conservation legislation
The Atlantic: Mass Shootings Don't Lead to Inaction—They Lead to Looser Gun Laws
The most probable policy response to the atrocity in Las Vegas will be new laws allowing more guns to be carried into more places.
By David Frum

Mass shootings are good for business.

Gun sales and stocks in gun manufacturing companies rise after mass shootings, and Republican lawmakers typically get a boost from lobbying groups to push pro-gun legislation. A law loosening regulations on silencers was in the works before the shooting; in a week or two, that law is sure to begin moving through Congress.

The insane irony of this is unreal.

Since before Trump was elected I’ve seen discussion of using magical action against his presidency, and alongside that, I’ve seen criticism of said magical action. It’s now almost nine months since he was elected, time enough to gestate a friggin’ baby, and the 200th day of his presidency. That’s enough to evaluate both his presidency so far and the results of any magic against him and his agenda, and it’s also time enough to evaluate the criticisms of that magic.

Here are the usual criticisms I see levied in regards to magical action against Trump or other public figures:

  • It isn’t working because magic against a public figure you’re not personally connected to doesn’t work.
  • It isn’t working because too many people are casting at once.
  • It isn’t working because someone is countering for the person/the person’s position lends them protection.
  • It isn’t working because people were public about using magical action.
  • It isn’t working because everyone doing magic is an ineffective newb.
  • It isn’t working because you’re not doing magic the way I think you should be doing.
  • It isn’t working, and in fact through some convoluted logic it’s helping him instead.
  • It isn’t working because I’m assuming that every single person did that one binding spell that was published and also did it exactly word for word and on the exact dates it was planned for, and nobody did any different kind of work whatsoever or adopted different kinds of tactics.

Now, I can rebut a lot of those points, but I want to address a fundamental thing all those criticisms share: “it isn’t working.”

My question is: says who?

Do you read the news? I have been reading the news, both Politico’s main page and a scan of Google News’s top international and US stories, almost every day since the election began drawing near. Since Trump’s presidency started, I have seen a clear pattern: he has barely gotten any shit done. It’s his 200 day mark right now and many of his 100 day objectives remain unfulfilled. He’s got his own party controlling the entire US legislature and he can barely pass anything. Not only that, but he and his family and associates are constantly getting tarred by allegations of Russia collusion that will not go away because firing the special prosecutor in charge of looking into those allegations would be political suicide for him. He only makes his situation worse and worse as time goes by, either not appointing enough people to get his agenda done or fouling up negotiations over his own legislature or outright saying different things than his own communications office says on the same dang day. The Republican party leadership is largely troubled by Trump’s effects on their party and how to keep hold of congressional seats in 2018 and even how to keep their party united. Last year, Trump was looking like one of the best things to happen for them, a guaranteed way to pass lots of conservative Republican legislation and tilt the entire US further towards their party. Now the legislature is mired in quicksand and the current president has the lowest approval ratings in the history of approval ratings. (Like I don’t think that binding spell was the absolute best constructed spell ever but… a lot of these legislative agenda results do seem like what you’d get from a general binding against an agenda causing harm…)

I think some people expect immediate success from a spell to, say, make him fall over into a coma or make him immediately be impeached. The latter is largely unrealistic barring some very direct connection to the target of a spell and the former is entirely impossible because of how actual impeachment procedures go. But seeing neither happen, some people assume that any magical action must be failing completely or in its failure is producing the opposite results.

Exact magical results can often be difficult to determine in a complicated situation and so that’s why people are often prompted to do divination to determine those results. So I ask people who claim that all of the magic is completely ineffective or propping Trump up: what is telling you this? Since it can’t be an examination of the news and of the current political reality in the US, have you been applying divination towards this task to see just what the effects of the magic have been? If not, then what exactly are you basing your criticisms on?

