don't want to accept that these shootings are done not by madmen or terrorists but by ordinary Americans, the situation becomes much more frightening as does the ability of just about everyone to get a gun. It is much easier to say "That is not someone like me. That person is a terrorist who hates America or a person with deep mental health issues." It also reminds me of something my father used to quote out of an old comic strip called "Pogo", "We have met the enemy and he is us." If you look around you in the US, a large percentage of those people you see may well be gun owners. How do we know if they have a conscience and empathy or if they are sociopaths? We don't. We have no idea what any of them are capable of doing. Many people get along well in society, are accomplished professionally, have friends and family and are capable of pure evil. There is no test or gene for that. So, it is not just those with a history of violent crime, domestic abuse, or mental health issues that are the threat.

As well, as I touched on above, the societal acceptance of guns has to be broken in the US. If it could be done for smoking, it can be done for this. It will not be easy, but the security people think they have with guns (unless they live in rural or wilderness areas where they truly need them for safety) is a false one. If some of the concertgoers in Las Vegas had been armed and started shooting (as is often suggested by gun proponents) they would have killed and injured more innocent people. Guns should not be some kind of security blanket for Americans. The rest of us in the developed world live happy and safer lives without them.

Edit: There is something I have to add. American society has become divided and remains so. People get their news from sources that confirm their biases. The immunity to false information and propaganda have broken down and there is a flood of bogus information. Trump has delegitimized any fact checking and criticism by labeling reliable news sources as fake news. He has also unleashed a torrent of hatefulness out in the open, things that people would have been embarrassed to say outside of their homes that are racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic and more are now said without shame. That David Duke should thank Trump for his support for his remarks on Charlottesville says it all. This is a long way of saying that the current atmosphere is another way that evil has become an accepted everyday thing.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 08 Oct 2017 07:48

It is easy to say that the shooter was insane and that there should be more stringent vetting that would not allow those with mental health issues to buy guns. But the shooter had no history of mental health issues. Saying so is a dodge of the real problem. He was an evil man. You cannot legislate or regulate against that. And the truth is that an Obama era measure that made it more difficult for those with mental health problems to get guns was quashed this year.

Speaker Ryan is disingenuous on this issue given that the proposals for replacing Obamacare cut funding for community and medical supports for people with mental health needs. This is an attempt to divert attention from the main issue: guns. The gun death rate of the US is ten times that of other developed democracies: 30,000 annually vs. almost zero in Japan. The rate is almost 41 times higher than in the UK. The US has 15 times as many guns as the UK and if you look at state statistics those states with more gun ownership have higher rates of gun deaths. The CDC has been forbidden by law from doing any research related to guns and public health. This law was pushed by the NRA to disallow any research that might advocate any measure of gun control.

Banning the stock is a tiny step. Disallowing gun ownership for those with backgrounds of domestic violence and substance abuse as well as mental health issues. There must be universal background checks no matter how or where guns are purchased. Weapons of war should be banned. The stubborn inaction in the face of continuing mass shootings is irrational. If the shooter had been a Muslim this would have been the worst terrorist attack since 9/11 and one can only imagine what Trump would do about it. When the perpetrator is a foreigner, the immediate reaction is what can be done to that country to punish them. When it is an American, the reaction is a willful blindness and nothing is done.

It is, we are told, a cultural phenomenon. Americans love guns. Forty-five states allow you to openly carry a handgun. Forty-two states allow you to carry a concealed weapon after obtaining a licence to do so. The remaining eight allow you to carry a concealed weapon with no particular licence. There has to be a cultural change that will be difficult to achieve. Americans have to be convinced that you can live your life without owning an arsenal. As the world is changing and some people feel powerless against that change, guns may make them feel powerful again. That connection has to be broken.

Topic Employers now will be able to deny contraception coverage for employees
Posted 07 Oct 2017 17:46

Why should employers have to cover birthcontrol pills? I mean it's not a symptom or a pre existing condition. It's just birth control isn't that a more personal thing and not something that a boss needs to cover?

First, if you read through this thread carefully you would have seen that there are many reasons other than birth control that are medically sound for women taking birth control pills. This is no more a personal decision than taking chemotherapy is for cancer.

By your logic, men should not have ED drugs covered, because that is a personal thing too. However, men in power will never make a decision like that. Their pompous religiosity is a transparent move to exert power over women, women who should be making their own healthcare decisions and have them supported in their insurance.

You should also know that pre-existing conditions are usually not covered in US healthcare plans, so why did you mention that?

