SL 707

It’s Demo Day here in Apt. 11D. I have an autistic kid who is freaking out about the mess and the change. “IT’S RUINED! MY HOUSE IS RUINED!” And there are waves of dust slipping around the useless sheets of plastic barriers. My head cold is two steps away from a sinus infection. How come my Demo Day isn’t the joyful event that happens on “Fixer Upper?”

The #MeToo movement reaches its hand back in time to get Clarence Thomas.

Really interesting commentary on assault weapons from an army veteran.

I saw Black Panther this weekend and was a little disappointed. It was boring. I fell asleep.

I’m all about black and natural accents in this new kitchen.

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25 thoughts on “SL 707

  1. “It’s Demo Day here in Apt. 11D. I have an autistic kid who is freaking out about the mess and the change. “IT’S RUINED! MY HOUSE IS RUINED!” And there are waves of dust slipping around the useless sheets of plastic barriers.”

    I’m hoping to do a renovation one of these days (HATE HATE HATE the pink formica and purple tile) but C likes it. Nobody else in the family understands why I want to change a thing.

    “How come my Demo Day isn’t the joyful event that happens on “Fixer Upper?””

    –They don’t do it with the buyers around.
    –No Chip.
    –No TV cameras.

    “I’m all about black and natural accents in this new kitchen.”

    So, no black cabinets for you? Good. I’ve seen some photos of kitchens with both black upper and lower cabinets and it screams MISTAKE.

    I kind of had a thing for charcoal cabinets for a while, but I’m getting over it.

  2. Neither Jill Abramson attacking Clarence Thomas, nor an “avowed pacifist” complaining about AR-15s, really moves the needle. Dog bites man. Call men when Jill Abramson is attacking Bill Clinton, and James Mattis is complaining about AR-15s.

    Jill Abramson spoke at my daughter’s graduation. Most graduation speeches are either about the graduates, how wonderful they are and how much promise they have, or about how the speaker changed and grew through some important experience. Jill Abramson spoke about herself, all right, but not about how she changed or grew, because the point of her speech was about how she had always been perfect.

    1. Neither Jill Abramson attacking Clarence Thomas, nor an “avowed pacifist” complaining about AR-15s, really moves the needle. Dog bites man.

      Your not liking the authors of the arguments does not in itself invalidate the arguments. They stand or fall on their own merits.

      I am neither Jill Abramson nor an avowed pacifist so I will just restate the following two points for consideration:

      1. It’s clear that Clarence Thomas committed sexual harassment and then lied about it repeatedly during his hearings and, in fact, continues to lie about it to this day. It is politically unrealistic that he should be impeached but the fact that so many people are adamant that he should not be held accountable for this says more about them than his critics.

      2. We should ban private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons. Not just AR-15s or “assault weapons” (which are just semi-automatic weapons with some subjectively chosen features), but all semi-automatic weapons.

      Again, this is clearly not politically realistic at this point, given that (mostly) rural and southern second amendment maximalists have a hammerlock on our politics, but let’s be clear about why. The reason it is unrealistic is because people who don’t want this prefer a world where these mass shootings happen.

      Let me be very clear about that. It’s not that they *want* them to happen. It is just that they are happy with the status quo. They are satisfied with the trade-offs that would allow them to own these weapons and consider such trade-offs to be a public good. They would rather have a country where scores of kids get shot in schools over and over again but they get to keep their Glocks and their AR-15s then a country where this happens much less often and they have to give them up. They should at least mention their selfishness when they make their arguments for unlimited firearm ownership.

      1. Jay said:

        “2. We should ban private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons. Not just AR-15s or “assault weapons” (which are just semi-automatic weapons with some subjectively chosen features), but all semi-automatic weapons.”

        “Again, this is clearly not politically realistic at this point, given that (mostly) rural and southern second amendment maximalists have a hammerlock on our politics, but let’s be clear about why. The reason it is unrealistic is because people who don’t want this prefer a world where these mass shootings happen.”

        What is so especially evil about semi-automatics? For your viewing pleasure, a youtube showing semi-auto fire versus auto:

        Start at 1 minute. A legal owner of a military M-16 with auto and semi-auto modes demonstrates the differences between the fire modes. Semi-auto is one trigger pull with, one shot, whereas auto produces a stream of fire from one pull.

        Also, as of 2016, there were 5 million AR-15s in private hands in the US.

        https://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/13/owned-by-5-million-americans-ar-15-under-renewed-fire-after-orlando-massacre.html

        I’m not finding the number of semi-automatics in the US, but I saw a stat that 50% of current sales are semi-automatics–so assume a really, really large number in circulation.

        Assuming a ban on further manufacture and sale of semi-automatics for the private market, how the heck do you propose to get tens of millions of semi-automatics out of private homes? It’s simply not doable, either politically or logistically. It’s not going to happen on the national level for political reasons, and even on the state level, it would run into all sorts of constitutional problems (the 4th amendment restrictions on search and seizure comes to mind).

