11-year-old with a loaded AR-15 visits Idaho Legislature — OK with Idaho!


11-tear-old Bailey Nielsen, her AR-15 and her Grandad
Keith Ridler/AP

An 11-year-old girl appeared Monday at a legislative hearing in Idaho, toting a loaded AR-15 assault weapon. Bailey Nielsen was with her grandfather, who is supporting a proposal that would allow visitors to Idaho who can legally possess firearms to carry a concealed handgun within city limits.

“Bailey is carrying a loaded AR-15,” Charles Nielsen told lawmakers. “People live in fear, terrified of that which they do not understand. She’s been shooting since she was 5 years old. She got her first deer with this weapon at 9. She carries it responsibly. She knows how not to put her finger on the trigger. We live in fear in a society that is fed fear on a daily basis.”

He said Bailey was an example of someone who could responsibly handle a gun, and lawmakers should extend that to non-residents.

On one level, this is a civics lesson for idiots. The fools who believe all this crap. If you know how to use a firearm, kill animals without hitting any human beings – that’s all that should be required for gun ownership and carrying them around loaded. At hand, I guess, to deal with the next emissary of Satan who magically appears in downtown Boise, threatening to hand political power over to some insufficiently-white furriner.

On the other, it is considered reasonable in many jurisdictions that by the time someone reaches the age and understanding required, say, to vote, then, you are likely to have the maturity and good sense not to use basic motor skills to slaughter another citizen who just happens to piss you off, that moment.

Many nations have stronger requirements and haven’t collapsed in Liberal/Conservative anarchy. I would be more strict than that and I also am a gun-owner. Have been for more years than Bailey’s grandad has been alive.

“Natural” supplements are unregulated for quality, content or safety


David Malan/Getty

More than two-thirds of Americans take dietary supplements. The vast majority of consumers – 84% – are confident the products are safe and effective.

They should not be so trusting.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 allows manufacturers to sell dietary supplements without providing proof of their quality to the FDA. Instead, it’s up to the FDA to prove a product is unsafe and take it off the market. That’s an incredibly tall order, and woefully inadequate. But it’s unlikely to change.

All you have to worry about are heavy metals, bacterial and fungal contamination, undisclosed drugs including not approved for pharmaceuticals, over-and-under-dosing of listed ingredients…and more. Professor White’s article suggests independent labs that monitor supplements. He includes several ways you can assure yourself – to a point about what you’re going to consume.

Please be careful.

Antarctica discovered 200 years ago…More marine conservation overdue!


Click to enlarge

Looking back, it seems only fitting that a Russian, Adm. Fabian von Bellingshausen, was the first person to sight Antarctica…200 years ago. In fact, on Jan. 27, 1820.

Now, the 25 member governments of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources [CCAMLR], which governs human activity in the Southern Ocean, should honor the anniversary of von Bellingshausen’s discovery and the spirit of the treaty with a renewed push to protect the Southern Ocean.

This marine environment and the species that live there face unprecedented threats, led by climate change…Fortunately, CCAMLR already has proposals on the table for the creation of three MPAs—in East Antarctica…the Weddell Sea, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Each would safeguard critical foraging and nursery grounds for Southern Ocean species, including seals, whales, and penguins, and preserve the region’s essential function as a carbon sink.

The great Antarctic explorers and the signatories of the 1959 treaty have their names etched in history, and by doing the right thing this year, CCAMLR members could join them.

I’ll second that emotion.

Trump reads the Constitution…”It’s like a foreign language!”


Dunce Cap

On March 1, 2017, nearly six weeks after President Trump had raised his right hand and swore to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, he struggled to read aloud the words of the founding document. A film crew had come to the White House to record the new president reading a section of the Constitution. Trump chose to participate in the HBO production because he did not want to forgo the chance to be filmed for history, and he knew that as the sitting president he would be the documentary’s most important character…

With LED lights on stilts in front of him, Trump took his seat. “You’re lucky you got the easy part,” Alexandra Pelosi [the director] told him cheerfully. “It gets complicated after this.” But the president stumbled, trying to get out the words in the arcane, stilted form the founding fathers had written. Trump grew irritated. “It’s very hard to do because of the language here,” Trump told the crew. “It’s very hard to get through that whole thing without a stumble.” He added, “It’s like a different language, right?” The cameraman tried to calm Trump, telling him it was no big deal, to take a moment and start over. Trump tried again, but again remarked, “It’s like a foreign language.”

“Every time he stumbled, he manufactured something to blame people,” another person in the room recalled. “He never said, ‘Sorry, I’m messing this up.’ [Other] people would screw up and say, ‘Ohhhh, I’m sorry.’ They would be self-effacing. He was making up excuses and saying there were distracting sounds.… He was definitely blaming everyone for his inability to get through it. That was prickly, or childish.” Though stiff, he eventually made it through without any errors.

The Fake President has a perfectly aligned style. Dumb and dumber. Ignorant and unforgiving. Irresponsible and cowardly.

Republican Party still trying to block the Equal Rights Amendment

…The Equal Rights Amendment, which passed Congress in 1972 and would amend the Constitution to give women equal standing under the law, is on the verge of ratification. Within the next few weeks, Virginia is expected to become the 38th state to ratify the ERA, clearing the Constitutional threshold for ratification, which is three-fourths of the states.

Already, Republicans are in court trying to block the ERA’s inclusion in the Constitution. At the end of December, three GOP attorneys general filed a suit in a federal court in Alabama to block the ERA’s ratification, arguing that it’s not constitutional…

The litigation marks the start of a new chapter in the decadeslong fight to get women’s rights into the Constitution…

“It’s kind of disturbing that in 2020 that any state would spend resources trying to maintain women’s second-class citizenship in this country,” Wendy Murphy said.

Some Democratic attorneys general also put out a strong statement…lambasting their Republican counterparts for being on the wrong side of history.

Nothing surprising to me about today’s Republican Party dedicating all its resources to reactionary and bigoted causes. Is anyone actually surprised?

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Receiving $1Million Award

❝ Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the winner of this year’s $1 million Berggruen Prize for philosophy and culture. The award announced Wednesday by the Los Angeles-based Berggruen Institute honors Ginsburg, who started the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project in the 1970s, for her pioneering legal work for gender equality and her support for the rule of law. The institute says Ginsburg will direct the money to charity…

Of course, she will. Of course, she would.