Because from my vantage, what I see are three different reasons for the criticisms being made:

  1. “I don’t want this magic to be successful, so I’m going to say it’s not a success regardless of any proof of the results.” This comes from two fronts: people who disagree with the use of the magic in general, being anti-curse or anti-use of magic in politics, and people who are pro-Trump and therefore obviously biased against this sort of thing.
  2. “I don’t think the people casting are competent, either because I assume they’re all new at it or because they’re not me, and since I’m much better at magic at them that means their magic just won’t work.” This is usually from people who have difficulty imagining magic from other people’s perspective and often comes from a bias towards one specific system of magic (which is always the system the critic uses). Honestly it’s based out of a kind of arrogance that tends to get the critic in trouble eventually.
  3. “I’m projecting an attitude that these people are incompetent and their entire endeavor is a bad idea because I’m covering up the fact that I’m doing the same damn thing.” Props to you for obscuring your work but honestly, this is a shitty way to do it. If you want to keep a secret about something then just don’t talk about it. Using it as an excuse to tear other people down is not only being an asshole, it shows that you’re not a very good person to discuss magic with because you’re more concerned with your own image as a badass magician than with what actually works.

I’m not gonna discuss too in-depth what I’ve observed about the reality of the magic aimed at Trump, because quite honestly, secrecy is… a good thing? But I’d suggest anyone critiquing the whole of all magic that’s been cast for this reason start thinking a bit more realistically about the results. Start reading the news from some informed outlets and learning how politics works if you’re going to do commentary on political magic. Start thinking seriously about how others do magic and how other magical systems work before immediately writing their effectiveness off. And for goodness sakes, if you’re doing your own magical work in this area, don’t publicly tear others down to throw off suspicion about your own measures or as a way to brag about what you’re doing without actually outright bragging. That’s crass and your actions are obvious to those who know how to see through them. Get some perspective and start giving other people than yourself credit for being able to do magic competently too. A competent magician or magical system isn’t the Highlander–there can be more than one.
Slate: The Senate’s Health Care Secrecy Is a Breathtaking Contempt for Democracy
All for a massive tax cut.

Mitch McConnell doesn’t care what’s in his own health care bill.

Think about that. One of our nation’s top lawmakers, a man who is responsible for restructuring 1/6 of the world’s economy, doesn’t care about legislation as long as he can get it passed and win. The absolute cynicism of the process that is being used to jam through this bill is unfathomable.  If these are really the people that are leading our country, we need to be very scared of what they’re willing to do for the sake of the accumulation of power.

Do everything in your power to vote these people out of office. 


Happy anniversary to the Wilderness Act!  On September 3, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed this landmark conservation legislation. The BLM has stewardship responsibilities for 223 Wilderness Areas with over 8.7 million acres in 10 Western States. These areas are protected in their undeveloped state and offer outstanding recreation opportunities for visitors willing to experience nature on its own terms. BLM managed wilderness areas include vast southwestern deserts, red-rock canyons, rugged Pacific coastline and alpine peaks.
Washington Post: Trump’s Obamacare attack heralds new health-care battles on Capitol Hill
While Republicans argued that the Affordable Care Act is fundamentally flawed, Democrats called the move an act of sabotage and pledged to fight it.

Donald Trump ending the subsidy payments and trying to push healthy people into non-ACA plans is, to quote Ezra Klein, “policy nihilism”.

It accomplishes nothing. It raises premiums. It will push people off of insurance. It doesn’t save any money. It’s Donald Trump fulfilling his revenge fantasy of tearing apart another Obama accomplishment.

Maybe it’s because Donald Trump hasn’t accomplished much by way of a legislative agenda. His health care fight, which he didn’t really participate in, ended badly. The Senate passes Russia sanctions against his wishes. Not to mention that his approval ratings are low and news stories about him continually reveal embarrassing quotes from Cabinet members or White House staffers.

But these executive orders will likely accomplish little. It’s up to HHS to do what they will with the non-ACA plans, and the subsidy payment battle will surely drag out in court.

And Trump will feel better for a time, until he gets angry again, and he looks for something else to tear down.

Freedom Is A Kind Of Tradition.