        “Let me be very clear about that. It’s not that they *want* them to happen. It is just that they are happy with the status quo. They are satisfied with the trade-offs that would allow them to own these weapons and consider such trade-offs to be a public good. They would rather have a country where scores of kids get shot in schools over and over again but they get to keep their Glocks and their AR-15s then a country where this happens much less often and they have to give them up. They should at least mention their selfishness when they make their arguments for unlimited firearm ownership.”

        Can we make the same argument about mental health/domestic violence stuff and mass shootings? That people opposed to heavier enforcement are happy with the status quo, and would rather live in a country where obviously dangerous people freely terrorize their families and classmates until they finally kill somebody (or many people)?

        We can do the same thing with freedom of the press. A lot of mass school shootings are driven by what bj described as “social contagion,” which is being stoked by wall to wall TV news coverage of school shootings and fame for school shooters (who would otherwise have been nobodies). In fact, at least a couple of them have become folk heroes to particular internet subcultures–Elliot Rodger is an idol to the incel community. So–is it fair to say that people who oppose restrictions on media coverage of mass shootings are happy with mass shootings, just so long as they get to selfishly keep their precious freedom of the press?

        As somebody was saying recently, everybody is happy to restrict freedoms that they themselves don’t care about. (Although I think that in practice, even gun control advocates would hate the 4th amendment violations that would have to accompany serious gun control in the US.)

      2. To Amy’s point below, we already have federal laws that ban gun ownership by both those who have been adjudicated mentally defective or committed to a mental institution (some states have legal ways to restore your rights after being involuntarily committee) and those convicted of domestic violence. I haven’t seen research on social contagion theory and mass shootings that clearly identifies the mechanism for why there are clusters. We do know however one thing that all mass shootings have in common: they involve a gun (often a semi-automatic weapon). Sure this child in Florida’s root problem is likely mental health related, but if AR-15s were not on the market his carnage would have been reduced.

        I’m a gun owner; my father used to sell guns (legally, of course). I have not seen a convincing argument for why an AR-15 is preferable for home protection and/or self defense compared to a handgun or why one would need multiple large-capacity magazines. Nor have I yet been convinced that being allowed to own an AR-15 is fundamental to one’s 2nd A right. I’m open to being convinced; I just haven’t been so yet. Sorry for the rant.

      3. For your viewing pleasure, a youtube showing semi-auto fire versus auto…Start at 1 minute. A legal owner of a military M-16 with auto and semi-auto modes demonstrates the differences between the fire modes. Semi-auto is one trigger pull with, one shot, whereas auto produces a stream of fire from one pull

        Gee, thanks for the explanation. I actually know full well what a semi-automatic weapon is, thanks. It takes a particularly dim sort of Texan to believe that the only reason I wouldn’t love semi-automatic weapons is that I don’t actually know what one is.

        What is so especially evil about semi-automatics?

        Nothing is inherently evil about them. It is just that they are essentially military-grade hardware that is of no use for anything that someone would actually require one for. One can perform all the necessary things that civilians need firearms for (sport shooting, hunting, the occasional personal defense) with revolvers, bolt action rifles, and single action shotguns. The only purposes for semi-automatic firearms are to efficiently kill people and to water the tree of liberty. At this point, we may disagree about whether these are fundamental needs in a civil society, but that gets exactly to my main point, which is that people like you want to live in a country where these things happen.

        So, yes, I would ban private ownership of semi-automatic weapons and we could do it in a manner that is perfectly consonant with the constitution. As to the second amendment, unless one has a pathologically religious attachment to it, it can be revealed. Yes, I realize that there are enough people who are against this for this not to happen within the next few decades, but that is just my point. This is not going to happen because people like you prefer things the way they are and don’t want to do anything about it.

        But even leaving the second amendment in place, we could pass laws restricting ownership of semi-automatic weapons. One could make (and in the past legal scholars have) a reasonable reading of the amendment that takes into account the “well-regulated militia” part (which second amendment maximalists completely ignore) and conclude that the correct regulatory framework for these weapons is akin to Switzerland, where they are only privately owned in association with military reserve involvement.

        As for the fourth amendment, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand all have restricted ownership of such weapons and, guess what! The number of such shootings have gone down. And they somehow managed to do this without going house to house.

        So, I would support laws along the following lines:

        1. All existing semi-automatic firearms are required to be registered and insured. (just like grandfathered automatic firearms are now). Ownership of an unregistered or uninsured one is a felony.
        2. All sales of semi-automatic firearms are illegal, except those in government buybacks.
        3. It is illegal to sell ammunition that could be fired by existing semi-automatic firearms.
        4. Providing (through sale or otherwise) a semi-automatic weapon or an accessory to a semi-automatic weapon that is used in a crime makes the provider a full accessory to the crime.
        5. Semi-automatic weapons are prohibited from being fully assembled or used except on the owners private property or a licensed firing range.

