HomeUncategorized4/22-23 News Roundup and Open Thread

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orlbucfanAint Supposed to Die A Natural Deathwi64Bennyjcitybone Recent comment authors

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Benny

Happy Earth Day!

wi64

Its one of those iconic pictures, sadly Earth was in better shape in a lot of ways back then that it is today😥😥

orlbucfan

I agree. Still, that’s a beautiful kozmik picture. 🙂

wi64

Its an old article but very relevant at his point in time. The gun nuts want to go back to the “old West” where everyone was packing lets do it!!!!!The old west they are referring to was only on TV -a fantasy a myth. Citizens back then were more safe from gun play than they are today. I might note that none of the old west gun owners were complaing of thier 2a rights they simply compiled with the local laws. Todays NRA, Faux news and their Yell Qaeda gun nut followers are the ones most responsible for our gun issues today.

Did the Wild West Have More Gun Control Than We Do Today?

Gun control advocates fear, and gun rights proponents sometimes hope, the Second Amendment will transform our cities into modern-day versions of Dodge. This is all based on a widely shared misunderstanding of the Wild West.

After a decision by the Supreme Court affirming the right of individuals to own guns, then-Chicago Mayor Richard Daley sarcastically said, “Then why don’t we do away with the court system and go back to the Old West, you have a gun and I have a gun and we’ll settle it in the streets?” This is a common refrain heard in the gun debate. Gun control advocates fear — and gun rights proponents sometimes hope — the Second Amendment will transform our cities into modern-day versions of Dodge.

Yet this is all based on a widely shared misunderstanding of the Wild West. Frontier towns — places like Tombstone, Deadwood, and Dodge — actually had the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation.

In fact, many of those same cities have far less burdensome gun control today then they did back in the 1800s.

Guns were obviously widespread on the frontier. Out in the untamed wilderness, you needed a gun to be safe from bandits, natives, and wildlife. In the cities and towns of the West, however, the law often prohibited people from toting their guns around. A visitor arriving in Wichita, Kansas in 1873, the heart of the Wild West era, would have seen signs declaring, “Leave Your Revolvers At Police Headquarters, and Get a Check.”

A check? That’s right. When you entered a frontier town, you were legally required to leave your guns at the stables on the outskirts of town or drop them off with the sheriff, who would give you a token in exchange. You checked your guns then like you’d check your overcoat today at a Boston restaurant in winter. Visitors were welcome, but their guns were not.

In my new book, Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, there’s a photograph taken in Dodge City in 1879. Everything looks exactly as you’d imagine: wide, dusty road; clapboard and brick buildings; horse ties in front of the saloon. Yet right in the middle of the street is something you’d never expect. There’s a huge wooden billboard announcing, “The Carrying of Firearms Strictly Prohibited.”

While people were allowed to have guns at home for self-protection, frontier towns usually barred anyone but law enforcement from carrying guns in public.

When Dodge City residents organized their municipal government, do you know what the very first law they passed was? A gun control law. They declared that “any person or persons found carrying concealed weapons in the city of Dodge or violating the laws of the State shall be dealt with according to law.” Many frontier towns, including Tombstone, Arizona–the site of the infamous “Shootout at the OK Corral”–also barred the carrying of guns openly.

Today in Tombstone, you don’t even need a permit to carry around a firearm. Gun rights advocates are pushing lawmakers in state after state to do away with nearly all limits on the ability of people to have guns in public.

Like any law regulating things that are small and easy to conceal, the gun control of the Wild West wasn’t always perfectly enforced. But statistics show that, next to drunk and disorderly conduct, the most common cause of arrest was illegally carrying a firearm. Sheriffs and marshals took gun control seriously.

Although some in the gun community insist that more guns equals less crime, in the Wild West they discovered that gun control can work. Gun violence in these towns was far more rare than we commonly imagine. Historians who’ve studied the numbers have determined that frontier towns averaged less than twyo murders a year. Granted, the population of these towns was small. Nevertheless, these were not places where duels at high noon were commonplace. In fact, they almost never occurred.

Why is our image of the Wild West so wrong? Largely for the same reason these towns adopted gun control laws in the first place: economic development. Residents wanted limits on guns in public because they wanted to attract businesspeople and civilized folk. What prospective storeowner was going to move to Deadwood if he was likely to be robbed when he brought his daily earnings to the bank?

