Wednesday Open Thread

The Supreme Court held argument on the Voting Rights Act.

President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders about "the sequester."

NBC has responded to the George Zimmerman lawsuit seeking damages for its mangled editing of his call to non-emergency to report Trayvon Martin as a suspicious person. In other case news, the FBI is objecting to the court order (available here) to produce its records to the defense. The FBI's pleading is here.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    What's good for the goose, (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 03:27:37 PM EST
    is not necessarily, good for the gander.   That new-fangled way of calculating cost of living increases with "chained CPI" is  a good cut for it gets at all those old-timers who are luxuriously indulging themselves with their social security dole.

    The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (a result of the fiscal cliff deal) not only preservers the $5 million indexed estate tax exemptions for the makers for  2010, but also, is adjusted for inflation the old-fashioned way.  The new exemption in 2012 was $5.12 million and $5.25 million in 2013.

    I think we can look forward to getting those old-timers (and other takers) in any alternative to the sequester.

    And the best thing about Chained CPI... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by unitron on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 04:20:45 PM EST
    ...is that it'll incentivize some inventive soul to finally come up with a good inexpensive replacement for catfood.

    Made out of stray feral cats, perhaps.


    Today's question (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 04:07:12 PM EST
    Today's question   

    How do those, mostly Conservative, States plan to overcome the ongoing demographic changes taking place in America today? As we know, the country is rapidly getting to the point where the traditional "White" majority will become a minority. Obviously, Conservatives realize their days may be numbered and have attempted to counter this trend of non-white voters (who tend to vote Liberal, or Progressive) through several means: Gerrymandering is one, voter suppression, another. However, since those tactics weren't enough to defeat an AA President for re-election, the Republican brain trust (yeah, I know, the oxymoron writes itself) have taken their complaint to that paragon of Virtue & Fairness, the Supreme Court.

    In a situation taking place as we speak, a situation that should illustrate the adage, "Elections Matter, our Supreme Court is hearing arguments regarding The 1965 Voters Rights Act.

    And, from what I'm reading, it's not going well.

    NYT, Link

    To Me... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 04:29:48 PM EST
    ...this past election proved it was necessary.  They had to block several state voting laws, namely the transparent voter ID non-sense.

    If the complaint is that it treats states unfairly, then instead of scraping Section 5, just apply it to all states.  The states listed are red, states that aren't going to be decided by ridiculous voting laws, its the purple states that need to be monitored, those are the ones deciding the presidential elections with our current system.

    As a side not, it's ridiculous that people voting for the the President have different requirements depending on where they live.  States should not determine who is eligible to vote for the POTUS.  There should be a National standard.


    In case you missed it, the election of the Prez (none / 0) (#107)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:46:51 PM EST
    is not national... but rather a state by state affair.

    That's My Entire Point (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:22:17 AM EST
    States should not decide the rules for a National election, but they do.  Ditto with the Electoral College rules that some are trying to currently change.

    If disenfranchisement efforts fail... (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:43:31 AM EST
    Brand R is gonna have to find a new dog to kick, and convince the new demographics to kick it with 'em.

    Meanwhile, with sequestration, (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:12:19 PM EST
    and the incalculable hurting it's gonna put on millions of regular folks:

    The Market finished UP 175 points!

    Simply illustrating that what's bad for 99% of the people is great for the 1%.

    (and, please don't tell me about your Uncle Jake and how his $125, 401k doubled in price)

    Latest GOP talking points seem to be that it will (none / 0) (#23)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:58:16 PM EST
    not be bad, Obama is exaggerating, etc. of course after it happens and really is bad, it will be all his fault.

    My jury service ended today...in a mistrial (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:20:59 PM EST
    We were hopelessly hung up. The case was a civil suit 'slip and fall' at Walt Disneyworld in 2007.  Plaintiff charged WDW with negligence over their procedures for cleaning up the 'protein spill' i.e vomit that she slipped and fell in, and claimed hurt her back requiring surgery and, so far, 6 years of heavy pain medication.  We were hopelessly deadlocked on the negligence claim. The spill was cleaned up in less than 2 minutes, and most of us thought the Disney response was 'reasonable', which was the standard we were to use. I won't bore you with ALL of the details...but one juror was not bending on seeing negligence, and at least me and one other were not bending the other way. We really did try to see it her way, but I for one could not get there.  I don't think they should have to design all of their procedures to achieve 100% protection around a freak accident.  (The off ramp where the barf was was not attached to a ride people usually throw up on - in fact no evidence of anyone ever throwing up on that area before) The damages, if we had gotten that far, would have been tough to decide because she had a pre-exisiting back trouble that had been recommended for surgery already. She had significant depression and pain problems previous to the fall also. So it would have been tough to sort out.

    Anyway, it was an interesting. I was upset at first to miss the wages - a week and a half of pay, but it was great to see the system at work, watch the lawyers and judge, courtroom employees, etc. A whole different world than I usually inhabit. The lead attorney representing Disney (not an in-house attorney) was impressive - very energetic, originally from NY, which contrasted with the southern laid back style of the plaintiff's attorneys. I have to say that sometimes the plaintiff's attorneys seemed like they had just been handed the case two weeks ago. They just seemed unfamiliar with it.  the case has been ongoing since 2007, so I was wondering if other attorneys had taken it up to this point.

    After it was over the judge came in and talked to us in the jury room to get our impressions and answer any questions we might have. He said he thought it was a tough case, and was not sure how he would have gone either, which made us feel a little better about not having made a decision.

    We ran into the Disney defense lawyers in the lobby and chatted with them for a bit also.  When we told them we were hung up on the negligence but seemed to be leaning towards little damages, the lead attorney laughed and said that he would have been fine with a negligence finding and little-to-no damages. I told him he should not have argued so well against the negligence then!

    One of the plaintiff's attorneys saw us and came over too, so we answered his questions too, and asked him a couple of things. We all thought it was nice of them to give us a chance to vent a little, and of course it gave them good info for when/if they take the case to court again.

    We were  not in the courtroom when the judge declared the mistrial, but the plaintiff's attorney said the lady and her husband were very upset. I do feel sorry for them - they do have a lot of problems.

    Lots of evidence presented from pain management doctors. One treated her 2.5 years, and then the next one 4 so far. This long litany of pain killers they had tried on her month by month for the last 7 years was really upsetting to me. I don't see how she can fail to be depressed with all of that stuff in her system.  Ugh. And none of it is helping her pain, according to her. The first doctor frankly did not believe her, and 'fired' her as a patient.

    I thought I would have legal questions for you folks, but I guess not...maybe they will come back to me..I am decompressing!

    Here's a question (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:08:32 PM EST
    ...anyone have insight into how well juries follow the 'don't discuss the case amongst yourself' instruction?  I had to be the constant 'don't discuss the case watchdog'. It was exhausting. I know these people would have been TOTALLY discussing it at lunch if I had not been there. Have no idea what they did when I was not around. This one lady kept whining about how she did not understand why we couldn't discuss it, blah blah blah. I gave kept giving my Green Acres Oliver Wendell Douglas speech about the justice system, with the imaginary fife and drums in the background.