Freedom is a kind of tradition. This is why Conservatism, which is about the preservation of traditions, is a vital tool. Freedom is not the result of a political decree. Pass laws that attempt to “establish freedom” amongst a people who have  only ever lived in a completely different manner and you will see your laws first ignored then overthrown. The political order of a country is determined by its character or culture. The character of a country consists of ingrained   behavior and lifestyle. Freedom of speech is a tradition. Many questionable rulings have come down from the U.S. Supreme Court which do not immediately impact the everyday life of American citizens and  therefore they are tolerated. But if a ruling were to come down this year revoking basic free speech, there would be a collective outcry and the country would work to somehow thwart the ruling. It would not be tolerated. This is because free speech is a tradition; it is part of our “culture” as Americans. No law can bypass or erase it (at least for the time being). 

Freedom is not the product of original political schemes, or the abstract theories of intellectuals applied by ambitious statesmen; it is simply the natural growth and maturation of the people in conducting their own affairs.  A people who are so disposed will begin to demand that their political system give them the space for this freedom. The highest priority in any free society is not new legislation but conserving the lifestyle traditions that define freedom. Freedom therefore requires a fundamentally Conservative mentality.

Boy howdy has it been a fuckin minute

Hi everyone. I’ve been putting this blog post off for about as long as humanly fucking possible, because I’m deathly allergic to internet bullshit of any kind and my primary instinct in those situations is to just peace out.

Except it’s been three weeks and this whole nonsense about “straight” asexual and “straight” aromantic people is showing little signs of stopping, and I would hate for this website to play host to some more gamergate-class tomfuckery.

I have two things to say.

1. To all of my friends, collaborators and followers who are asexual and aromantic and who run regularly-updating blogs here, y’all are in top fucking form right now. Keep doing what you’re doing, and when this is over go take a fucking nap for a week.

2. It’s kind of a bummer that folks think asexual people and aromantic people don’t know what you all are doing. I’ve scrolled past no less than ten posts in the asexuality tag with the lines, “now of course I don’t hate asexual/aromantic people! I just think the ones who appear to be in heteronormative relationships are straight people in disguise and I hate those people.”

I mean come on, friend. Who are you fooling? It’s only been recently that the “A” in the acronym actually stood for “asexual/aromantic.” There was hella pushback on asexuals and aromantics being included in the party at all, much less the so-called “straight” ones. Even now, asexuals and aromantic people in general have gotten and are still getting messages telling them that they can’t ever be a part of the big kids’ table because they didn’t face casualties in the fucking AIDS crisis.

Oppression olympics are fucking silly. Gatekeeping is fucking silly. Acting like conservative North Carolinian legislators over the existence of asexual and aromantic people is fucking clownshoes-ass silly. I’m not saying we’ve faced worse shit than anyone else. I’m not saying we deserve a fucking cookie for our existence. I, personally, want to focus on standing in solidarity with people who are currently in bigger struggles and worse-off situations than I am, like trans women in North Carolina, because my goal is for there to be less overall suffering in the world.

I won’t exclude “straight” asexuals and “straight” aromantics because I am opposed to excluding asexual people and aromantic people on principle. I’m not going to eliminate part of the ace/aro communities’ taxonomy and etymology because of a shitfit on this website. I’d rather use the energy I’d be expending policing other peoples’ sexuality on something that could actually make everyone’s shit better.

Coincidentally, that’s why I’m an anarchist. But more on that later.

acorgiirl  asked:

With Donald Trump basically guaranteed to win the nomination, it seems like what the Republican Party wants and what the Republican voters want are two different things. Do you think that the Republican Party should split into two different parties to represent this? Or do you think that the Republican Party as it has been will start to phase out over the next several years?

I also got this question from @twinicegiantorbiters:

I know you prefer facts over speculation, but how might a successful Trump nomination affect the Republican Party? I know parties often will drift ideologically toward popular candidates, but not only is he *very* different ideologically from a ‘typical’ or ‘ideal’ republican, but many in the GOP have very publicly derided him. I can’t imagine that not having any negative effects on the GOP. Or, if you would prefer a more indirect answer, what historical precedents are there, if any?

And from @amischiefofmice

How realistic is this death or least a splitting of the Republican Party I keep hearing about?

I’m warning you all now: We may be taking this question out of the oven too soon. But considering how many folks have been declaring the death of the Republican Party following Donald Trump’s victory in Indiana and subsequent assumption of the mantle of presumptive party nominee, the matter is clearly on everyone’s minds.

