The Sunday Liberal Reader: July 22

The Reader returns!

This week's Sunday Liberal Reader begins on a somber note. The senseless mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado early Friday morning is yet another reminder of just how much America loves its guns. Andrew Cohen reminds us of the sobering fact that in the day and a half since that massacre over 100 other Americans have lost their lives to the barrel of a gun. A recent Brady Campaign release lists 62 pages of mass shootings in the United States since 2005.

Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy caused a bit of a cluck last week coming out in support of traditional marriage in an interview with the Baptist Press. The interview itself was fairly benign but it did manage to ruffle a few feathers at LGBTQ Nation, who came out with a detailed list of anti-gay organizations that Chick-fil-A's charitable arm, WinShape Foundation, has made major contributions to. Something more socially conscious diners may want to consider next time they have a craving for waffle fries.

Georgia Representative Jack Kingston has been busy lately undermining the safety of our nation's food chain and the viability of small farms by tailoring the Farm Appropriations Bill to suit his corporate best friend Monsanto and their use of GMOs. While many countries are rejecting Monsanto's attempts to control the world's food supply, farmer Jack is carrying their water here at home. Here's the best of the rest:

This weeks must read. Barry C, Lynn and Lina Kahn at Washington Monthly discuss The Slow-Motion Collapse of American Entrepreneurship.

A quick read from The American Prospect on The Beltway's Destructive Obsession With The Deficit.

Many of us, including myself, were punked this week by a link to a purported Shell Oil ad campaign gone terribly wrong. It turns out this too good to be true story was just that. Helluva prank though.

Trending: Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi reports on A Serious Challenge To Wall Street in his piece on eminent domain mortgage seizures. Relief may be on the way for underwater homeowners.

Growing income disparity in Israel and the conservative government's failed safety net programs result in this chilling tale of one man's desperation from Haaretz.

A fascinating glimpse into the inner world of Scientology from The Village Voice.

In case you missed it (I did): A recent study in the peer-reviewed journal Nature titled Approaching a State Shift In Earth’s Biosphere (unfortunately paywall protected) deserves examination. Several diverse publications have done just that.

For the lazy reader: Chris Hayes opening segment on "Up" this morning on why Mitt Romney should pay a tax rate more like his father is must-see TV.

