Thursday, January 23, 2020
Johnson Law Firm / Flickr Betsy DeVos Plans to Change Campus...

While teachers struggle, billionaire education secretary’s security costs to hit nearly $20 million

Sure, American’s teachers often have to work two or even three jobs just to make ends meet while education budgets nationwide are under attack from Republican legislatures. But when it comes to security for...

Plan to Stop Mass Shootings? Monitor Phones of Mentally Ill

The Trump administration is considering “novel” approaches to stop mass-shootings. Of course, the administration is not considering restricting the sale of military armaments to the nation’s average HVAC installer or PE teacher. No, the latest ideas focus upon monitoring the “mentally ill,” perhaps from their phones. Via the Washington Post: Advisers to Wright quickly pulled together a three-page proposal — called SAFEHOME for Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes – which calls for exploring whether technology like phones and smart watches can be used to detect when mentally ill people are about to turn violent. Under no circumstances will you ever hear me make light of the ravages of mental illness, or pass up an opportunity to highlight the need for better, more compassionate healthcare for such insidious diseases. And we do certainly need to discuss mental health issues with regard to the mass-shooting epidemic. However, fighting mental illness as the primary approach to decreasing mass-shootings is, well, insane. As you might guess, it is exceedingly difficult to effectively predict which people needing care are the type that will soon turn to violence. “I would love if some new technology suddenly came along that would help us identify violent risk, but there’s so many things about this idea of predicting violence that doesn’t make sense,” said Marisa Randazzo, former chief research psychologist for the U.S. Secret Service. True. Nor does it make any sense to take a gun designed to mow down fifty enemy fighters on a battlefield and sell that gun to the average produce section manager in Tulsa. There are a few other pragmatic concerns about monitoring the phones of select at-risk people: Beyond the civil liberty concerns about monitoring people through their gadgets, Randazzo said, there’s the problem of false positives. Even if the technology could be developed, such a program would likely flag tens, or hundreds of thousands, more possible suspects than actual shooters. How, she asked, would you sort through them? And how would you know you were right, given the difficulty of proving something that hasn’t happened? Yes, I can see how it might be a difficult correlation. However, I have no difficulty correlating mass-shootings, especially those involving double digit victims, with the AR-15 and variants thereof. Indeed, we are getting to a point where it is a near 1:1 “correlation.” This nation once had the good sense to ban assault rifles like the AR-15. Of course, addressing the AR-15 correlation is off the table, a non-starter. This country lacks the requisite mental health to gauge cause and effect, benefits versus costs, freedom to arm versus freedom to go out in public. I would like to be able to take the Administration’s concern about mental illness and its role in mass shootings more seriously. But Republicans have been indefatigable in their effort to rid many Americans of access to healthcare generally (especially those with pre-existing conditions, such as mental illness). It is exceedingly difficult to imagine Republicans funding medical interventions that both help the sick and protect the innocent. The current focus on mental illness” seems designed primarily to distract from the real question about deranged thought. Just what the fck are we doing selling military weaponry to the average Dorito-eating American? **** Peace, y’all Jason jmiciak@yahoo.com, and please follow me on Twitter @MiciakZoom […]
Gage Skidmore / Flickr jeff sessions...

Donald Trump continues to try and make Attorney General Jeff Sessions quit

Once again, Donald Trump is using his morning Twitter fit as a way to attack, not just Hillary Clinton, but the attorney general he put in office. This is another in a string of such attacks, which seem to be centered around a portion of Trump’s...
Wochit News / YouTube Trump  s Defends Rob Porter...

Next On House Subpoena List: Former White House Aide Rob Porter

The House Judiciary Committee is planning to subpoena former White House staff secretary Rob Porter in its investigation into Donald Trump’s obstruction of justice (which potentially is or isn't an impeachment inquiry). The committee is expected to...
delphic / Flickr flooded at times...

Trump Disbands U.S. Climate Advisory Panel Providing Critical Data For Coastal Protections

On Sunday, Trump abandoned the coastal United States in their efforts to prepare and plan against the effects of climate change, specifically denying them information to assess the impact of sea level rise on new construction and the means to prevent...

The Ominous Presidential Memorandum That Everyone Missed

While all eyes were focused on the “Muslim Ban 2” coming out today, hidden from all the hoopla was this item buried in a Memorandum to several heads of departments... Sec. 3.  Enforcement of All Laws for Entry into the United States.  I direct the...

Right Wing Columnist Ignites Outrage When He Calls Death Of Yemeni Boy ‘Ginned Up...

One of the saddest observations to be made about the War on Truth that we’re currently living through is that the unprincipled distill every story down to the publicity impact and subsequent bias potential of any given piece, and completely lose sight of the human story contained therein. Such is the case here. A two year old Yemeni boy died Friday in an Oakland hospital, after being kept apart from his mother for the past 17 months, due to the Muslim travel ban. A young couple losing their baby, “the light of our lives” as his mother described him, is a tragedy, under any circumstances.  Despite that, conservative commentator, Kurt Schlichter, in an egregious display of lack of humanity, had the hubris to say, “I don’t care,” and then when that blew up in his face, to double down and characterize the incident as a “ginned up media agenda item.” Wow. I think it’s safe to assume that Mr. Schlichter never lost a child. The divide in this culture is not political. It’s existential. It goes to the root of how a human being lives in a society. This is the wealthiest nation on the globe but being impoverished here is virtually a death sentence, condemning a person to be denied care for treatable illnesses. Tax bills should be passed in congress to address that issue, and the issue of a livable minimum wage. Instead, the ones that pass are solely for the purpose of fattening the coffers of the mega wealthy. This is just one more example of the vulnerable and marginalized being victimized. In this instance, the humanity of the situation, of a mother needing to go to the death bed of her infant son, was the compelling interest. An idiotic travel ban, instituted solely by Steve Bannon, no less, to create a talking point showing what a tough guy Trump is, stopped her. That is callousness and cruelty of a heretofore unimaginable scale and it is not something that would have ever happened in the America most of us grew up in.

Steve Bannon has been removed from the National Security Council

Steve Bannon has been booted from the National Security Council: President Donald Trump reorganized his National Security Council on Wednesday, removing his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and downgrading the role of his Homeland Security...
The Ring of Fire / YouTube Report Says John Kelly IGNORES Trump 1539369416.jpg...

John Kelly tried to gaslight Elizabeth Warren, called her an ‘arrogant woman’ when she...

It took Sen. Elizabeth Warren a week in early 2017 to get then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on the phone to answer questions about the Muslim ban and how his agency was responding to...
Fox Business / YouTube Why conservatives are urging midterm voters...

National Conservatism Conference was a coming-out party for unvarnished white nationalism

Recently, Republicans have demonstrated a huge amount of concern over the idea that there might be someone in Congress who holds anti-Semitic views. Someone suggesting that Jewish Americans have divided loyalties. And it turns...

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