    I enjoyed jury service too... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:38:06 PM EST
    we sure are weird;)

    Sucks ya didn't get paid though...all that work drama sort itself out?


    It is sorting itself - thx kdog! (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:05:14 PM EST
    I start working for my new corporate overlord on the 11th. Ironically, they DO pay for jury duty. With my usual luck I do it before I get the job that pays for it.

    Couple of questions, Ruf (none / 0) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:40:08 PM EST
    Any reason why the trial took six years? It seems like a fairly standard "slip & fall" case. I've been involved in a few tort cases, and some took that long, but they were quite a bit more complicated.

    Any insight into the legal costs incurred by the plaintiff? Fighting deep pockets like Disney for 6 years must have been enormously expensive.

    And, any idea about a retrial? This may be a redundant question based on the presumed huge cost. (what was the split in the jury?)



    We were wondering why it took so (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:55:14 PM EST
    long to come to trial too. We asked the judge after, and he said they had tried to settle, and even gone to mediation - I guess that is required in Florida.  As you can imagine, Disney is adamant about not admitting negligence.

    Also, she had multiple surgeries over the years. Maybe they wanted to wait until they were finished?

    We did not get any info about legal costs. One bit of info - the plaintiff's husband (who was also an official plaintiff for the hardships incurred by him after his wife's injuries) , was a PI lawyer in New Jersey before he had medical issues of his own, and they moved to FL about a year before the incident. Got the impression they were pretty well off, based on the testimony from their neighbors - seems like a nice area of Venice FL. I got the impression they have some funds. Or at least had. Maybe their lawyers are working on spec pending a possible win?


    Split was 1 for the plaintiff, 5 for defense (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:02:17 PM EST
    I think the plaintiff attorney will probably take that into consideration along with what else we told him when deciding whether it is worth it to come back for a re- trial. The judge said it would be into next year before it would get back on the docket.

    I think they are probably wishing they had settled about now.

    Oh - another thing that grated on some jurors was that right after the fall, when the lady was getting cleaned up and Disney folks were  talking to her and her husband, testimony (undenied) was that the husband said 'this is a million dollar lawsuit'.  She was not so severely injured on the scene that she even needed help walking or on site emergency care - they went to the ER at home 8 hrs later, and he was already talking lawsuit.

    So the Disney people 6 weeks later already had surveillance cameras on her. I told them at jury selection that rubbed me the wrong way.  


    Wow... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:21:38 PM EST
    that is creepy...Disney CIA sh*t.  Was it before the lawsuit was filed?

    Not sure if it was before the lawsuit (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:48:35 PM EST
    was actually filed. It was pretty soon after the fall, and there were probably enough contacts with Disney customer relations department that they knew it was coming though, even if it was not official.

    Jury was mixed on whether the videos  proved anything. Tey were from twomdays, a year apart, one right after the fall, and one a uear later. From what folks were saying, and my opinion, was that it is possible to be injured and in pain most of the time and still have good days now and then.


    Jeesh! The guy's an attorney, and, (none / 0) (#17)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:12:19 PM EST
    knowing the public's opinion of lawyers,
    he doesn't know enough to keep his mouth shut?

    says it all..........thanks ruf


    I would say keeping their mouths shut is not (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:50:16 PM EST
    this couple's strong suit.

    Semi-Related (none / 0) (#106)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:06:37 PM EST
    I was walking out of a video store around 5 years ago, and an Enterprise employee took a corner in the parking lot and hit a woman carrying a kid at maybe 7mph.  Because the car was turning and the kid made the woman top heavy, when she fell, instead of landing on the hood, she fell over it landed on the pavement, head first.  The kid was tossed a couple feet, but landed on his feet and was unhurt, but she was in bad shape.

    They shut down a 6 lane Blvd so they could land the air life helicopter, which took a long time.

    Anyways, at some point the husband shows up and while someone else is tending to his crying kid and his unconscious wife laid in a pool of blood, he starts screaming about the lawsuit he is going to file against Enterprise.  The cops had to take him aside and I don't know what happened, I didn't see him again.  But he didn't take his kid.

    I never had to go to court, but I got a lot of calls and I think I put my statement in writing.  The kid was driving a little fast, but not ridiculous and if she not had the kid blocking her view she wouldn't have steeped in front of the car.  Enterprise had some fault, but no more than her, and the fact that she got seriously hurt IMO was just plain bad luck.

    If I had to guess, Enterprise settled.  I wish I could gotten all the details like you did, I didn't even know if the woman was alive until the layers called me months later.

    No one could believe how upset that man was and how his focus was on suing and not his family.  And unlike your case, this guy wasn't even there when it happened, and at that point his wife's life was in danger and his kid witnessed it and was being taken care of by a stranger.


    So much for the Maldives, Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Dadler on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:26:14 PM EST
    Federal Appeals Court decision: (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:50:47 AM EST
    There Is No Second Amendment Right To A Concealed Firearm

    A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which included a Reagan and a George W. Bush appointee, held unanimously on Friday that the Second Amendment does not protect a right to carry a concealed firearm:

    [T]he Heller opinion notes that, "[l]ike most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." As an example of the limited nature of the Second Amendment right to keep and carry arms, the Court observed that "the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues." And the Court stressed that "nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions."

    ...Nevertheless, this decision is a reminder that, despite the Supreme Court's decision in Heller expanding the scope of the Second Amendment, states and the federal government retain broad leeway to enact many gun safety laws.

    11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:01:46 AM EST
    Republican-led efforts to drug test all recipients of public assistance were dealt a possible death blow Tuesday by a federal appeals court when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Florida's controversial 2011 law requiring all welfare recipients and applicants to undergo drug testing. According to the Colorlines blog, the court's decision also undermines a nearly identical law proposed by Georgia's Gov. Nathan Deal (R).

    The 11th Circuit Court voted unanimously to uphold the 2011 decision by an Orlando, FL court that the tests violate the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable search and seizures.
    Georgia has waited for the 11th Circuit Court's decision before implementing Gov. Deal's program. The court has jurisdiction over Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Critics of the drug testing laws say that the court has sent a signal that Georgia's law would not survive a court challenge. link

    YAY ! (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:15:49 AM EST
    And let's hear it for Orlando courts!

    Double Yay! (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:31:25 AM EST
    The 4th hasn't flatlined...there is a pulse!

    Drug Testing to receive benefits is such a petty indignity to put people who are struggling through, I wish even the thought of doing it would be beneath us.

    You have the right to food money
    Providing of course
    You don't mind a little
    And if you cross your fingers...

    - The Clash, "Know Your Rights"


    I swear, (none / 0) (#58)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:41:25 AM EST
     I don't believe the knuckle draggers could make it to the breakfast table without Hating on somebody. I know people like that; Lordy, I know people like that. And, without wasting the time to recite the many examples, I wonder if they'll ever realize the hypocritical lives they lead as they mindlessly lurch through their days, taking the fruits of one Government program after another?

    As long as the word, "welfare," ain't in the name, any government supplemnt/assistance program is "just there,".......because.


