An argument for repealing the 2nd Amendment.
Some conservatives will insist that the Second Amendment is fundamental to the structure of American liberty. They will cite James Madison, who noted in the Federalist Papers that in Europe “the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” America was supposed to be different, and better.
I wonder what Madison would have to say about that today, when more than twice as many Americans perished last year at the hands of their fellows as died in battle during the entire Revolutionary War. My guess: Take the guns—or at least the presumptive right to them—away. The true foundation of American exceptionalism should be our capacity for moral and constitutional renewal, not our instinct for self-destruction.
Source: Repeal the Second Amendment – The New York Times
A great story on how two dogged reporters uncovered former HHS Secretary Tom Price’s overindulgence of private jet travel.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/APPRIMARY SOURCEHow We Found Tom Price’s Private JetsA tantalizing tip, followed by months of painstaking reporting, revealed the HHS secretary’s extravagant travel habits.
The first tip came from a casual conversation with a source back in May: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was using private jets for routine travel, possibly in violation of federal travel rules that allowed such flights only when commercial options weren’t available.
But it was a tip and little else—no times, no names of charter services and not even a schedule from a notoriously secretive Cabinet secretary.
So we embarked on a months-long effort to win the trust of sources, both in and outside of HHS, who were in a position to know about the secretary’s travel. This required numerous meetings and phone calls, sometimes after hours, seeking to confirm what the original source acknowledged was just secondhand information. Neither of us had ever reported a story of this difficulty before.
Source: How We Found Tom Price’s Private Jets – POLITICO Magazine
The dark arts of intelligence and diplomacy are often compared to a chess match. But a former U.S. diplomat this week turned to a less sophisticated, but perhaps more apt, pastime as a metaphor for the weird, murky confrontation going on between the United States and Cuba.
“Remember that old board game Clue?” mused a former U.S. diplomat earlier this week. “You had to solve a murder by identifying the killer, the weapon and the venue: It was Colonel Mustard, with a knife, in the ballroom.“Well, we’ve got a victim — U.S.-Cuban relations — and a venue, various houses and hotel rooms in Havana. But we haven’t got a suspect or a weapon yet. Not to make a pun, but we don’t have a clue.”
The expulsion of 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington announced on Tuesday, following a State Department decision to pull most personnel out of the American embassy in Havana, leaves diplomatic relations between the countries at half-staff.
Source: Sonic attacks on diplomats in Cuba: lots of questions, few answers | Miami Herald
More Tom Petty from his biographer, musician Warren Zanes.
In 1979, I was an undersized FM-generation high-school junior with a voice that wouldn’t change, a stressed single mom, and a bedroom in a rented gray two-family house in which I had to play my stereo low so I wouldn’t disturb all the people living close around me. And then my daily affront at this complete lack of agency found validation when some skinny blond dude calling his album “Damn the Torpedoes” uplifted my evenings with a simple phrase about being cut down to size on a regular basis: “Don’t do me like that.” He wasn’t celebrating humiliation—he understood the condition, which is, foremost, the inability to make the humiliation stop. There was nothing to do except to say to hell with annoying Mom and the neighbors and, in my alarmingly pitched treble that sounded like a radio veering between frequencies, to sing out that ambrosial phrase right along with Petty: “Don’t do me like that.”
Source: The Proud Pain of Tom Petty | The New Yorker
During my three years on the USS Elliot (DD-967) I listened to a lot of music. When we were in-port San Diego I was getting introduced to alternative music through 91X. At sea, the collective CD collection of my shipmates was the soundtrack. I heard many artists I wouldn’t otherwise have heard. Nirvana, De La Soul, Big Daddy Kane. Some I hated. Others I hated but later learned to love. And then there was Tom Petty.
Of course, you couldn’t grow up as a radio listener in the South without knowing Tom Petty so I’d been a fan from way back. Full Moon Fever came out just before I went on deployment, though and it earned a special place in my preferred music rotation. I don’t even remember which one of my shipmates owned it, but we played the hell out of that CD. And I never got tired of it.
Thanks for the music, Tom. You were one hell of a rocker and a great guy.
This is not the way things were supposed to happen.
When I sat down with Petty in the outer room of the cozy but fully equipped recording studio at his home above Malibu beach, the idea was for him to reflect on the wildly successful 40th anniversary tour he and the Heartbreakers had wrapped less than 48 hours earlier at the end of three sold-out nights at the Hollywood Bowl.
It was a triumphant stand particularly rewarding to Petty, a Florida transplant who considered himself and his band mates California adoptees. He said as much from the stage each night, noting how the Heartbreakers, although composed entirely of musicians born or raised in and around Gainesville, Fla., had been born at the Village Studios in West Los Angeles.
Source: Tom Petty’s final interview: There was supposed to have been so much more – LA Times