Newtown School Shooting Tragedy: The Overflowing Cauldron Is a Better Metaphor than Dominoes

Everybody should watch the Public Broadcasting Service Independent Lens documentary Newtown. The appropriate responses should then be a determination to reduce violence. Is gun control part of that? Probably, but it can’t be the only part. Is widening access to quality mental health care essential? Yes, but that’s not what I’m talking about either. Continue reading

States With Tighter Gun Control Laws Have Fewer Gun-Related Deaths

theatlantic:

The Geography of Gun Deaths: States With Tighter Gun Control Laws Have Fewer Gun-Related Deaths

When Democrat John Barrow Wins, the People Lose

I’ve already voted for John Barrow because he is less evil than Lee Anderson, his Republican opponent for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia District 12. I explained my position on voting in a previous blog entry, Should I Bother to Vote?.

If Anderson wins, it’s a catastrophe. If Barrow wins, we must recognize that his victory is still a disaster for the people of District 12. Part of the reason is that Barrow’s own rhetoric to win his campaign means that his opponent in the next election cycle will become even more reactionary, and Barrow will have to vote in the next two years to match the reactionary district he’s helping to shape.

What broke the camel’s back for me was a Barrow ad I saw last night on TV entitled Good News.

Note the common reactionary themes: Arts and science are a waste of money. The budget deficit is caused by “waste”, not explicit political choices such as tax cuts for the wealthy or military spending to maintain our empire or refusing to lower health care costs through adoption of a single-payer system. If Governor Palin or Representative Bachman or Senator Santorum or any of the pantheon of Republican buffoons whom liberals love to lampoon produced this ad, it’d be the stuff of late-night comedy shows.

A particularly hypocritical line in this ad is that Georgia taxpayers should not pay for New York City’s ballet. The largest city in the 12th District of Georgia, my home town Augusta, is firmly attached to the federal and state governments’ teats. Our economy depends on Fort Gordon, the Savannah River Site, Plant Vogtle and Georgia Health Sciences University. Needless to say, I believe New York taxpayers are sending to Georgia many times the amount of money Georgia taxpayers send to New York.

But this is just one of many examples of Barrow’s adoption of reactionary positions. He loves guns, and the NRA loves him. He hates immigrants. He loves carbon-based fuel. And more and more.

So while the district may elect a Democrat, it’s representative will vote like a reactionary and the rhetoric of the election adds to the district’s reactionary drift.

Finally, why does he affect a folksy accent in his ads? It’s damn condescending.