        Would this instantly eliminate all mass shootings? No, but the perfect is the enemy of the good. It *would* cut down on the vast majority of them. Now I admit that these laws are all *politically* unrealistic at this point. But let’s at least be honest about this. The reason that this will never happen is that people like you prefer the status quo. You would rather see kids get shot in schools, over and over again, then to make these tradeoffs. Fine, you win. But at least admit that this is what you want.

  3. I made meatballs again today, but they fell apart. I think because I had my son shape them while I was on the phone yelling at Verizon. Still tasted fine.

  4. The way the Mueller investigation is going lately, maybe Republicans in Congress will bring a vote on a gun control measure just for a distraction from all the treason being exposed.

  5. I was just watching this interview with a classmate and former friend of Nikolas Cruz:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/GMA/status/965928687328571392/video/1

    It’s well worth a watch. Here’s what Arianna Lopez said:

    –Cruz would bring a knife in his lunch box (a real, serious knife)
    –his social media was creepy
    –he’d post pictures of 15 firearms on his bed
    –he talked about supporting Syrian terrorists
    –he talked about killing classmates’ parents, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends
    –Cruz would follow Lopez home after school
    –Lopez says she and her friends reported Cruz repeatedly to the school between 2016 and 2017
    –records say the high school disciplined Cruz 25 times
    –Lopez says that the girl Cruz briefly dated (and got into a fight over) was being abused by him. “He would hit her, he would threaten her, he would threaten her family and her friends for talking to other guys.”
    –After, the breakup and the fight (which involved a large group of people), a report was done by Florida’s Department of Children and Families. It said that Cruz had behavior changes, was depressed and talking about buying a gun.
    –Lopez says that everybody who knew Cruz knew that he was the shooter before being told.

    1. And, in Florida, none of these things result in mental health assistance (probably even voluntarily, they are chronically underfunded) or limits to access to guns. The school did expel him — maybe for the knife in school? Scary. Which of those facts should have changed the response? Should he have been arrested and tried for making threats? Should his access to guns have been limited for making threats? Should he have been involuntarily committed because his social media was creepy? Should we arrest people who post pictures of 15 guns on their bed (which, I presume, is legal?).

  6. Does Al Hoffman, multi million dollar Republican donor and prominent financial supporter of Florida Republicans, count as a step in moving the needle? I think so. Moving needles on contentious issues is always impossible, until it becomes possible. I said it to Laura when she spoke of her battles in support of special needs education, and I say it about reducing gun violence, refusing to believe in a world that can’t be turned around is the only way that anything will ever change.

    Certainly, saying that nothing will ever change is a fast track to no changes, which, in today’s world means regular mass shootings, which, frankly, I believe will increase in frequency, because I think we are using few of the tools to prevent them (I don’t consider hopes and prayers effective).

    The Washington Post has an analysis of NRA tweets following mass shootings (for a subset of the shootings I would include, if I were doing the analysis). Post Parkland has been the longest silence, 7 days. Hopefully that’s moving the needle, too.

    The analysis also quite vividly illustrates the difference in NRA response following shootings by white men versus others.

    1. I wonder if Hoffman isn’t just trying to find a way to stop giving money to the Republican Party without saying that’s what he’s doing.

    2. Are we counting Cruz as a white man, or as non-white? It seems like light-skinned Hispanics (if that’s what he is) and Asians get moved in and out of whiteness to suit the speaker’s political agenda. (At our law firm, we totally count them non-white, in order to boost our diversity statistics, but universities generally take a rather different approach.)

      1. y81 said,

        “Are we counting Cruz as a white man, or as non-white? It seems like light-skinned Hispanics (if that’s what he is) and Asians get moved in and out of whiteness to suit the speaker’s political agenda.”

        He’s adopted, so who knows.

        Pulling out my racist magnifying glass, my guess is he’s either 100% white or 75% (one non-white grandparent).

  7. Back on reno stuff–this month’s HGTV magazine has some very nice pictures and ideas.

    Normally, they’re a bit too razzle-dazzle for my taste, but the current issue is more tasteful, and I suspect Laura will find some things she likes.

  8. There’s a good op-ed of the limits of the mental health system for intervening, written by a Amy Barnhorst, a psychiatrist from California in the NY Times today:
    “Even if all potential mass shooters did get psychiatric care, there is no reliable cure for angry young men who harbor violent fantasies. And the laws intended to stop the mentally ill from buying guns are too narrow and easily sidestepped”

    I wonder if there’s a way to take threats more seriously — even when an individual says they were a joke, or not serious.

  9. I am looking forward to pictures of your kitchen though, through the ugly stages as well as when it is finally shiny and new.

    The house next door to ours has been built from scratch over the last 18 months, and, I think, is still not completely done inside, though the family has moved in.

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