The modern Republican party - that is, the Republican party since about 1964 - has always been a fairly contentious coalition of two seemingly contradictory forces: The movers and the shakers of the Republican Party are wealthy, intellectually conservative legislators who favor, among other things, free trade and a hawkish and aggressive foreign policy; in contrast, the Republican base is largely rural, working-class, white, and focused on “traditional” values - Christianity, hard work, the disintegration of the nation’s moral fabric, things like that.

We saw a preview of this race back in 2008, when Sarah Palin - remember her? - offered the Republican base a new brand of anti-establishment, anti-immigrant “aw shucks, isn’t America swell” populism. She got up on TV and said pretty much whatever she wanted, popularity or political correctness or factual correctness be damned. It’s no surprise that Palin has been one of Trump’s biggest supporters; they are, after all, cut largely from the same cloth. But during her Vice Presidential campaign, Palin clung faithfully to the ideal of intellectual conservatism, a trait that Donald Trump lacks, perhaps to his benefit.

Trump has instead embraced populism, tapping into a wellspring of discontent that lay for years at the heart of the Republican Party’s uneasy marriage. His gambit relied on the notion that the working base of the party, in the face of staggering job loss, doesn’t actually care about William F Buckley’s ideological conservatism. Maybe they don’t care about free trade when Rust Belt factories lie dormant. Maybe they don’t even particularly care about gay marriage or abortion anymore, so much as they care more about America being beset on all sides by terrorists and immigrants who just can’t wait to disrupt our way of life. The gambit seems to have paid off - in the perfect storm of this election season, with a Republican candidate pool in the double digits, Trump’s tribalism managed to scrape together a consistent coalition of 30% - 40% of Republican primary voters long enough to secure his party’s nomination, to the horror of the party leadership.

Isn’t it so often the case that the silent majority is neither silent nor a majority?

I don’t mean to eulogize the Republican Party here, because as much as I try to avoid speculation, I’ll give you some here, now: They’re not going anywhere. Congressmen and Senators are already lining up to pledge their allegiance to Trump himself, or to give a strange and contradictory “half-endorsement” in which they say they’ll support the Republican nominee but not endorse Trump himself. (Who knew the Republican party was led by such talented contortionists?)

There are a few notable and high-profile holdouts. House Speaker and nominal head of the party Paul Ryan is “not ready” to endorse; Senator and former Presidential candidate John McCain is waiting for an “apology” from Trump (good luck); the Bush family is neither endorsing nor attending the convention. Conservative columnist and party elder Bill Kristol is reportedly in talks with Mitt Romney to mount a third-party bid, but as I explained in an earlier post, such a bid would likely only end up splitting the ticket in favor of Hillary Clinton. (The ostensible goal would be to win states with such ferocity that no party reaches the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to secure a victory in November, thus sending the decision to the House of Representatives, like in 1824. Good luck with that.)

This conflict will resolve itself one way or another. The face of the Republican party may change a great deal, and maybe a more “intellectual” conservative party will show its head above water, but when all’s said and done, the Grand Old Party will still be around. It survived Roosevelt, it survived Lyndon Johnson and Civil Rights, it survived the Tea Party. This is a sea-change, not Charybdis.


See, I could be wrong about all of this. Maybe voters do identify with the intellectual wing of the Republican party over the immigrant-hating yee-haw attitude that folks like Palin and Trump represent. Maybe over the next six months, Trump will do or say enough absolutely nonsensical stuff, will alienate enough people that a third party actually does emerge with enough force and momentum to mount a serious challenge for America’s conservative wing.

We may be in the latter days of the Republican Party. And such events are not without precedent: Just ask the Whigs.

“In support of the Constitution and Laws” is not the catchiest political slogan I’ve ever heard.

The Whig party was once one of America’s most successful political parties, and is now relegated to the history books. Although they were only a political force for twenty or so years, during the early half of the 19th Century they elected governors, won seats in Congress, and even won two Presidential elections.

It’s important to realize that, despite what a lot of modern-day political rhetoric would have you believe, divisions among parties were not always situated on an axis from liberal to conservative. The “small government” vs “big government” dichotomy wasn’t what divided political parties in 1833. Rather, the Whigs were formed in response to what some saw as Presidential overreach by President Andrew Jackson.