Topic Employers now will be able to deny contraception coverage for employees
Posted 07 Oct 2017 15:48

feel free to ask me how much my medical bills amounted to over the past 18 months. thankfully, i do have good health insurance, but i do pay some healthy premiums. btw, if we ever lose the pre-existing conditions clause at this point, i'm toast.

It seems to be that the issue of pre-existing conditions is a way for insurance companies to cherry pick the healthiest people and maximize their profits. What kind of plan is unavailable if you ever have been ill or if you become ill and have to change insurers with a job change. The capitalist system at its best. I understand that insurance companies routinely deny coverage of procedures and medications without a physician being the decision maker. Another thing that makes no sense in the US system.

The very idea that healthcare should be run with profit as its primary goal is immoral. Everyone in the richest country in the world deserves healthcare as a right of citizenship, not a privilege.

Topic Employers now will be able to deny contraception coverage for employees
Posted 07 Oct 2017 13:27

That's awfully close to the argument made by Blackstone, Locke and Jefferson about the right to keep and bear arms. If and when single payer comes to the USA, it will likely be decided on just such grounds.

But you may instead see a system where things related to life and health are covered while things outside of those groups are not.

There probably should be a for profit system in place to cover elective things that single payer does not.

Should taxpayer funded single payer health coverage pay for facial reconstruction after an accident? Probably yes. Should it pay for a cosmetic face lift? Probably not.

Should taxpayer funded single payer health coverage pay for abortions? Get ready! There's going to be a heap of push back on that no matter which way it goes.

BTW, I consider the phrase "single payer" to be a bit of a smoke screen at best. The truth is that the government won't pay for any health care, The taxpayers will in fact pay for all of it.

Of course we pay for our healthcare out of our taxes in Canada, but much, much less on a per capita basis than we would pay for similar insurance in the US. Everyone is covered for medically necessary care. Face lifts and breast augmentations, etc. are not. So you are right about that. Abortions are covered.

No one goes bankrupt because of medical bills. After 65 prescription medications are covered as well. I have extra coverage for dental, eye exams, prescription drugs, and a private hospital room. It also covers a certain amount of physio, massage, and other services so long as they are prescribed by a doctor.

By the way, the horror stories about long waits in Canada that are used as an argument against single payer in the US are grossly exaggerated. As well, we rank much higher than the US on measures like infant mortality rates despite being outspent. Of course ours is not a for profit system.

Topic Employers now will be able to deny contraception coverage for employees
Posted 07 Oct 2017 11:10

The obvious answer here is comprehensive healthcare through a single-payer system.

Everyone is covered for everything in exactly the same way.

And, yes, I'm fine with my taxes covering something like this. Viagra. Birth Control. Chemo. Hospice care. Eye Health. Dental.

If you have the right to life, you have a right to health. Your income shouldn't determine how much/how good your care is. Eyesight shouldn't be something you pay extra for. It's ridiculous that my insurance company, and not my doctor, set the set the standards for when I can get an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitoring. Now I have to jump through my employer's religious hoops as well?

Health care shouldn't be a for-profit system. It's gruesome.

Exactly. Healthcare is a right of citizenship in every western democratic country except the US, and not a for profit industry as in the US. The scores of people who were injured in Las Vegas may well be in debt for years or bankrupted if they do not have adequate coverage for their hospital stays. What does that say about the US system?

Topic Employers now will be able to deny contraception coverage for employees
Posted 07 Oct 2017 10:36


No. Working for an entity that is itself a religious organization might be an exception, for example if you were an administrative employee of a Catholic church. In that case, the employer could enforce its values. But if you work for any other kind of entity, the owners should not be permitted to impose their values on their employees. That offends the freedom of employees to make their own choices on birth control according to their own values. As well, as NymphWriter pointed out birth control meds are prescribed for many other health reasons.

As for the comparison of Viagra and birth control, we all know that ED meds are not birth control, but we also know that they are related to sex for men just as birth control is related to sex for women. The majority male Congress is for the most part loathe to proscribe anything male related and have no such compunctions attempting to exert control over women's choices. The Constitution prohibits the establishment of a state religion. This kind of regulation, rule or legislation empowers one religion or view over others. I understand that this rule will be contested in the Supreme Court. We will see how that goes.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 07 Oct 2017 08:41

It's good to see so many people with their thinking caps on on a Saturday morning. ;-)

OK, so maybe a couple of hangovers but whatever.

It's now 2021, the GOP was smashed in the 2018 mid terms and President Donald Trump was shortly thereafter impeached and convicted by the new Democratic controlled Congress. After a hard fought campaign, Kanye West is now in office as POTUS #46. In a dramatic Oval Office ceremony, the new President with First Lady Kim Kardashian at his side, signed into law the new Pelosi - Feinstein Common Sense Gun Safety Act of 2021 which among other provisions, limited the number of firearms owned by any American citizen to a maximum of 5. All current gun owners are required to register their firearms with their local police agency.

