Tuesday, November 10, 2015

More Hoplophobia and Victim Disarmament from Michelle Lujan Grisham

Lujan-Grisham's original text is in italics, my comments are in bold.

Say you believe that now is the time to act on reducing gun violence in America by adding your name to our petition today.

Show me a responsible gun owner who actually approves of "gun violence," OK?

Dear Mike,

During my time in Congress, I've participated in more moments of silence to honor the victims of gun violence than policy debates about how to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. It's unacceptable.

Never mind that the phrase "gun violence" is intended to provoke an anti-firearm emotional state. Notice how the hoplophobes never talk about "knife violence" or "baseball bat violence" or "beer bottle violence" ?

Just look at what our community in New Mexico is coping with right now: -- the tragic murder of an ADP police officer -- the fatal road rage shooting of a 4-year-old girl in Albuquerque -- and another incident just this week in Española where a brawl turned into something worse when a man pulled out a gun and shot an 8-year-old boy

With dangerous weapons killing an average of 36 people every day, it's only a matter of time until another community in New Mexico has to suffer.

These incidents bring to bare that many communities -- that every single community across the country -- are suffering from gun violence, and other public safety issues. In Washington, there is a growing sense that we are failing to act as policy makers, yet action continues to be stalled. And these recent shootings are a reminder of how unacceptable that has become.

Politicians are always the last people we should look to in order to solve any problem.


Sign this petition to stand with me in tackling gun violence -- we can no longer afford to wait to act on gun violence. The time is now.

I'm already taking specific steps to address this crisis in Washington.

First, I'm co-sponsoring the bipartisan[1] King-Thompson bill[2], which expands existing background checks to cover all commercial firearm sales. On top of that, I'm aggressively supporting the Gun Violence Research Act[3], which will repeal the ban on CDC gun violence research.

And how many 20-25 year-old criminals will be labeled as "teen-agers? How many instances of justifiable self-defense using firearms will be lumped in as "gun violence" ?

Neither of these Acts has a real chance of passing the Republican-led U.S. House, which has to at least pay lip service to respecting the right of private civilians to own and carry weapons, as gauranteed by the Second Amendment. Even most Democrats pay that lip service, in the same breath as they propose to rewrite the Second into oblivion.

I feel strongly that everyone has the right to safety in their community. It is fundamental to the American dream, and that's why it is imperative that we act on gun violence before it's too late. Will you stand with me today?

It's always "imperative," isn't it?

Add your name to our gun violence petition right here, right now

Best wishes,

Michelle Lujan Grisham

P.S. And just this past week, I was interviewed on KOB4 in Albuquerque to talk about the recent gun violence in New Mexico. You can watch it here.


Never shy for the media, is she?

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Of course she's all about enhancing the cash flow.


  1. The Republican sponsoring this bit of hoplophobic nonsense is none other than the cretinous Peter King from Long Island, New York.

  2. HR 1217 – "Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015"

  3. HR 3926 – "Gun Violence Research Act"


  1. Approximate reading level – 12.2

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[Garrison Center] Arbitration Isn't The Problem

Arbitration Isn't The Problem

November 5, 2015 — Thomas L. Knapp

Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Robert Gebeloff of the New York Times claim to have discovered "a far-reaching power play orchestrated by American corporations" ("Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice," October 31[1]). They're missing the forest for the trees. Arbitration is not the problem.

Corporate preference for private arbitration instead of litigation in government courts is nothing new. The twist in the Times expose is that arbitration clauses have evolved to make it more difficult for dissatisfied customers to band together and bring particular types of suits: "Class actions" in which numerous complaints are bundled together, reducing the plaintiffs' costs and resulting in huge potential aggregated damage awards.

In recent years, arbitration clauses have begun specifying individual arbitration. Corporate attorneys know that most customers won't spend hundreds or thousands of dollars arbitrating $10 complaints. If the complaints can't be aggregated, they're not worth pursuing from a financial standpoint. A win for the corporations, a loss for consumers whose complaints don't pass the financial test.

What Silver-Greenberg and Gebeloff leave out are two important consumer tools: Information and choice.

Their story opens with reference to "a clause that most customers probably miss" on "page 5 of a credit card contract."

The reason most customers probably miss that clause is that most customers don't bother to read contracts pertaining to small-money matters, or have them reviewed by attorneys, before signing them. That's a choice. So is the decision to sign something one hasn't read.

The Times piece quotes F. Paul Bland Jr. of Public Justice, a "national consumer advocate group." Bland claims that "[c]orporations are allowed to strip people of their constitutional right to go to court." No, people are allowed to voluntarily waive their right to go to court, in return for valuable considerations. If they do so from voluntary ignorance, that's their fault and no one else's.

It's not that complicated:

If you don't want to commit to arbitration in general, or to individual arbitration in particular, don't sign contracts committing yourself to those things.

If you consider reading and understanding a contract before you sign it to be too much work, don't complain when your decision to remain ignorant comes back to bite you.

If you really, really want something, but the only way to get it is to accept an arbitration clause, then make your choice. Do without that thing or to accept the clause. Nobody owes you a smart phone or a credit card or whatever. Take the deal or don’t take the deal. Don't blame arbitration itself, which is as good in some cases, and better in most, than resort to government courts. Remember, it was government that made the corporations so powerful in the first place.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


  1. http://nytimes.com/2015/11/01/business/dealbook/arbitration-everywhere-stacking-the-deck-of-justice.html


  1. Approximate reading level – 12.3

  2. Original article

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