    Whoa, (none / 0) (#61)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:44:41 AM EST
     I hope you know I'm talking about the finger pointers ragging on the poor souls trying to lift themselves up a little.

    Eight elementary students pass loaded gun ... (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:18:10 AM EST
    ... around at school:

    Eight elementary school students in Memphis, Tenn., face discipline and possibly juvenile charges after a 7-year-old brought a gun to school and passed it around on campus.

    Memphis police were dispatched to Ross Elementary School shortly before noon on Tuesday when school officials reported that students had a firearm, NBC station WMC-TV reported. When officers arrived, they found the gun in the possession of a 10-year-old boy. That boy was arrested.

    Police said that the gun was loaded and that the 7-year-old boy had brought the gun to school to show friends.

    Oh, well, ... if it wasn't a loaded gun, it would be a hammer, a frying pan, a fist, etc., etc.

    Not to mention the pencils and rulers... (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:32:17 AM EST
    and what kind of stupid parents leave a loaded gun where a 7-year old can get to it?

    Seriously, it seems like there is such an epidemic of stupid that someone should alert the CDC.


    Naturally, (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by lentinel on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:36:19 AM EST
    they arrested the boy.



    You can't have "gun control"... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:55:53 AM EST
    without handcuffs lentinel, where's the fun in that? ;)

    I see you rang the "stupid" bell (none / 0) (#45)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:59:22 AM EST
    Well, if it's "stupid" you want, "stupid" you'll get.

    From an article in "Business Insiders," author, Aly Weisman, says "Seth MacFarlane's 'We Saw Your Boobs' Song Really Angered Women In Hollywood." The article was replete with statements from Tinsel-Town's biggest female stars and they ranged from outrage to more cerebral sadness, and disappointment.

    But, apparently recalling Show Business's  oldest rule, "any publicity is good publicity,"  Best Actress winner, Jennifer Lawrence, "tripped" over her self-respect in grabbing a mic and cooing, "I loved the boob song, I thought [Seth MacFarlane] was great!"


    Jennifer Lawrence (none / 0) (#56)
    by sj on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:38:15 AM EST
    is only 23.  That's not much older than the adolescents that would appreciate that kind of song.  She is talented that doesn't mean she is wise -- or even seasoned.

    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:04:14 AM EST
    That's what made the look of "sadness and disappointment" on the faces of the somewhat older, seasoned actresses all the more poignant. It has nothing to do with talent. Had Jennifer been born a few years earlier her boobs would have been all the talent casting directors needed, or wanted, to see.

    Anyway, it cuts across gender, race, religion, etc. Knowledge of history isn't America's strong suit. After a generation , or two, most kids just think, "it's always been this way."

    Not even a nod to the Giants that went before, so that their offspring don't have to endure it today.

    Yup, sad, and....disappointing.


    Why so sad? (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:01:34 AM EST
    Isn't the generational gap in humor a sign or progress?

    I can understand older people getting offended by the humor, as they lived through darker days and have the scars to prove it...but I would not assume Ms. Lawrence and other young people are idiots with no knowledge of history just because their sense of humor is different and shaped by growing up after the civil rights movement.


    Not necessarily (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 12:41:42 PM EST
    Isn't the generational gap in humor a sign or progress?

    Sometimes it's a sign that we have devolved.

    Seriously, when comedians have to rely on the fact that they are considered funny because they can say "F#@$" every other word (I'm looking at you Sarah Silverman, for example), that just shows that they have a limited vocabulary and not much talent.


    That may be what it shows you... (none / 0) (#83)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:27:14 PM EST
    it shows me they speak like and understand their f8ckin' audience;)

    It's not my place... (none / 0) (#117)
    by unitron on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:14:04 AM EST
    ...to tell Silverman how to go about being funny, but she has the comedic talent to be able to tone that down or eliminate it altogether and still be quite funny.

    Offensive and unfunny (5.00 / 4) (#82)
    by Democratic Cat on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:22:26 PM EST
    I thought it was pretty offensive -- and also unfunny.  Offensive but funny would have been fine with me.  But how is referring to a nude scene with Jodie Foster in which her character was gang raped (based on a true incident) funny?  I just don't get that.  To the extent that the "humor" reflects the way men actually feel about artistic displays of nudity, then, were I an actress, I'd show nary an ankle in the future.  If you can't handle it, gentlemen, no boobs for you.

    Now, kindly remove yourself from my lawn.


    kdog scores again for common sense (none / 0) (#75)
    by CoralGables on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:24:04 AM EST
    More often than I care to admit, those younger are more aware than we know and those of us older are more crotchety than we think.

    A sense of humor is a terrible thing to lose.


    It's a two way street... (none / 0) (#77)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:51:41 AM EST
    Those on my side of MacFarlane-gate shouldn't automatically assume old and crotchety and no sense of humor.  Just different.

    And of course there are exceptions to the generation gap theory...I betcha Betty White's sense of humor was tickled, and there is some whippersnapper who thought it offensive and unfunny.


    Here's the thing, kdog (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:02:15 PM EST
    It's like the gun issue...nobody is trying to take away your guns. People here, and at the awards, are just expressing their opinions.

    Take Eddie Murphy, for instance. A lot of his work is simply brilliant. Nobody is uncomfortable, and everybody, young & old, white & black, laughing their heads off. Now, Murphy also does some of the raunchiest gutter crap imaginable. And, if the venue where that kind of humor was advertised, and people who like it comprise the audience....Raunch away! No problem. I'll just stay away.

    But, if it's Xmas time, and a mixed audience (including my Aunt Annie, the nun of the family) and they`re expecting Eddie, The Nutty Professor,  but he starts with the crotch grabbing, women be bee-aches, and "F" every other world, then he's an a-hole.

    It really is as simple as that. For myself, if enough of the audience is hurt, offended, or, yes saddened and disappointed, it's not in my nature to assume the egotistical (infantile) "this is what I do, and if you don't like it, get over it stance. If you don't care, hey, it's a free country, what can I say?  If you wouldn't appreciate your 9 year old daughter being blind sided with Kock this, and up yours that, why is it alright if the same thing happens with somebody's wife?

    Like I said, nobody's trying to make a law. And, I doubt it very much that if Betty White knew, let's say 50 women, or just 50 people, were hurt, and/or disappointed, I highly doubt she'd take the "stick it" attitude many seem to be taking.


    I didn't watch the Oscar telecast (none / 0) (#93)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:30:47 PM EST
    so I have no personal opinion regarding MacFarlane's performance.

    I do belong to several senior citizen's organization and some of the seniors are by anyone's definition conservative women(Republicans). The Oscar telecast has been discussed all week by women in the different groups. I had been expecting to hear that they were outraged but that is not what I am hearing. In fact today, a couple of them stated that they thought it was the best that they have seen in several years. The music was discussed, the outfits and who received the awards but no one expressed any outrage about MacFarlane's performance. And believe me some of them do outrage very, very well.

    This is not meant to discount what anyone here is saying. Just sharing what a lot of seniors are saying or not saying in my town.


