You are browsing the archive for 2015 March 01.

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Fox News Guest: Obama Shouldn’t Ban Armor-Piercing Rounds Because ‘Tiny Bullets’ Can’t Hurt Cops

March 1, 2015 in Blogs

By David Edwards, Raw Story

The guest worries more about “disarming citizens” than about saving cops' lives.

The ATF has said it wants to ban certain types of AR-15 ammunition because it can pierce the kind of body armor worn by police. But Fox News host Tucker Carlson suggested on Saturday that it was more about disarming citizens, and he had on a gun activist who said these were “tiny bullets” that actually couldn’t pierce armor.

Earlier this month, an ammunition retailer warned that “Obama and his cronies in key government posts are trying to once again de facto suppress our Second Amendment rights” by taking executive action to reclassify certain types of .223 ammunition.

According to Carlson, the move was “not really about protecting cops as much as it is about disarming citizens.”

But Mark Glaze, executive director of Every Town For Gun Safety, told the Fox News host that the reclassification really was about law enforcement because some handguns could also fire the ammunition.

“The problem is that these bullets still can pierce the armor that many police officers wear,” Glaze explained. “And the primary danger that police officers face on the street is handguns, not rifles or shotguns.”

Giles, who founded Girls Just Want To Have Guns, argued that the primary use of the M855 cartridges was target practice.

“The reason rifle shooters use this ammunition is because it’s accurate,” she said. “So the fact that the ATF wants to ban target shooting ammunition is beyond me.”

“They don’t actually want to ban target shooting ammunition,” Glaze pointed out. “They want to use other target shooting ammunition that can’t pierce through the Kevlar vests that police officers wear on the streets.”

“Sorry, it’s actually target ammunition,” Giles shot back. “And no person who uses a gun to carry will use this because it’s not as effective as others.”

“And to say that this is going to pierce through the armor of cops is ridiculous because it’s a tiny bullet like this big,” she added, demonstrating the size with her fingers. “And to say that the cop’s Kevlar isn’t tough enough to handle that ammunition …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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It’s Worse than Scott Walker and Ted Cruz: Secrets of Conservatives’ Decades-Long War on Truth

March 1, 2015 in Blogs

By Heather Cox Richardson, Salon

The right knows that facts and reason have a liberal bent. That's why their decades-long strategy is to lie.

Deep on page 546 of his 1,839-page budget, Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker tucked in a crucial idea. He proposed to strip a principle from the mission statement of the University of Wisconsin, a school that attracts students from all over the nation and from 131 foreign countries. From the core philosophy that has driven the university since the turn of the last century Walker wanted to hack out the words: “Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.” Rather than serving the people of the state by developing intellectual, cultural and humane sensitivities, expertise, and “a sense of purpose,” Walker prefers that the state university simply “meet the state’s workforce needs.” In the face of scathing criticism, the governor backtracked and, despite a trail of emails that led to his office, tried to claim the new language was a “drafting error.”

But Walker’s attempt to replace the search for truth with workforce training was no error. Since the earliest days of Movement Conservatism in the 1950s, its leaders have understood that the movement’s success depends on destroying Americans’ faith in the academic search for truth. For two generations, Movement Conservatives have subverted American politics, with increasing success, by explicitly rejecting the principle of open debate based in reasoned argument. They have refused to engage with facts and instead simply demonized anyone who disagrees with their ideology. This is an astonishing position. It is an attack on the Enlightenment principles that gave rise to Western civilization.

Make no mistake: the attack is deliberate.

The Enlightenment blossomed in the wake of the religiously-inspired Thirty Years War of the seventeenth century, when thinkers horrified by the war’s carnage set out to break the fetters of superstition and tradition that had prompted the strife. Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, Jefferson and other thinkers advanced the idea that if people could listen to reasoned arguments, weigh them against evidence and choose the soundest ones, progress would follow. The Enlightenment revolutionized …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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National Security State

March 1, 2015 in Economics

By Gene Healy

Gene Healy

National Security and Double Government
By Michael J. Glennon
Oxford University Press, $29.95, 272 pages

It seems ages ago now, but there really was a time when some civil libertarians held out hope for Barack Obama’s presidency. If elected, this former constitutional law professor might be “our first president who is a civil libertarian,” Jeffrey Rosen enthused in The New York Times in March 2008. On inauguration night in 2009, defense lawyers at Guantanamo Bay actually formed a celebratory conga line, chanting “rule of law, baby!”

They and many other Obama optimists woke up to a hell of a hangover, one that’s lasted six years. The president has launched more than six times as many drone strikes as George W. Bush; ordered the remote-control execution of an American citizen; continued and expanded dragnet domestic surveillance programs based on a secret interpretation of the PATRIOT Act; and launched two undeclared wars.

The question Michael Glennon asks at the outset of his important new book, National Security and Double Government, is: “Why does national security policy remain constant even when one President is replaced by another, who as a candidate, repeatedly, forcefully, and eloquently promised fundamental changes in that policy?”

As power has shifted toward the permanent national security and intelligence bureaucracies, we face an ‘emergent autocracy’ in the guise of a democratic republic.”

His answer is altogether darker and more radical than you’d reasonably expect from a former Senate Foreign Relations Committee legal counsel and current international law professor at Tufts. Glennon argues, in essence, that the national security state has become a runaway train and that presidential elections are contests that determine who gets to pretend he’s driving.

Glennon takes the book’s central metaphor of “double government” from the 19th century British essayist Walter Bagehot, longtime editor of The Economist. In 1867’s The English Constitution, Bagehot described how real power in the British government had quietly shifted from one set of institutions, the monarchy and House of Lords, to another: the prime minister, the cabinet, and the House of Commons. By the late 19th century, Britain had become a “concealed republic” with only the outward trappings of a monarchy.

The United States is moving in the opposite direction, Glennon argues. As power has shifted toward the permanent national security and intelligence bureaucracies, we face an “emergent autocracy” in the guise of a democratic republic. We’ve “moved beyond a mere …read more

Source: OP-EDS