Andrew Jackson, the brash, populist hero of the War of 1812 exercised the power of the Presidency more liberally than any executive had before. Jackson and his supporters fostered a deep distrust of the federal government; to that end, Jackson vetoed federal funding for infrastructure improvements like roads and railways and killed the Second Bank of the United States by withdrawing all government money from it and refusing to renew the charter (this is back when the US government was in the business of running central banks, you Hamilton superfans might be familiar with this).

In response, the Whigs formed in 1833, painting the President as “King Andrew” and rallying around the cause of a limiting executive powers, restoring Congressional primacy and improving the nation’s infrastructure (which at the time must have seemed like very sexy, compelling reasons to form a political party). They couldn’t hold a candle to the strong party unity and loyalty exhibited by Jacksonian Democrats, but the Whigs had a secret weapon: The New York Tribune’s Editor-in-Chief, Horace Greeley, was a Whig, and none too shy about using his paper’s record circulation numbers to push the Whigs’ political agenda, to great effect: in 1841, William Henry Harrison was sworn in as the country’s first Whig President, and over the next decade, the Whigs expanded their power base in gubernatorial elections in industrial states.

You’d think they could come up with a less cool nickname than “King Andrew.” I guess it was the “Dangerous Donald of its day.

Ultimately, slavery divided the Whigs about a decade before it would divide the nation. Southern Whig party leaders were all or nearly all slaveowners; Northern Whigs tended to represent industrial interests and favored strong national unity. Additionally, many of the Whigs’ modernization policies led to a robust economy, which discouraged many from seeking public service, including a young Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln, the Whig party leader in Illinois. The Whig party all but disappeared in the South in favor of the Know-Nothings, and in the North, most prominent Whigs jumped ship to the young and growing Republican Party. By 1856, the Whigs were finished.

What can we learn from the Whigs? What lessons are applicable for the Republican Party? First, I would say that the Republicans have already conquered the biggest challenge that faced the Whigs: the modern Republican Party fosters a strong sense of party loyalty and party unity. It’s rare to see a Republican legislator break ranks with their caucus, and even if Trump wins the Presidential nomination, there’s not much evidence that it’s affecting Congressional races. Legislatively speaking, the Republican Party should remain strong at least until the next midterms.

I don’t think “is the Republican Party dying” is the right question to ask. The answer is “almost definitely not.” Instead, the question to ask might be this: Is Trump a one-off, or is he the new normal? Are we seeing a black swan event, or is Trump’s deviation from traditional conservatism what we can start to expect from Republican challengers? And that question is a whole lot harder to answer definitively. Win or lose, Trump has already indelibly altered the political landscape. We need new models for whatever is next.

Thanks for your question! As always, you can ask anything you like right here.

If you found this useful or interesting, how about supporting The Governmentalist on Patreon? Your monthly support goes a long way toward helping me create useful, enriching and interesting content for everyone! Thanks again.

What you do in the bathroom and in the bedroom is all that matters to conservatives. Republicans will legislate a fictional bathroom scene out of pure fear and hate.

This is it

If we don’t get rid of Harper tomorrow, I don’t know what will happen to us. We can’t take 4-5 more years of him. What will happen to my mother, a black immigrant environmentalist, under a prime minister who denies climate change, classifies environmental activism as terrorism, and has created second class citizenship laws that could see her stripped of her citizenship and deported for denouncing him? What will happen to my muslim friends in a climate of violent islamophobia and xenophobia that Harper is actively working to create? What will happen to my trans friends who the Conservatives are legislating against? What about missing and murdered indigenous women? What about indigenous communities and sovereignty? What about our lakes and rivers and trees? Our civil rights, our environment, the lives of millions of people are in the balance. This election is so important, and if we don’t go out and vote I don’t know what will happen to us. As a queer person of colour I am terrified that this will go unnoticed, that the Conservatives will win again, that things will get even worse. Please, for the next 24 hours, can everyone take the time to care about this election? Is that so much to ask?