    And, again, the "sadness" (none / 0) (#81)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:15:43 PM EST
    and "disappointment" on the faces of the other actresses was planned, rehearsed and pre-recorded. iow, it was what Seth wanted for his skit.

    Whatever, really, the women chose to show their boobs in movies and then, shockingly, guys noticed it and stuff.


    The "sadness" to which Shooter was (5.00 / 4) (#87)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:25:08 PM EST
    referring was not the fake variety on the faces of the participants in the skit, it was the real variety on the faces of other actresses in attendance - I thought that was clear, but perhaps you made the mistake of assuming you knew what he was saying before you actually read all of it.

    That MacFarlane found women willing to be part of the skit isn't really the point, is it?  I mean, look at some of the movies he referenced and try to explain how the nudity in them relates to the puerile "humor" of  "We Saw Your Boobs."  The Accused?  That was a movie about a violent rape; not even remotely funny.  Monster?  A movie about a serial killer - not the stuff of giggles.

    It reduced some excellent dramatic performances to the level of slapstick, and sent a message that women in movies are only there as eye candy (although, if someone views the exposed breasts of a rape victim as eye candy, that's pretty creepy).

    It's disappointing to me for a Charlize Theron or a Jennifer Lawrence to have participated in that skit; while they may have found it amusing and harmless, they do so as women at the top of an industry, and not as women who are still fighting the sexism that exists at the bottom of the food chain, and skits like MacFarlane's tell men that it's okay to be sexist, because, after all, Charlize and Jennifer and Naomi don't mind a little of that kind of humor.


    Maybe you make the mistake (none / 0) (#92)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:11:25 PM EST
    of thinking you can read minds, cuz nothing in Shooter's comment indicates any discussion of any actress's reactions except the ones that we all saw clearly singled out on the TV screen. ie, the "faked" ones.

    Regardless, I think you are also mistaking a movie for something other than a product that is designed to maximize profits.

    Hollywood has identified what sells tickets, and at the top of the food chain that usually means thin, fit, hot, flawless, sexy men and women.

    Those investing in the movies, and those acting in them, know what needs to be done to sell those tickets and they very willingly do it.

    If they show their boobs, or butt, or wear stuff hookers commonly wear, or perform in sex scenes, or whatever, they know that's going to sell more tickets, and they know the more tickets they sell the more demand there is for them as actors.

    They willingly choose to do it and hope and pray that millions upon millions of people will see it.

    They know what they are doing. If no one talked about them, their careers would wither away. All of those actresses are now more in demand than they were before the song.


    So...MacFarlane was just (5.00 / 5) (#95)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:38:44 PM EST
    pimping them out according to you, so I guess we know what that makes these women, don't we?  Nice.  

    The actresses mentioned were not p*rn stars, and the boobs and butts were not on display for arousal value, but in the context of the story being told.  Charlize Theron in "Monster" wasn't "thin, fit, hot, flawless, sexy," nor was Jodie Foster in "The Accused," so it wasn't about the T & A in those movies that was selling tickets, was it?

    You're still missing the point by miles and miles, so much so that I wonder if you're just being deliberately obtuse about this - and worse, you're starting to come off as even more offensively sexist than MacFarlane.

    The women participating may be more in demand, and maybe that's all that matters to them, but I daresay there are a lot of movie-going women out here who lost some respect for them in the process.  


    I'm being obtuse? (2.00 / 2) (#98)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:58:03 PM EST
    Although that was a good point about Charlize's "look" in "Monster," you do understand that she got the part because she's one of the most beautiful, sexy, well-known women in the industry?

    Do you think any actress shows her boobs, or whatever, in a movie thinking that fewer tickets will be sold as a result?

    Everything they do in a movie is designed to maximize the paying audience, ie, maximize the number of "butts in the seats."

    I'm sorry if you don't want to accept it but that is what this industry is.


    Oh, is that a fact? (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:30:11 AM EST
    you do understand that she got the part because she's one of the most beautiful, sexy, well-known women in the industry?

    She might be disappointed to hear that it had little to do with her acting talent.


    Fair enough. She is indeed talented. (none / 0) (#122)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:44:38 PM EST
    That said, the fundamental expectation of actors is that they all are talented. She is talented, but no more talented than, say, the less-attractive young actress who was my waitress last night.

    Why do you think the role went to her and not my waitress? Or to any other less attractive actress?

    The answer is obvious, Charlize Theron will put more butts in the seats than, say, Leslie.

    And she puts the butts in the seats because she's famous. And she's famous because she's beautiful and sexy and talented and hardworking. That is the package that got her enough roles to make her famous.  

    This is in contrast to the, literally, 10,000 other relatively unknown actresses in this town who are "merely" talented and hardworking.

    In fact, much of the hook for this movie was Charlize's willing physical transformation.


    WEV. this is some knuckle-dragging sh!te (none / 0) (#124)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:06:50 PM EST
    rationalizations all over this thread.

    Here is the reality. (1.00 / 1) (#125)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:36:12 PM EST
    Back in the day I worked on Swordfish with Halle Berry. She showed her boobs in that movie (I guess Seth missed that one).

    It was not part of the original screenplay. During shooting, after some back and forth negotiation with her, they reached an acceptable $ amount. iirc, the word on set was "$20K each." Then they wrote and shot the scene.

    Granted this movie is probably more puerile than much of Hollywood fare, but whether it's overt like this, or more nuanced, this is how it works.


    Thanks for sharing. Wonder how (none / 0) (#126)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:05:22 PM EST
    she spent the money.

    Okay, I understand the point you want (none / 0) (#128)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:26:53 PM EST
    to make, but you don't seem to be grasping the point that the rest of us are discussing.

    I'm going to give this one last try.

    The MacFarlane skit wasn't poking fun at or skewering the business side of Hollywood.  It wasn't taking to task the writers, directors, actors, producers, agents, etc.,  for catering to the lowest common denominator in order to put asses in the seats.

    It was a skit that reduced some very talented women in, in many cases, serious, non-gratuitously sexy roles, to nothing but their boobs.  

    Not as an inside joke, but as something it was decided hundreds of millions of people would be entertained by.

    That MacFarlane found women to participate in that crap gives it as much credibility as having African-Americans participate in an equally demeaning skit about black people. It doesn't elevate it to acceptable.

    So, Halle Berry decided to sell the use of her boobs to help a pretty bad movie's box office; that's too bad, but I still don't see how that connects to the skit.  

    Maybe the whole thing would have been funny if MacFarlane had performed the entire skit with his d!ck on display, so that while he was singing about "We saw Your Boobs," his own man parts would have been flipping and flopping and dangling away and we could all have giggled about that.


    I guess I'm just a lttle less shocked at Hollywood's acceptance of this type of inappropriate content for the masses. Heck, for some in this biz, this skit was a step up.

    Quick Note... (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 05:35:12 PM EST
    ...there are lines of woman far prettier than the ones who get the good roles and there are woman who would not be defined as pretty or young who continually get good roles.

    Here is what Halle said about the rumored $500k she got for showing skin.

    You want the naked truth? Halle Berry insists that she was not paid $500,000 to go topless in Swordfish (2001). Cupping her breasts, which she displays in the film, she says, "Totally not true. I would sell these babies for way more money."

