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Friday Open Thread

by Nomad Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 11:40:37 AM EST

Go ahead

This is fabulous

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 12:34:19 PM EST

What talent - what will he be doing when he's only 16  ? :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 12:13:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NPR - NRA Vows To Stop Tucson From Destroying Guns

from Moshe (sorry : no link)

"Suing to prevent the destruction of these guns demonstrates that for many, our gun culture is not about Constitutional rights, self defense, or an innocent hobby interest in precision machines. Rather, it is a form of what the Hebrew prophets, and the Puritans influenced by them, called idolatry."

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and her husband, Mark Kelly, have formed a political action committee to support prevention of gun violence. The announcement came Tuesday, the second anniversary of the mass shooting in Tucson that left six dead and wounded 13, including Giffords.

Churches and fire stations around the city rang bells in memory of the victims and in commemoration of other mass shootings since Tucson.

The Tucson Police Department also held a gun buyback Tuesday. Police want to destroy the 206 firearms turned in to them. But the National Rifle Association says that would violate Arizona law.

A line of people with guns formed in front of the midtown Tucson police station well before the 9 a.m. starting time for the buyback.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 12:38:12 PM EST
Just 'store' the guns in a concrete block enclosure with a malfunctioning fire sprinkler system. It wouldn't hurt to add salt to the mix.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 12:57:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My anthropology is too weak to decide if the NRA looks on guns as a fetish:

A fetish ... is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a man-made object that has power over others.

or a totem:

... a being, object, or symbol representing an [object,] animal or plant that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe, reminding them of their ancestry (or mythic past).

or some strange mixture compounded into a Cultural Icon

... object that represents some aspect of the values, norms or ideals perceived to be inherent in a culture, or section of a culture

by paranoid psychotics, ruled by their amygdala.    

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 01:03:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
right to life for guns?
by stevesim on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 01:13:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guns are people, my friends

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 02:03:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, some  looney in the US did say that guns were being discriminated against
by stevesim on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 02:51:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As a political organization they're stuck with the diminishing returns of the right wing narrative in which the appeal has to come from their potential audience seeing themselves as victims. The narrative has long since been taken to its limit - guns are sacred religious objects, same with eggs and sperm, homosexuality causes destructive weather events, etc.

And by "limit" I mean that by taking it any further the appeal lessens. We could execute women who get abortions or people who destroy guns, but that won't get more people to vote for republicans.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 06:44:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huff Po - TV interview with Matt Taibbi

there's a long version as well which I haven't yet watched

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 12:44:05 PM EST
New Statesman - Laurie Penny - What does the SWP's way of dealing with sex assault allegations tell us about the left?

How do we deal with sexual violence on the left? Here's a case study.

The Socialist Workers' Party, for those who aren't familiar with it already, is a political organisation of several thousand members which has been a prominent force on the British left for more than 30 years. They are at the forefront of the fight against street fascism in Britain, were a large organising presence in the student and trade union movement over the past several years, and are affiliated with large, active parties in other countries, like Germany's Die Linke. Many of the UK's most important thinkers and writers are members, or former members.

Like many others on the left in Britain, I've had my disagreements with the SWP, but I've also spoken at their conferences, drunk their tea, and have a lot of respect for the work they do. They are not a fringe group: they matter. And it matters that right now, the party is exploding in messy shards because of a debate about sexism, sexual violence and wider issues of accountability.

Personally I disagree with Laurie, the SWP have always been irrelevant but well funded with more than its fair share of complete shits amongst its senior membership, but she makes a good point otherwise

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 12:59:10 PM EST
Top-down authoritarian structures are a playground for sociopaths.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 01:10:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In addition, organisations does not evolve the skills to handle structural power differences just because they are against said structural power differences.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 02:30:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can the Left save Greece? Interview with SYRIZA's leading economic advisor:

'Once we're in power after the next elections, we will no longer be the ones who react but those who can take initiatives towards a different direction. This is what we'll do, not only in Greece, but also on the international level.

As Alexis Tsipras has said in the past, we will call upon all European governments to re-examine all the treaties signed in the past few years, which drove Greek society to the situation we find ourselves in today. At the same time we will call for an international forum to discuss the viability and targets of Greek and European debt and budgets, rather than simply the short-term management of the debt crisis we've seen to date. We also intend to take up initiatives in the direction of re-examining the European Union treaties that make up the pivotal points of what brought us to this. The neoliberal model has failed and it's time for a change. This is the horizon of the European Left politics.'

He seems to be effectively agreeing with Leo Panitch's remarks here:

'[N]o matter what happens in Greece and no matter what the successes of Syriza would be in this respect, they are only going to be able to go so far in the absence of corresponding shifts in the balance of forces in Europe, especially in northern Europe and, crucially, Germany. We're back to 1917: the shift occurs in the weakest link, but the ability of the forces of fundamental change in a society like Greece to carry it through in a way that would be democratic and realise their goals depends on complementary shifts inside other nation states, above all the more powerful ones.'

The Heathlander
by heathlander on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 02:08:04 PM EST
Ah yes, but Greece is stronger than Germany thinks.

A bank which is owed a few million by a country has the trump cards
A bank which is owed a few billion by a country is in serious trouble

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 02:47:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
today the report into the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal describes the sordid details of what is known of his behaviour.

The police and Crown Prosecution service say that things will be different in future.

However, you can't help but notice how bad the prosecution rate is for the rape of adults, how so many women are simply disbelieved when they report a rape. So, if adults aren't believed, who is it who will believe children ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 at 05:06:49 PM EST
And every day, at least one tabloid newspaper will publish a topless picture of a mid teenage girl for middle aged men to pleasure themselves by.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 02:41:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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