Despite repeated public service announcements, coverage in the press, and on leading TV outlets, compliance with the new law seems to be running at about 20% of estimates.

What now?

First we change the hypothetical. The GOP is smashed in 2018 and Trump is impeached and convicted of obstruction of justice. Several members of his team including his son-in-law have been convicted of criminal charges relating to collusion with the Russians and corruption. Cory Booker is the Democratic president.

Gun sales are monitored nationally. Ammunition sales are monitored nationally. There are random checks at gun clubs, etc. for proper documentation for guns. There is a program offering money for guns that are handed in. I believe this was done in Australia. I would look at what other countries have done to implement such a program.

I know what you are getting at. What can be done about people that don't comply? Will their homes be raided and guns confiscated? I can't offer a solution that will fix it all. But at least guns would be controlled on a going forward basis.

Topic Employers now will be able to deny contraception coverage for employees
Posted 07 Oct 2017 08:23

Once more religion has overtaken the free will of others. Employers had not been permitted to do this under President Obama, but Trump has reversed this. Of course Viagra and the like will still be covered for men. These people should not be able to impose their values on others. Imagine the reaction in the US if Muslim employers were allowed to have all female employees wear a hijab no matter what their religion. The uproar would be enormous. It is interesting that these same people want to limit or even ban access to abortions and surely there will be a lot more unwanted pregnancies under this new regime. You have to wonder if the right's vision for American women is "The Handmaid's Tale".

My view is that the energy that these people expend should be directed to fostering children who have been unwanted, abused, or taken from parents who are addicts. That would be more useful to society.

As an aside, one has to note how often the proponents of these policies in government are shown to be hypocrites like Rep. Tim Kennedy, a vociferous abortion opponent, who has been forced to resign when it became known that he asked his girlfriend (he is married) to have an abortion.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 07 Oct 2017 08:12

I know it's a different issue, but I was just dumbfounded at the hypocrisy as I was reading about this this morning. Stick a travel ban on Muslims, but we must protect the freedom of asshole Christians to fuck women over, yet again.

EDIT: For clarity, I am not saying Christians are assholes. I am saying those that refuse to provide reproductive healthcare for women on "religious grounds" are assholes.

I am opening another thread to discuss that lest this one get off track.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 07 Oct 2017 07:29

I will repeat something I said earlier. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. (Voltaire)

Just because there is no one perfect solution does not mean that nothing should be done. There may be many ways to impact on controlling guns in the US and reducing the possibility of mass shootings. Certainly banning weapons of war is a start. Closing the loophole for purchases at gun shows is another. Limiting the amount of ammunition purchased and tracking it as well as gun purchases would be another. Tracking purchases of guns and ammunition on the internet is another. I am in no way an expert on guns and perhaps there are flaws in these suggestions, but what I am trying to say is that several imperfect measures could cumulatively make a difference. How many senseless deaths will it take to make this happen? Of course rifles used for hunting would be permissible. No one needs a machine gun to hunt.

I know that America's love affair with guns is deeply rooted in a frontier mentality and in some sectors related to a certain paranoia about black helicopters and conspiracy theories. But just as smoking was once common and widespread and is now far less socially acceptable, change is possible. There is no reason for there to be enough guns for every man, woman and child in the US. None.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 05 Oct 2017 10:28

I think you will agree that Think Tank discussions freely wander back and forth across the boundary between civil discourse and a bar room brawl. I would prefer that it didn't. But I've been outvoted. Then I was told I was a fool to expect Think Tank would ever be what I imagined it should be. You cannot insist on Marquess of Queensberry Rules when someone is swinging a bar stool at your head. Life is like that sometimes.

You are operating from a place that assumes you are right and not only that they are wrong and you will argue until you make them change their minds. This is not a topic for which people have wishy washy opinions. So, argue your points and understand that others disagree for their own good reasons. If it devolves, call that person out rather than upping the ante to a barroom brawl level. You retain more credibility with calm and rational debate rather than name calling.


Americans have a long history with guns, but we are in the 21st century, not the 19th century frontier. There is no need for an ordinary person to have weapons of war or handguns. I understand having rifles for hunting and protection if you live in a rural area but these too should be part of a national database and licensing system. The Second Amendment was written in the 18th century to empower a civilian militia lest there be a tyrannical government and remember too that this was a time when the arms were muskets, hand loaded for each shot. All of that is archaic now. Even if the concept of a militia could be justified in the 21st century, that does not account for a gun for every man, woman, and child in the US. Americans are in the thrall of their guns and the propaganda of the NRA//ILA. That organization sways power far out of proportion to its membership, finances vast lobbying campaign with any hint of gun limitations or controls, and holds elected officials hostage to their views with enormous campaign contributions and its own efforts during elections picking favourable candidates.