That's it for now. As always; stay informed, read liberally!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Racer X July 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Jim- Good man. People forget (myself included sometimes) that we are all on the same team. This division only serves to take our attentions away from the beast. We are all Americans. If I were in a foxhole with any of you, I would fight for you, even Brian Crawford, as long as my assault rifle did not offend him ;-)
Racer X July 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM
GD, Do you hear yourself? "I'm not into studying statistics myself. I don't need to spend my time doing that." Then, "One Aurora massacre: 12 dead, 58 injured . . . those are the statistics that speak to me." What I am reading is that only stats that "speak to you" are worth paying attention to. I am reasonably sure you don't mean that. If Tammy had made a statement like that she would have faced a poop storm. Please, because I really want to understand, explain why only stats that "speak" to you are important. Perhaps a rephrase would clear it up for me. No offense intended and I do value what you have to say, given that we are both Americans who want the best for each other.
Racer X July 25, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Thanks NGW. To all: I believe the key thing for us all to appreciate here is that every poster is passionate about his/her country and the safety of our brothers and sisters. Sure, we would go about it in different ways but the commonality is still there. Tammy has her way of protecting those that she loves and GD has her way of protecting those that she loves. They are both probably very proficient in their methods of protecting those they care about because they are women and smarter than us guys (No, really guys, they are smarter). They just go about it in different ways. Both are free to choose the way that works for them. As long as both of them act responsibly, I believe they should each have the freedom to do things their own way. As long as the government does not interfere with those methods, all is well. I do not believe for one minute that either of these women care less than the other about fellow Americans. They are just two Americans who handle things in different ways. If a lunatic opens fire on me at McDonalds, I would be more than happy for Tammy to open fire while GD dials 911 and I poop my pants. Together they would be doing everything in their power to help, working together. Thanks.
Georgia Democrat July 25, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Thanks for the clarity, Jim!
Karsten Torch July 25, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Since GD seems incapable of answering direct questions, let me have at it.... I don't have an exact number, but you're right around 2% of all homicides are committed with an assault rifle. This number holds steady whether we're talking one on one or mass killings.
Karsten Torch July 25, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Too much typing. Not important enough, since it's not your name. So.... You need to take another look at the data. It doesn't multiply with those weapons. Oh, unless they're made illegal. Then the number goes up. Repeal the ban on them and the number of crimes and death drops. So...using logic (stay with me here) does it make more sense to drive the numbers up by banning them, or keep them low by allowing them?
Georgia Democrat July 25, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Thanks for the compliment above. Males and females can all be smart, just in different ways and respond in different ways. I hope Tammy wouldn't get overly excited or nervous and miss her target in that situation. I'm sure there would be some guys or gals there to tackle the shooter, throw a chair or something. Stray bullets hit innocent bystanders sometimes and there are always kids in McD's. What if she caused the shooter to go on a rampage and make it even worse? Also, cops (including undercover ones) like McDonald's, so if they're present I say let them do their job. Nobody wants a dead hero. Wouldn't be a hero if missed the perpetrator and shot innocents, would be a criminal. You bet I would dial 911! And finally, what's with calling me GD? Like Karsten? Can't you bring yourself to write Democrat? GD has a bad connotation for me, as it probably has for others posting. You can say GA Dem if that suits you, and I would appreciate it! Thanks very much!
Georgia Democrat July 25, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Mike, this is to answer your previous comment to me about stats, here b/c no reply button after your post. I don't know if you have reading comprehension problems or just don't take the time to do more than skim. Did you miss my statement, "Doesn't mean I think they have no value.", or did you leave it out b/c it contradicts the point you're trying to make about my comments? Of course I know what I said. I proof my writings. I may be one of the few on here who do. The reason I don't need to spend my time reading or studying stats is because I am not trained in that field, not an expert, and admit that I am not qualified to explain, expound upon or interpret them and, come on, depends on the source being unbiased. But I know they don't fully tell the human story. They're numbers. Those victims in Aurora - they're people to me, not numbers. You read that as "only stats that 'speak to you' are worth paying attention to. You are right - I didn't mean that and that is not what I wrote; you read or interpreted it wrong - I didn't say "only"; I didn't use an adjective to describe "the stats that speak to me". It's not nice to put words in someone's comment where they were not input by the author, and it's not nice to ignore the words they do write for the purposes of validating your opinion. (Facts don't change; opinions do.) Seems to be a major problem in this thread. I sincerely hope that clears it up for you.
Georgia Democrat July 25, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Alrighty KarTor: "Too much typing. Not important enough, since it's not your name. So...." Are you just lazy, a jerk or both? If you don't want to be respectful of me and my chosen name (haven't seen you criticize the many others who don't use their own name), it shows more negative about you. You could shorten to GA Dem or GA D, but doubt that you're nice enough for that. As I said to Mike Horsman, GD has a bad connotation for me and other Christians. I don't like it, don't appreciate it and in the future will not respond to anyone who insists on using it when commenting to me or about me. Furthermore, I don't need to look at any data, answer any of your questions or do your research for you. You're judgmental. That reduces your credibility.
Karsten Torch July 25, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Probably both. Again, not your name, and if you're relating that to the usual G.D. that people talk about, not a lot I can do about that. GD is the initials for what you have, just like make people will refer to me as KT. Just kind of makes sense. But fine, I'll figure it out. I don't engage others who don't use their own name. We all know Steve, so we'll talk to him. But yeah, as a general rule, those who don't use their own name don't really get any time from me. But you're actually entertaining and seem more intelligent than many, so thought you were worth the effort to respond to. I do find it funny, though, that you don't feel the need to look at data. Just go off feelings, not using any kinds of facts. I've given facts and numbers, so no need for me to do the research. Already have. I'm just asking you to back up your opinion with facts as to why you feel your opinion holds any validity. That's not judgemental, that's common sense. Obviously that's too difficult. That really reduces your credibility. To pretty much 0. Thanks for playing, though....
Racer X July 25, 2012 at 05:36 PM
GD- So I extend an olive branch and you try to whip me with it. Very nice. I was calling you GD because I was trying to be expeditious using your initials. You have imagined the rest. I have one word for you, estrogen. Thank God you don't have a gun.
Racer X July 25, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Karsten, Tammy, NGW- Thanks for being great Americans. I will see you at the voting booths. I must now leave this conversation as it, like all of Brian Crawford's blogs, is solving no problems, just encouraging our nation's division. -MH