Once the frontier was closed, those same towns glorified a supposedly violent past in order to attract tourists and the businesses to serve them. Gunfights were extremely rare in frontier towns, but these days you can see a reenactment of the one at the OK Corral several times a day. Don’t forget to buy a souvenir!

The story of guns in America is far more complex and surprising than we’ve often been led to believe. We’ve always had a right to bear arms, but we’ve also always had gun control. Even in the Wild West, Americans balanced these two and enacted laws restricting guns in order to promote public safety. Why should it be so hard to do the same today

wi64

yep

Screenshot 2023-04-22 110118.png
orlbucfan

+270!

wi64

A long time ago on a planet far far away this was a reality…..

Screenshot 2023-04-22 111015.png
orlbucfan

Sigh…… 🙁

orlbucfan

T and R x 2, jcb!! 🙂 I took yesterday off and just slept and forbade my eyeballs from any reading! Gotta do it more often, I have to admit.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

This statement was in an email I received today from Robert Reich (whom I also admire). Wow.

Pop quiz: What do Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, and Senator Joe Manchin have in common?

If you said, “All three received gifts from billionaire Republican benefactor Harlan Crow,” you are correct! I’d say, “you win,” but the truth is we’re all actually losing.

The luxury cruises on a mega-yacht, private jet trips, and private resort vacations received — and never reported — by Justice Thomas are designed to influence the Supreme Court, but it isn’t the only institution this billionaire is trying to buy with his money. He also has his eyes on the U.S. Senate.

FEC filings show that both Sinema and Manchin benefited from Crow’s billions, too. Sinema even had to return a portion of his donations because he exceeded the legal limits.

orlbucfan

It’s just a sad state of affairs in this country. Can it change? We will see.

Benny

Brandon Johnson’s win as mayor furthers Democratic leftward tilt as party examines big tent philosophy

Brandon Johnson’s election as Chicago’s next mayor represented a further leftward movement of the state’s Democratic-led politics, fueled by generational and ideological changes that are stretching and sometimes straining the fabric of the party’s big tent.

“In my view, the state of Illinois, led by Gov. (J.B.) Pritzker and this legislative body, has become the vanguard for progressive policy all over this country,” Johnson told lawmakers Wednesday to resounding applause while making his first visit to Springfield as mayor-elect. “You’ve done it.”

But Johnson’s 4% victory over Paul Vallas to become the city’s 57th mayor, laid bare some fundamental splits within the state’s Democratic Party that go deeper than just Chicago’s most recent mayoral contest.

Vallas billed himself as a “lifelong Democrat” despite ties to right-wing activists, the conservative Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, and his declaration in 2009 that he considered himself “more of a Republican than a Democrat” and was “fundamentally opposed to abortion.”

In the end, Johnson succeeded in raising questions in voters’ minds about Vallas’ Democratic bona fides. Still, several older Democrats in the party establishment who are considered more moderate endorsed Vallas. They included former Secretary of State Jesse White and Dick Durbin, the No. 2 ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate. Durbin served with Vallas in Springfield more than 40 years ago in the office of the late Democratic Senate President Philip J. Rock of Oak Park.

Christopher Mooney, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the Democratic leaders who backed Vallas look out of step with the way the party is headed.

“I think it’s not a good look for a lot of those folks,” Mooney said. “The progressives are in ascendancy in the state. You’ve got the governor and now the new mayor — two poles of political power in a state who are both proudly progressive.”

“The Democratic Party has always been a pretty broad base. Republicans … especially in Illinois today (are) very narrow. They have sort of an exclusionary interest — if you’re not for this, you’re out, or you’re a RINO (Republican in Name Only), you’re not a real Republican,” Mooney said. “Who knows if the progressives go that way too.”

The potential for increased friction between moderates and progressives threatening the party’s future has grown to the point that a special committee was formed by Cook County Democrats to determine what it means to be a Democrat in today’s political climate.

“What I started to see was there are Democrats that are confused,” said Northwest Side Ald. Gilbert Villegas, 36th, a member of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee, who is chairing the committee. “Your regular Democrats are confused as to what are the principles around being a Democrat, and how the Democratic Party is being influenced by some portions of the left.”