    $40k for a woman who routinely makes $10M a picture is beyond laughable.

    You have it backward, the assumption for most big roles is that you are good looking and the talent is what separates the A listers from the B listers for men and women.  There is no actress you can name in which there isn't a equally talented and/or good looking male counterpart.

    Seems like what you believe is pretty damn telling of your views and your waitress serving you is about the worse example one could use unless of course you can judge her talent by her appearance, which seems to be the only way you could possibly validate that ridiculous conclusion.


    Thanks Scott, your opinions from TX (1.00 / 1) (#132)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 05:59:42 PM EST
    about what goes on in here in the Hollywood industry I've made my living in for the past 25 years is duly noted.

    For the record (none / 0) (#130)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 05:16:32 PM EST
    I need to add "and thick skinned" to this sentence:
    And she's famous because she's beautiful and sexy and talented and hardworking.

    You're too smart (none / 0) (#94)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:32:24 PM EST
    To keep missing the point.

    People can believe 100% that what you just stated is true. So, why is it so hard to also understand that just because sex sells you don't have to be selling 100% of the time? And, many people felt that the premier movie award show, attended by, and shown to, a huge, varied, and homogenous audience wasn't the venue for, by anyone's standards, low-brow, risqué, and (for many) offensive material.


    I don't argue with not having to sell sex (none / 0) (#97)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:49:01 PM EST
    100% of the time at all. Did you think that was my point?  

    My point was if actresses/actors choose to sell sex in their movies, we should not be surprised that people take notice of it.


    Add: And that point got stretched to (none / 0) (#99)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:59:43 PM EST
    "sex sells" and everyone involved knows and embraces it...

    The author of your article (none / 0) (#67)
    by CoralGables on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:17:35 AM EST
    is a reporter for E Entertainment, and the outraged Hollywood insider she found for her article was Elizabeth Cantillon who is so famous she doesn't warrant an entry on Wikipedia.

    Man, CG! (none / 0) (#69)
    by NYShooter on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:54:19 AM EST
    that's what I get for trying to put one past a real thinker.

    But, you couldn't have come up with that all by yourself. C'mon, fess up; you had help, didntcha.


    CG has facts about the facts... (none / 0) (#104)
    by fishcamp on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:53:47 PM EST
    IMDB: (none / 0) (#127)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:23:13 PM EST
    851 accidental deaths ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:30:37 AM EST
    ... 23,000+ non-fatal accidental injuries every year - can't find a number for how many are children.  Not to mention all the times (like this) that kids get their hands on a loaded gun but (fortunately) don't injure or kill someone.

    There's a whole lotta stupid out there ...


    NPR's First Listen (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:36:20 AM EST
    is streaming the new Jimi album, "People, Hell and Angels" this morning.  

    Good stuff.

    And in the meantime, here are ... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 04:32:41 PM EST
    Jeralyn: "The Supreme Court held argument on the Voting Rights Act. President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders about 'the sequester.'"

    ... the latest headlines from the ABC News blog and the network's RSS feed, as of 5:30 p.m. EST -- really:

    • "The Fast Times of Oscar Pistorius" on "20/20″ Airing Friday, March 1 at 10 pm on ABC.

    • Cincinnati Zoo Training `Gorilla Moms' for Rejected Baby.

    • Burglary Is Reality for TV Show Gun Shop.

    • Today in Pictures: Prince Harry, Pope Posters, Tearful Testimony.

    • NY Woman Reports Armored Car Windfall in the Road.

    • Porn Videos May Bare Security Issues at Phoenix Airport.

    • Do You Believe Oscar Pistorius Thought Reeva Steenkamp Was an Intruder?

    • Babysitters Nabbed in Child Porn Busts.

    • Witnesses Describe Rare, Deadly New Zealand Shark Attack.

    (Sigh!) And then, we wonder aloud why people are so ill-informed about the important issues of the day.

    Hey! Gorilla Moms sounds interesting . . . :) (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by nycstray on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 04:47:09 PM EST
    But they're the smart ones Don... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 04:53:34 PM EST
    ignorance is bliss...getting informed can lead to despair at facing the depth of our collective problems, our collective sins.

    Personal interest stories are where it's at...I can't believe that woman gave back 11 grand in singles and coins.  Speaking of thought crime earlier..."Brinks truck flies open in front of me" is one of my favorites;)


    I guess I just see things differently. (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:12:32 PM EST
    In the state legislature where I am working (for right now anyway), ignorance is definitely not bliss, and misinformation can lead to some astonishingly inept and / or painfully bad decision making.

    I just don't see the point of people wanting to know everything there is to know about Oscar Pistorius, who's half a world away, while not even caring who their state assemblymember or city councilperson is. Oscar isn't the guy voting to raise their college tuition rates, charge them admission to visit your local state parks, increase refuse collection fees or rezone the parcel next to their kid's elementary school to allow for a pawn shop, liquor store and strip club.

    Regarding the woman who gave back the $11K she found, it just goes to show that there are still some honest people out there. What always annoys me about those types of stories is not the good deed itself, but all the idiots who subsequently post comments mocking the person who performed it. It's funny how these clowns seem to revel in the "Caveat Emptor"-type of society we've been returning to over the last three decades -- that is, until they're the ones who get taken for a ride.



    Don't mind cynical me... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:34:49 AM EST
    You're right of course, I'm just saying those who are religously following the Pistorious case while remaining ignorant of our leaders, more often than not, asthonishingly inept and/or painfully bad decision making may be better off & happier...cuz being informed can drive you mad.

    o.k. with the plaintiff's (none / 0) (#13)
    by NYShooter on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:59:10 PM EST
    husband being an attorney I guess they knew what they were getting themslves into.


    Got sucked (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:21:05 PM EST
    into debating conservatives on facebook again today. Why I do this to myself I never will figure out I guess but the interesting outcome of the thing was that one of the conservatives admitted that he no longer cares about winning elections. Probably backs up my theory that the GOP is going to go full tea party crazy in 2016.

    I have been resisting it, despite some tempting (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:54:38 PM EST
    bait. Just won't do it anymore! I blocked one person I don't really need to see regular updates from anyway. Unfortunately the worst offender is my own, otherwise perfectly nice and sane, sister. I don't know what got into her.

    I was surprised by the sequestration talk (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:27:14 PM EST
    My cousin A saying raise taxes.  Just floored me.  He works IT for the Air Force but is a contractor, winger as hell.  We always fight.  And this super wingnut DAC instructor here who trolls my Facebook is also shifting positions on sequester...very surprising.  He makes up for it though by posting everything you could imagine about how he's packing heat at all times.  Not on post he isn't unless he wants a little on post jail time.  So tempting to make that comment, but hey, he has decided to no longer protect the uber rich so Imma gonna shut up right now.

    You are (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:04:47 PM EST
    such a scream. LOL.

    Has your (none / 0) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:01:45 PM EST
    sister always been a right winger? What I find interesting is they don't really care if something is true or not. A classmate of mine finally blew his stack and said if don't like Obama's policies fine but do you have to make crap up with photo shopped pictures? It's called "lying for the lord" and they apparently believe that hurting or trying to hurt Obama is more important than just telling the truth.