Jim S July 25, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Wow, it is a shame that what I thought was an honest exchange of differing opinions turned personal and almost ugly. This is a polarizing discussion, and like religion and color of the refridgerator, should not be discussed without thought. As Mike said, we all have our own way of dealing with danger. Those who don't feel comfortable using deadly force are no better or worse than those who do. And to beat a dead horse, the decision to use deadly force should not be taken lightly. Life is too precious. Let's agree to disagree and not call eachother anything but neighbors. GA Dem, my initials are JKS; say if fast enough, and you can see what I was called growing up! :)
Karsten Torch July 25, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Jim, you're right, and it is a shame. I believe everybody has a right to feel as they want to, but as soon as they start impeding on my rights, they need to have some good reasoning or documentation. Just saying. I know firearms aren't for everybody. And I would never look down on somebody because they made the decision not to use firearms or deadly force to defend themselves or somebody else. I get that. I will also ask them if they wish me to do so should they need protection. I was called all kinds of worse. Of course, had nothing to do with my initials.... ;)
Georgia Democrat July 25, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Jim, those calling you an unflattering name were probably children. I don't think it's too much to ask adults to address or refer to a commenter by their chosen name instead of one that is the same as one of blasphemy. They are pot shots from those who want you to answer their questions, explain yourself, but skip right over what is answered and asked of them. Guess they're reaching for their "guns" . . . the best way they know of defending themselves against any adversity, real or imagined. I know it's because they can't bring themselves to write the word Democrat as if it is contagious, which instead might be healing to them :D. So immature it's funny.
North Georgia Weather July 25, 2012 at 07:50 PM
You know what, I've never owned a gun but I'm all for those that wish to carry. But I'm thinking more and more about getting one... And I agree Mike, I've always thought that Brian's post are inflammatory and do more to divide people than bring them together. Sad...
Georgia Democrat July 25, 2012 at 07:54 PM
This thread is like a train wreck . . . you know you shouldn't look, but can't seem to turn away. It is not Brian's fault that comments have crossed the line in many instances. He offered multiple subjects on this blog for reflection and observation. Most chose the hot topic of the day. People who can't get their way and agreement don't want facts, they just want to be validated, even if it's by dishonesty. They turn to name calling. Even speak of genitals and hormones. OMGoodness, that is sad. And we complain because Congress is in gridlock. It's no wonder - you know they see a lot of trash talk like this.
North Georgia Weather July 25, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I found this an interesting read: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anthony-gregory/obama-business_b_1687374.html
Georgia Democrat July 25, 2012 at 08:16 PM
The same could be said of a conservative blogger. It's a matter of perspective. Brian's blogs show that he is thoughtful, intelligent, articulate and well-researched. That scares a lot of people it seems. They don't like or agree with his opinions, so they blast him. He has an answer to their comments, and that makes some folks mad. I have read conservative blogs but find them so objectionable and anger-filled because they're mostly straight out of Fox News (?) talking points or Glen Beck (blech!) or Rush Limbaugh - a hot air opportunist, that I can't participate. Makes me wonder why some of you come here. It must be the back and forth that you guys really enjoy. You just can't always handle it, get in over your heads, take your ball and run home. Then come stealing back because you can't stay away. Brian hasn't done the dividing. It's the name calling, taunting comments and unwillingness to consider and respect opposite opinions and discuss them like grownups.
Brian Crawford July 25, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Good read. Thanks. There's a lot there that we probably agree on.
george July 31, 2012 at 06:16 PM
It would be nice to read a thread not rife with partisan politics and immature, uninformed participants. If any of you have any suggestions I'd be willing to consider them. I am reminded of a quote (the author's name escapes me): "It is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt."
Jim S July 31, 2012 at 06:23 PM
I have never thought of my right to own a weapon as partisian or politics. I just considered it smart protection. I tend to have my own ideas, based on reading all sides of an issue, and doing what I think is right. It has always worked for me.
Racer X July 31, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Excellent quote. I think the Washington Post gave Obama credit for that one.
Racer X July 31, 2012 at 06:41 PM
NGW- That is an interesting read. It seems that politicians on both sides are the problem. Perhaps we should stop arguing among our selves long enough to point our fingers at the real bad guys, those in Washington DC. As long as Democrats and Republicans are made to believe they are each others enemies, the government is going to continue to rob us both until nothing is left. The less powerful we make the Federal government, maybe the less and more manageable our differences would become.
george July 31, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I rest my case.
Jim S July 31, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I call it being informed. I can't stand hearing someone spew quotes from politicians as if they were printed in red. What kind of sheeple just swallow all this tripe as if it were truth? And George, Maybe you would get into more dialog with people if you didn't spend your time insulting them.
george July 31, 2012 at 07:20 PM
1. What is a "sheeple?" 2. What political quote? 3. I sincerely apologize if you find my comments demeaning or insulting. 4. My rational for limited dialog with "people" can be found simply by reading your post.
Jim S July 31, 2012 at 08:06 PM
1. Sheeple are human beings who follow whatever stupidity comes from the mouths of their political heros. 2. Any political quote; Guns are good. Guns are bad. Less government. More government. 3. You have not insulted me. I don't even know you. What we need, and I agree with you, are people who can think for themselves and who do not resort to blindly following their 'party'.
george July 31, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Mr Stephenson, I apparently am the new poster-child for never too old to learn. At 70, I am forced it admit I have never heard of sheeple! I am in your debt sir. I shall use this newest addition to my vernacular often. I obviously did not read your post thoroughly (probably a result my limited dialog with people :). The quote I used is attributed to Winston Churchill, though I could be wrong. I agree with your last statement completely. And, after having swam in the political cesspool I can state, without reservation, that we who think for ourselves are a quickly fading minority. I find that Will Rogers said it best, "There is no such thing as an honest politician." I look forward to more informed discourse Mr. Stephenson. How about the UN Security Council or the American Red Cross's recent claim that the blood supply is at a 15 year low. All is well with my soul.
Jim S August 01, 2012 at 01:02 PM
George, Your quote was oft repeated by my late mother. I totally understand as, in my 50s, I also learn new thing daily. And I yearn for the days of humans practicing humanity; respectful debates about issues that will make America better, honesty when giving speeches...you know, old fashioned stuff like that. As for the UN or Red Cross, I am afraid I am not well versed in those areas, and would likely 'open my mouth and remove ALL doubt'. Respectfully, Jim


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