Villegas just won reelection to the City Council against a progressive challenger backed by the Chicago Teachers Union after last year losing a Democratic congressional primary to Delia Ramirez, a product of the progressive United Working Families organization whose candidacy was backed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“My task was to figure out, the Democratic Party is a big tent. What are core pillars that we can identify with that would allow people who want to be a part of the Democratic Party to say, ‘You know what? Although I don’t agree with everything within the new Democratic Party, what are those core pillars that make me a Democrat?’ ” Villegas said.

“So whether it’s making sure that we’re providing for working families, paying livable wages, a woman’s right to choose, affordable housing, what are some of the core things that, as Democrats, when a candidate from the Democratic Party speaks, is going to touch on those core pillars to say ‘Yeah, I’m a Democrat. But obviously I’m either more of a moderate Democrat or more of a left Democrat.’ So that way they get more of a sense of where they’re at within the big tent of the Democratic Party.” he said.

Pritzker, with the emergence of power of the legislature’s Black Caucus, has set out the template for the party’s progressive pillars — organized labor rights, abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice reforms, including cashless bail for nonviolent crimes, and banning so-called assault weapons.

“The governor is leading by example. I mean, the guy is advocating very, very strongly and very, very emphatically, very, very nationally. Especially on abortion and guns. That’s right down Main Street for progressives,” Mooney said.

Pritzker acknowledged that Johnson represents “a new generation politician,” despite his age of 47, by bringing both younger voters and voters of color to the polls — important parts of what Pritzker calls “the Democratic coalition.”

The two-term governor said “older voters show up in large numbers and they’re very important” to party fortunes but “things are evolving” toward younger voters.

“The Democratic Party is much more resolute about the issues that we stand up and fight for,” Pritzker said. “That resoluteness certainly defines the younger generation and I admire that.”

One veteran Democratic campaign strategist, who asked not to be identified due to his links with current politicians, said generational change is morphing with a progressive ideology, in part due to greater educational opportunity — and social media and digital technology.

“The Black community, in particular, has a larger number of people who are college educated and moving into a gravitational pull of politics that makes them more progressive and more activist,” the strategist said. “Older voters, they’re not looking for revolutions. They’re just looking for things to be improved. They don’t believe the whole system needs to completely change over because when you’re older, you’re more of an incrementalist.”

As for moderate older Democrats, the strategist said, “The center never holds. It just adapts and that new generation takes over. They start paying taxes and try to change things and run into failures and then they get more incremental in the amount of change that they think the system can handle. Then the cycle repeats itself.”

In Springfield, members of the Democratic supermajorities have created a moderate caucus along with its progressive caucus — a recognition of the factional ideologies in the House and Senate.

Those differences were readily apparent in the passage of the controversial Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, known as the SAFE-T Act, dealing with criminal justice and policing as well as cashless bail. Due to the overwhelming number of Democrats, some moderates representing a more conservative, less progressive ideology were able to vote against it without their votes needed for passage.

Moderate caucus leaders said it is paramount to represent the ideology of their districts, which brings geography in play. Democrats have seen their numbers reduced downstate, while increasing in the once traditional Republican suburbs and exurbs.

“They have their issues, we have our issues. You’ve got to work together and get a consensus,” state Rep. Marty Moylan of Des Plaines, a moderate House Democrat, said of his progressive colleagues.

“You know, sometimes their issues don’t agree with ours and then we’ll discuss it and try and come up with some kind of conclusion,” Moylan said. “(We’re) not going to agree on everything. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not Democrats.”

One major reason Democrats have not fractured so far is the political alternative — Republicans.

People, particularly in the suburbs, who might have once considered themselves moderate Republicans on social issues no longer fit into the narrow cast of what the GOP calls itself now, Mooney said.

And Pritzker said Republicans “have painted themselves into a terrible corner” on social issues.

“We are the party of reproductive rights. There’s nowhere else to go,” he said. “If you are a believer that women’s rights need to be protected, you are a Democrat and should vote for Democrats. If you’re a believer in public safety and protecting our children from being victims of mass shootings at schools, then you are a Democrat and should vote for Democrats.”

orlbucfan

There are also 2 issues important to young folks: dealing with climate chaos, and pot legalization.