    She used to be pretty centrist and not very (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by ruffian on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:12:08 PM EST
    political. She did not like Dubya, but did not like Kerry either. It is just since Obama she has gone hard right. Believes all the fox stuff about the 'socialist'.  I think her friends are pretty rightie. I blame bad influences!

    Did she buy any of the swift boat stuff (none / 0) (#113)
    by sallywally on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:17:10 AM EST
    about Kerry? That was a pretty major departure from reality.

    Maybe she did by the end (none / 0) (#133)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:57:33 PM EST
    but it started out more of a personality clash. She found him stuffy and wooden - imagine that!

    I'm a little worried Kerry is (none / 0) (#134)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:16:14 PM EST
    pushing out of his comfort zone. First, Libya. Now chastising the head of Turkey. What next?

    Don't (none / 0) (#103)
    by kmblue on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 05:29:19 PM EST
    waste your time, Quint.

    Did you know gun control is like castration? (none / 0) (#30)
    by shoephone on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:39:49 PM EST
    Oh, for Pete's sake...I guess (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:31:17 AM EST
    for Republicans, every issue has something to do with what's between the legs, or so it seems.  They have no problem trying to control what actually happens in that area, but let someone suggest we need better regulation of the millions of guns in this country, and they're all grabbing their crotches in fear.

    I wish a tenth of the concern for 2nd amendment rights was being expressed for the rest of our rights that seem to be slowly disappearing...

    Well, one thing I've noticed of late: age is apparently not making me more tolerant of stupidity and ignorance...


    lol. no surprise there, it being the party (none / 0) (#46)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:14:34 AM EST
    ... of dickheads.

    Train and arm school workers??? (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:33:15 AM EST
    An employee in a Texas school district on Wednesday was accidentally shot during a district-sanctioned handgun training class, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported.

    The class was spearheaded by the Van Independent School District in Van, Texas after the local school board there voted in January to arm certain school employees on campus.

    At the conclusion of the CHL training on February 27, 2013, one certified person stayed for private instruction with the instructor and had a mechanical malfunction with his weapon. With the assistance of the instructor, the malfunction was addressed, but the gun misfired and the bullet ricocheted coming back to strike the VISD employee in the left leg. The VISD employee was attended to at the scene and transferred to Tyler for further treatment. The injury is not life threatening or disabling. Because of privacy and security issues we cannot make any further statement.

    This incident happened after the school employee had completed training and was certified. The school employee was being assisted by the instructor, who one would think was also trained and certified, when the employee was accidently shot. Just thought I would point out those facts again so that they were not missed.  


    Well, actually, according to many sources, (none / 0) (#31)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:04:02 PM EST
    there are more people killed with hammers and clubs than rifles of ALL types, including assault rifles - which, of course, make up only a portion of the deaths by rifles:

    According to the FBI annual crime statistics, the number of murders committed annually with hammers and clubs far outnumbers the number of murders committed with a rifle.

    Another interesting fact: According to the FBI, nearly twice as many people are killed by hands and fists each year than are killed by murderers who use rifles.

    Obviously not something that will change the anti-2nd folks' minds, but certainly interesting nonetheless.

    Cue various commenters taking virulent and personal umbrage with "many sources," "a portion," and probably etc., etc., etc.


    And how to deaths by hammer (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by observed on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:11:44 PM EST
    compare with total deaths by  all types of firearms?
    By the way, it isn't the people who favor gun control that are obsessed by the 2nd amendment.
    In fact, as far as I can tell, there is no vestige of the original 2nd amendment in the law today. Have YOU practiced with your militia recently.. perhaps to catch some escaped slave?
    It's a joke to say the actual 2nd amendment drives the current debate. It's all about marketing.

    Oh nice (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:39:36 AM EST
    how you slipped the race baiting in there...equating 2nd amendment support with slave owning.
    BTW, the 2A says nothing about having to be an active militia member to own a fire arm.  

    I think you need to (none / 0) (#59)
    by sj on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:42:31 AM EST
    do a little research on the politics of the time what militias were commonly doing back then.

    wev (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by sj on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:10:22 PM EST
    These are all separate links.  One more.

    And a quote:

    Historically then, the principal activities of the Founding Fathers' "well regulated militia" were Indian killing, land stealing, slave patrolling and the enforcement of domestic apartheid, all of these, as the Constitutional language declares "being necessary to the security of a free state."

    Armed groups that were formed (none / 0) (#88)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:43:28 PM EST
    when deemed necessary to control slaves in the slave states should not be conflated with the intention of the 2A.

    From your own website, Constitution.org:

    English history made two things clear to the American revolutionaries: force of arms was the only effective check on government, and standing armies threatened liberty. Recognition of these premises meant that the force of arms necessary to check government had to be placed in the hands of citizens.

    Read for context (none / 0) (#89)
    by sj on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:01:36 PM EST
    Your link is discussing something else entirely, as indicated by the fact that the majority of the treatise discusses English history.  When attention is turned to the US Constitution  the discussion is centered on essentially a national standing army or a state militia.  
    The Antifederalists, while believing the people's rights would be protected best by strong state governments, did not trust those governments. Federalists also distrusted state governments. Both groups distrusted any government because, as George Mason stated, "considering the natural lust of power so inherent in man, I fear the thirst of power will prevail to oppress the people."
    Your article does not discuss what those state militias were actually used for.

    The 2A was adopted to check the power (none / 0) (#96)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:45:54 PM EST
    of the government, not to patrol slaves. I do not dispute that in some areas of the country they used those arms to patrol slaves.

    Says who? (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 04:57:20 PM EST
    The 2A was adopted to check the power of the government, not to patrol slaves. I do not dispute that in some areas of the country they used those arms to patrol slaves.

    They're not mutually exclusive and repetition does not make your claim any more true.  In fact, one of the primary struggles of both the Constitutional Convention and the ratifying conventions was the very sensitive issue of slavery.  The southern states wanted assurance that their means of controlling their large slave populations and their economies (slave patrols/militias) would not be interfered with by a federal government and northern states that supported the abolition of slavery.

    Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia all had regulated slave patrols.[128] By the mid-eighteenth century, the patrols had become the responsibility of the militia.[129] Georgia statutes [Page 336] enacted in 1755 and 1757, for example, carefully divided militia districts into discrete patrol areas and specified when patrols would muster. The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search "all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition" and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds.[130]

    In the South, therefore, the patrols and the militia were largely synonymous ...

    After the war, the militia remained the principal means of protecting the social order and preserving white control over an enormous black population. Anything that might weaken this system presented the gravest of threats. The South's fear that the North might destabilize the slave system ¾ weakening white control over the slave population ¾ gave anti-Federalists a powerful weapon....

    It cannot be overemphasized that slavery was the central feature of life in the slave holding states, and that the South depended on arms and the militia to protect itself against the [Page 375] constant danger of a slave revolt. It is true that in eighteenth century America there was a great deal of soapbox rhetoric about freedom and the right to keep and bear arms, much as there is today. Nevertheless, by virtue of their daily circumstance, Southerners had to be infinitely more concerned about slave control than abstract, ideological, or contingent beliefs about liberty and guns.