A conservative will nurture a corporation for life. Loopholes and tax breaks for as long as they need. Deregulation is the answer for every problem.

Conversely, an actual human being has zero Republican support and needs to live a life free from state subsidy. Increased regulation and control by conservative legislation of private decisions is always the answer. 

 Via beingliberal

thegreatcanadiangentleman  asked:

Why don't you like the conservative party?

Because I fundamentally disagree with Conservative ideas.

The Conservatives want marijuana to remain illegal, I don’t.

The Conservatives did almost nothing on climate change. Their inaction set us back decades. I want serious action on climate change.

The Conservatives took a 1 sided approach to growing the economy, focusing far too much on getting oil pipelines built. If they had invested more in other industries our country would have fared through the low cost of oil much easier.

The Conservatives gave corporations tax cuts while doing little to help the poor. 

The Conservatives pushed Canada into more military conflicts. I don’t agree with that approach.

The Conservatives opposed an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women, and claimed that the issue had nothing to do with race.

The Conservatives put into affect legislation making it easier for the government, RCMP and CSIS to spy on its citizens. I’m opposed to that.

The Conservatives stole funding from first nations, veterans, environment, science programs to balance a budget.

The Conservatives muzzled and censored scientists and completely defunded world class scientific institutions.

The Conservatives did nothing to help students dealing with crippling student debt.

The Conservatives took Canada billions of dollars into debt and ran deficits almost every year in office.

The Conservatives took a 1 sided approach to Israel/Palestine, siding with only Israel at all times (despite hundreds of palestinians being killed by Israel).

The Conservatives defunded women’s groups.

The Conservatives closed veterans affairs offices.

The Conservatives closed coast guard stations.

The Conservatives cut funding to our healthcare system.

The Conservatives used xenophobia, racism and islamophobia as an election strategy.

The Conservatives cheated in every election they won; 2006, 2008, 2011.

I really could go on and on.

The entirety of #SB101 is right wing activism. The conservatives need to legislate pretty shitty church beliefs into laws is based on giving christians impunity to discriminate.

So Benghazi became a classic Sunstein-Vermeule conspiracy theory. Conservatives became convinced the administration was covering up the truth about Benghazi and anyone who argued otherwise began to look like part of the conspiracy, or at least an unwitting dupe. A wealth of psychological research on group polarization shows that, when a group of likeminded people discuss an issue together, everyone’s mind tends to shift towards the dominant view of that issue in the group. The more conservative legislators and media figures dug in on Benghazi, the more all conservatives were likely to believe in some kind of administration malfeasance.
No voter asked for unlimited campaign donations, no politician campaigned to obliterate campaign contribution laws, yet here we are.

The corporate plutocracy sets the agenda and the conservative justices legislate.

Ocean Day California is March 24

Every day we work hard to protect the ocean. On March 24, we’ll join forces with other ocean advocates in Sacramento to inspire action for ocean and coastal conservation by engaging state legislators who can help us in our mission.

“Our world-renowned ocean and coastline are sources of pride for all Californians,” says Aimee David, director of conservation policy. “Their resources are also among California’s most economically valuable — and vulnerable — assets.”

These abundant resources also translate into millions in state revenue, the importance of which we’ll emphasize as part of this year’s “blue economy” theme.

A Popular Ticket

In the evening, the Aquarium will host its 6th annual Ocean Day California reception. This invitation-only event will bring together nearly 200 California legislators, state administration officials, business executives and ocean conservation leaders to celebrate the ocean and coast. They’ll also enjoy sustainable California seafood from our Seafood Watch partners and fine wines from California’s coastal communities.

We’ll present awards to some of California’s ocean champions, honoring significant actions they took last year to advance ocean and coastal health.

“California is a global model of ocean and coastal conservation and thriving coastal communities,” Aimee says. “Ocean Day California is meant to inspire continued progress by government, conservation and business leaders to protect our ocean and coast.”

By buying a ticket to visit the Aquarium, becoming a member or making a donation, you help support all of our conservation efforts. Thank you!

To keep up with the activity on March 24, follow #OceanDayCA on Twitter. 

Learn more in our podcast

Photo by Petrula Vrontikis/Vrontkis Design Office