The GOP seems open to legislation banning bump stocks. The ban on assault weapons expired some time ago, and perhaps will be reinstated. Each time there is a mass shooting we hope that there will be some action to end this, and each time we have been disappointed. If it didn't happen after the carnage of small children in Sandy Hook it seemed it would never happen. Maybe we have finally reached a moment there will be change. I heard a number of country music performers including one who was at the concert in question have changed their minds about guns. I hope there is a lot more of that.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 04 Oct 2017 21:59

The New York Times has published a list of the Senators and Congressmen who receive the most money from the NRA. I thought it would be interesting reading here as the Senate amounts are in the millions.


John McCain Arizona $7.7 million
Richard Burr NC $6.9 million
Roy Blunt Mo $4.5 million
Thom Tillis NC $4.4 million
Corey Gardner Co $3.8 million
Marco Rubio Fl $3.3 million
Joni Ernst Iowa $3.1 million
Rob Portman Ohio $3.0 million
Todd Young Indiana $2.8 million
Bill Cassidy La $2.8 million

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 04 Oct 2017 19:17

I feel like I'm not getting across to people. Let me try an analogy.

Imagine there's a group of people in danger of dying from thirst. You're about to dip into a well, fill a bucket with water, and carry it to them via a long difficult journey.

And you're pissed at me because I pointed out that your bucket has a hole in it. You're insisting that this is the only bucket that will work. I'm not saying to let them die. I'm not saying you're an idiot for trying to take them water.


You have to accept that some of us do not agree with your views on this issue. It is not that we don't understand.

Your analogy does not really fit because, to carry the analogy further, whatever vessel we find, another bucket, a jerrycan, a large water bottle, you will find fault with it and say it will not work. Back to gun control. There is no acceptable strategy, law or plan that limits or controls access to guns for you because you agree with the status quo. You are entitled to your opinion as I am to mine.

"Wake the fuck up" is not part of civil discourse.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 04 Oct 2017 18:27

You are still put up blanket arguments against any kind of control.
This guy, amassing weapons in the manner that he did, could have been identified as someone who ought to be investigated.

I'm sure you are right that people can make guns at home. But, 42 of them?

One tiny bit of control doesn't catch everyone but you are clearly not in favor of any control whatsoever.
Perhaps you get off watching videos of scores of people being massacred.

That is the standard argument from those that do not want any control on guns, even weapons of war, to nitpick how this or that suggestion is flawed. I say don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Any good idea that prevents another massacre is better than doing nothing at all. Several good ideas could actually make a dent in the gun violence in the US.

This may finally have reached a critical mass. There is a report tonight that even the GOP is suggesting that banning the bump stock rapid fire device is a possibility. I guess pigs are flying and hell has frozen over. I wonder what the NRA will say to this.

Topic Las Vegas shooting: Dozens killed in Mandalay Bay attack
Posted 03 Oct 2017 17:49

Please summarize the info in the link.

Edit: He was adding it as I posted. It's all good now.

Topic Tom Petty
Posted 03 Oct 2017 17:36

What a shame. I loved the Traveling Wilburys and also remember a great documentary which included him and Springsteen, Elvis Costello and many others honouring Roy Orbison, "Roy Orbison: A Black and White Night".

Topic Power Play by Principessa and Milik_the_Red
Posted 03 Oct 2017 17:30

Just 110 views away from 30K. How about pushing it over the top? Thank you in advance.

Topic Congratulations Alabama!
Posted 03 Oct 2017 17:25

You know, American politics is getting very confusing in that it is getting more and more difficult to tell reality from an SNL skit. Moore is the embodiment of every cliche about the retrograde south and it speaks volumes that he was elected. Are Alabamans in some kind of denial of the 21st century, or should I say the 20th? What's next? Perhaps an effort to repeal the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts? A return to the good old days when women knew their place in the kitchen and minorities knew theirs, separate and unequal, and the white man was king? Oh well, what can we expect from the place that produced that well known voice for civil liberties and equality Jeff Sessions.

I give SNL two weeks to find an actor to impersonate this guy. There will be no necessity for the writers to do anything. Just a transcript of his remarks will do. What do you think? Maybe Tommy Lee Jones if they can convince him to do it.