    Says this: (none / 0) (#101)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 05:07:26 PM EST
    You said that before (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 05:15:08 PM EST
    Repeating a lie doesn't make it true.

    So far (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by sj on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:07:28 PM EST
    you have provided one link on the same subject but a completely different topic.

    contradicts your chosen meme, so why bother?

    It's BAD research!! (none / 0) (#109)
    by sj on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:06:15 PM EST
    How many ways do you have to be told that?

    Good to know you are the deciderer of (none / 0) (#110)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:55:55 PM EST
    what research is good and bad.

    Being the deciderer that you are, would you accept research by someone who is:

    [...] the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy and Senior Fellow in the Government Law Center at Albany Law School. Before coming to Albany he held was the Chapman Distinguished Professorship at the University of Tulsa College of Law; the John F. Seiberling Chair in Constitutional Law at the University of Akron, as well as chairs at Cleveland State University Law School and the University of Miami. He received his B.A. in American Studies from Syracuse University (1971) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in U.S. history from Chicago (1972, 1976) and was a fellow in law and humanities at Harvard Law School (1982-83).

    [...] is the author, co-author, or editor of more than twenty books and more than one hundred scholarly articles on Constitutional law; American legal history; civil rights, civil liberties, race relations, freedom of religion and separation of church and state; the law of American slavery;  

    In case I wasn't clear (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by sj on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:15:42 AM EST
    It was your research I was criticizing.  Using that treatise is tantamount to changing the subject.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 06:06:51 AM EST
    From the guy who ignores all the other research in favor of a single article citing a general premise that he thinks contradicts that "meme", concluding that:

    The 2A was adopted to check the power of the government, not to patrol slaves.

    Are you trying to be funny?


    Oy (none / 0) (#111)
    by sj on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:12:46 AM EST
    The treatise is well done.  Your use of it -- not so much.

    Don't be coy, just answer honestly. (none / 0) (#114)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:19:18 AM EST
    Would someone with that background be someone you'd accept?

    If yes, we'll go to the next step. Trust me, it's almost assuredly not what you think it is.

    If no, we'll stop wasting our time right now.


    "Someone with that background" ... (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 07:56:52 AM EST
    ... isn't backing up your claim.  You are claiming that:  "The 2A was adopted to check the power of the government, not to patrol slaves."  They're not mutually exclusive premises, and the fact that your Vandercoy cites one does not exclude the other - in fact, just the opposite.  One of the main concerns among the Southern states when deciding whether to ratify the Constitution and 2A was whether the other states/federal government would interfere with or abolish slavery, the foundation of their economic system.  The southern legislators and representatives were concerned that one way in which the government could do so was by controlling the state militias, which several southern states used to control their large slave populations (i.e. "slave patrols").  Although it was a sensitive subject, many of the very same people cited by your expert were very open about their fears.

    Patrick Henry at the ratifying convention in 1788: ""Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8 of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. . . .
    "By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defence is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neither . . . this power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory."

    George Mason:  "The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practised in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretences, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution]".

    Patrick Henry:  "If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress . . . . Congress, and Congress only [under this new Constitution], can call forth the militia."...

    ... "In this situation," Henry said to Madison, "I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone."

    Very similar to those who claim that the secession of the South was not about slavery, but "state's rights", when (in fact) the primary "state's right" the South wanted to protect was the foundation of their whole economy - slavery.


    I'll stop wasting my time right now (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by sj on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:12:08 AM EST
    I'm not interested in your steps.  You are using unrelated research to make your claims.  You don't appear to know the difference between a subject and a topic so you are unable to understand that the topic of that treatise is something else entirely.  It neither confirms or denies the use of the militias primarily as slave patrols.

    I am not questioning the credentials of the author of that essay.  The work appears to be quite scholarly.  I haven't followed his/her footnotes so I don't know if they are used appropriately but I am taking it at face value.  It is a scholarly and quite irrelevant work.

    I am saying outright that what it is discussing in no way contradicts what I have said previously because it doesn't touch on that topic.


    The topic was (none / 0) (#121)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:19:24 PM EST
    Oh nice (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:39:36 AM PST
    ...equating 2nd amendment support with slave owning.
    iow, this commenter was saying that slavery was not the reason for why the 2A existed. That is the topic that you responded to.

    I read your response to mean that this commenter was wrong on this topic.

    Now, reading back, based on your comments, it sounds like maybe you were actually not claiming that the commenter was wrong, but, rather, you voiced no disagreement with her comment but did want to add a comment about a different topic.

    If your intent was indeed not to tell the commenter she was wrong, my apologies.


    You really should read more slowly (none / 0) (#123)
    by Yman on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:58:05 PM EST
    ... particularly since the study/author you're relying on does not support your claim that "The 2A was adopted to check the power of the government, not to patrol slaves".  The fact that your author cites the first reason does not exclude the second, and numerous historians have pointed out that the very reason the Southern states wanted to maintain control of their militias was slave patrols and guarding against slave insurrection.

    btw, I skimmed (none / 0) (#91)
    by sj on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:08:05 PM EST
    so if I missed the information related to how militias were used please feel free to correct me.

    A more accurate statement (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by CoralGables on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:37:25 PM EST
    on your part would be to say that the following percentages of all murders in the US were committed with guns

    2011 68%
    2010 67%
    2009 67%
    2008 67%
    2007 68%

    *Data from the Uniform Crime Reports on the FBI website


    Or, pointing out the obvious (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:12:30 AM EST
    1.  Unlike guns, hammers (cars, etc.), are designed for uses other than killing.  Their utility extends beyond killing.  Even more so for hands/fists.

    2.  Nice way to distort with statistics - conflate all blunt objects (not just "hammers") to inflate one number, while singling out one type of rifle, and ignoring the 1,587 gun murders where the type of gun wasn't identified.

    hammers don't kill people (2.00 / 1) (#63)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:59:53 AM EST
    people with hammers kill people. Is that really your argument for hammers?

    Seriously...yes, guns kill people (well...and animals which people eat, but forget that for now)so what?  What is your point? Some people feel they have a right and a need to protect themselves.  They do not believe that the government can or will do the job sufficiently.
    Why continue to bother arguing with the Constitution?  You're not going to win.  Fight for the things that can be done, like background checks and taking hand guns out of the hands of kids and criminals, stopping interstate gun trafficking and black market sales.


    Actually, the point is (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:08:44 AM EST
    The purpose of hammers is to insert nails into things.  Because someone uses it in a manner for which it was not intended, makes it a stupid comparison to guns, which have as their only intent as to shoot things.

    I'm not "arguing with the ... (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:47:53 AM EST
    ... Constitution", and you either have extremely poor reading comprehension skills, or you enjoy knocking down your own, straw arguments.

    My point was that this statistic was deceptive, wrong and just silly.

    BTW - The list of things that you personally approve of is hardly the same thing as "things that can be done", let alone what is constitutionally permitted.


    I'm going to go with... (5.00 / 4) (#74)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:24:03 AM EST
    "all of the above," at least, based on my own experience.

    I don't see anyone here advocating for a total ban on guns, or even for repeal of the 2nd Amendment, but it seems to me that in a discussion about the common-sense, reasonable regulations that can and should be implemented, those who are rigid in their support for gun rights eventually make the argument about all the other things people kill or injure other people with - cars, hammers, fists, knives, golf clubs - and how, if we're not going to ban/regulate them, we shouldn't hold guns and gun ownership to a higher standard.

    I have family members who own guns, and who hunt and target shoot and keep them in safes and locked up and not loaded when not in use (one of them is currently in Tennessee on a wild boar hunt - it's the guy thing he wanted to do before his wedding in May).  And none of them feel threatened or disturbed by more thorough background checks or stricter regulation of gun show and private sales - and none of us can understand why anyone would, considering what guns are capable of doing - what people are capable of doing with guns.

    It would just be nice to have a discussion that stays on track, and doesn't go skittering off the rails at the mere suggestion that we need to do more to manage the millions of guns in this country.


    Add me to the list (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by Zorba on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:46:17 AM EST
    Of people who own guns and are calling for more background checks and for closing the loopholes for private and gun show sales.
    Keerist on a crutch.  I had to be fingerprinted and get a background check to volunteer at the local school, as well as the church school in my parish.  It was not that big a deal.  I can certainly understand background checks for anyone who works with kids.  I would think that background cheks for gun owners would also be a no-brainer.

    I own two guns ... (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 12:01:06 PM EST
    ... and to be clear, I'm not advocating a complete gun ban.

    That being said, I am in favor of much more stringent gun laws, some of which would probably not be able to be passed - i.e. no assault weapons or high capacity magazines, much stricter background check requirements, a mandatory waiting period, national licensing and registration, strict limits on who can own a handgun, possibly even a ban on all semi-automatic guns.  The last two would be the most difficult and might not hold up under Heller, but Heller (IMO) is a weak decision that should be overturned, anyway.  All of which (or course) had nothing to do with my original response.

    But many of those 2A/NRA-types love to derail that train by greasing up those tracks with some fear-mongering and paranoia.  The gun industry loves it, too.


    What is your point? (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:08:17 AM EST
    Some people feel they have a right and a need to protect themselves.  They do not believe that the government can or will do the job sufficiently.

    Why would anyone care what "some people feel"?  More accurately, why would anyone base public policy or laws on the feelings of "some people"?  I have a conservative acquaintance who believes the 2A protects his right to own "arms" - as in, any type of "arm" he chooses (with the exception of nuclear bombs, for some reason) - machine guns, RPGs, grenades, artillery, missiles, etc.  


    Why would I care what any of these NRA-nutjobs "feels"?


    The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth (none / 0) (#85)
    by MO Blue on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:43:35 PM EST
    Circuit just reaffirmed what Justice Scalia stated in his majority opinion that despite the Supreme Court's decision in Heller expanding the scope of the Second Amendment, states and the federal government retain broad leeway to enact many gun safety laws.

    Ban all hammers (1.50 / 2) (#53)
    by TeresaInPa on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:33:24 AM EST
    let's not look at which people are using hammers as weapons and why they are doing so...let's just ban all hammers or just certain hammers with scary sounding names.

    Banning all logic (5.00 / 4) (#70)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:54:26 AM EST
    You can do both - look at who and why they're using guns to commit crimes and ban certain types of guns.

    BTW - It's not about the NRA talking point of "scary sounding names" or "cosmetic differences".  Unlike hammers, some guns and their accessories are significantly more dangerous than other guns.


    I find that comparison utterly unsurprising. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 05:19:56 AM EST
    Did you know gun control is like castration?

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:14:56 AM EST
    They usually try to deny those type of analogies, but I guess it just slips out sometimes.

    Just wondering (none / 0) (#43)
    by lentinel on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:35:19 AM EST
    if anyone here senses that anyone in government, republican or democrat, executive branch, legislative branch, really cares one fig if the sequester takes place as programmed?

    Given that the obvious solution to (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:18:12 AM EST
    universal dislike of the sequester is to repeal the law that created it, I'd have to say that both parties are milking the you-know-what out of it for their own purposes.

    I'm pretty much sick of the scary headlines - that get more hysterical by the day - about all the terrible ways in which the sequester is going to affect average people - and the total absence of the most obvious answer.

    The problem is the hole they've dug for themselves with this totally unnecessary fixation with deficit reduction - but the fixation has nothing to do with concern for the deficit, it has to do with what it is people do and do not think it's worth spending money on.


    Never waste a good crisis, (none / 0) (#48)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:19:29 AM EST
    ... real or contrived.

    No (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:07:17 AM EST
    Because it was originally enacted as a "poison pill" that was never supposed to come to fruition.  Also, because any furloughs that come about cannot take place at least until April, so, no there's no real hurry to get anything done.  They will repeal it as we get closer to April.

    What's more important will be the debt ceiling votes and the upcoming current budget continuing resolution, which ends on March 27 (and which will require a vote on a new continuing resolution to keep the government from shutting down, since apparently, we don't do actual budgets anymore).


    More (none / 0) (#80)
    by jbindc on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 12:49:24 PM EST

    The sequester is here to stay -- at least for a while.

    Lawmakers and aides say they do not expect Congress to turn off budget sequestration before April and that negotiations to freeze the automatic spending cuts could drag into May or beyond.

    Over the last few weeks, there has been increased speculation that the sequester would go into effect Friday but be addressed in a March deal to keep the government funded.

    Don't bet on it.

    Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), a member of the Finance Committee, predicted sequestration would last through the end of the year.


    Meanwhile, the White House is backing off its prior warnings that the sequester will strike a quick and devastating blow to the economy.

    A senior GOP aide on Wednesday highlighted news reports that Obama's political advisers now concede the cuts will not immediately disrupt federal services, managing public expectations in the wake of dire warnings.  

    Republicans have accused the administration of using scare tactics on the sequester instead of spending time trying to find a bipartisan remedy.
    While lawmakers had initially eyed a continuing resolution (CR) or appropriations omnibus bill as a vehicle for halting the sequester by March 27, that now appears unlikely.

    Obama has signaled to Democratic allies in Congress that his priority is to first take a potential government shutdown off the table. He would prefer to deal with the sequester separately, said Senate Democratic aides.

    Former US Drug Prosecutors switch sides... (none / 0) (#49)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:23:55 AM EST
    "After working to take down cartels, former prosecutors, DEA agents, and Customs officials say America's 'war on drugs' is misguided and the human cost too high."

    [Former DOJ prosecutor] Feitel (pictured) called for cocaine and cannabis to be legalised and complained that extradited drug suspects were treated worse than Guantanamo Bay detainees. "I don't think I could ever be a prosecutor again. The human drama that I see on this side is sometimes more than I can bear."

    Why is it... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:23:14 AM EST
    those in a position to do something about our "misguided" tyranny always have their epiphany when they are no longer in a position to do something about it?

    Must be an Upton Sinclair "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it" thing.