17 November 2018

This Has "Dystopian" Written All Over It

Employers in the UK are looking at chipping their employees.

Of course, we know employees have only the best interest at heat for their workers, but I'm thinking about marketing radio blocking gloves to these folks:
Britain’s biggest employer organisation and main trade union body have sounded the alarm over the prospect of British companies implanting staff with microchips to improve security.

UK firm BioTeq, which offers the implants to businesses and individuals, has already fitted 150 implants in the UK.

The tiny chips, implanted in the flesh between the thumb and forefinger, are similar to those for pets. They enable people to open their front door, access their office or start their car with a wave of their hand, and can also store medical data.

………

The TUC [Trades Union Congress] is worried that staff could be coerced into being microchipped. Its general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We know workers are already concerned that some employers are using tech to control and micromanage, whittling away their staff’s right to privacy.

“Microchipping would give bosses even more power and control over their workers. There are obvious risks involved, and employers must not brush them aside, or pressure staff into being chipped.”
This goes hand in hand with the plethora of surveillance cameras that make the UK the most surveilld society in the world.

This is creepy beyond belief.

Good Politics

It wasn’t a coincidence that moments after Nancy Pelosi promised progressive House leaders more power in the next Congress, a host of liberal groups announced they were supporting her for speaker.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who is expected to co-chair the House Progressive Caucus next year, left a Thursday night meeting with Pelosi in the Capitol and proclaimed that her members would have more seats on powerful committees and more influence over legislation.

………

Pelosi's overtures also speak to progressives’ growing influence in the Democratic Caucus. The Progressive Caucus will increase its membership by at least 20 members next year, and comprise about two-fifths of the caucus. Its leaders intend to use those numbers to boost their power and agenda — starting first with committee assignments and leadership positions, then expanding into legislation.

………

Thursday's meeting with Pelosi included Jayapal and current Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan (D-Wis.). One request to which Pelosi agreed was to give the Progressive Caucus proportional representation on what lawmakers call the “A committees”: the Appropriations, Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services and Intelligence committees.

………

The group leaders also registered their concerns about “pay-go” rules with Pelosi. Under those rules, certain bills cannot be considered if they aren't paid for. Progressives have long run on policy positions that would be expensive, from "Medicare for all" to free college tuition. Pelosi didn’t make any commitments, but she promised to bring those rules up for debate.
Good move.  As Teddy Roosevelt once said, "If you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow."

This is a Troll


While I do not think that Trump is the sharpest tool in the shed, I think that he understands that he just threw a spanner into the speaker selection among the Democrats.

Does anyone think that this wasn't deliberate sh%$ stirring:
President Donald Trump waded into the Democratic House leadership battle again Saturday morning, throwing his weight behind the woman he’s spent the last few months demonizing: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Trump tweeted that he could get the longtime leader of the Democratic caucus “as many votes as she wants in order for her to be Speaker of the House” — a position that requires the votes of the majority of House members, not the majority of the party.

Democrats, set to take over the House for the first time in eight years after the midterm elections swept in a “blue wave,” are in the midst of deciding what they want to do with the majority and who they want to lead it. No other Democrat has officially announced a bid for the speakership, but a vocal group of anti-Pelosi members are agitating for a change.

Labor History, and Understanding a Woody Allen Joke


The obligatory clip from Sleeper
I alway wondered how Albert Shanker ended up being the man who destroyed the 20th century world.

Well, this New York Times Op/Ed provides context for both that joke, as well as a for the war on teachers and unions that some among liberal "education reformers" have engaged in for years.

The short version is that in 1968, there was a majority black school district set up in Ocean Hill-Brownsville (Brooklyn), and one of their first actions wqas to fire some white teachers for being white, and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Shanker's union, went on strike, arguing, IMNSHO correctly, that arbitrary hiring and firing makes unionization is meaningless or impossible.

Shanker won, and the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school board lost, and teachers' unions became the bête noire of the liberal education reform community. (Conservatives and Republicans have always been opposed to labor unions generally, and teacher unions specifically)
On Nov. 17, 1968, Albert Shanker, a tough Queens-bred union president, stood next to New York City’s patrician mayor, John Lindsay, to announce a settlement to a crippling teacher strike that had thrown a million students out of New York City public schools for weeks on end. The divisive strike laid bare long simmering tensions within American liberalism over unions, education and race. Almost a half-century later, the evolution in liberal attitudes that the strike symbolized created vulnerabilities that a very different son of Queens, Donald Trump, exploited in his rise to the presidency.

By the late 1960s, after years of frustration with vicious white resistance to school integration, many African-American leaders supported the creation of a black-controlled local school district in the low-income Ocean Hill-Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The idea was that the district would hire more minority schoolteachers in order to provide role models for students and adopt a curriculum that was culturally affirming.

A firestorm erupted, however, when the local school board (then known as the governing board) sent a telegram to 19 unionized educators indicating that the board “voted to end your employment in the schools of this district.” The list included 18 white educators and one black teacher, mistakenly included, who was immediately reinstated once the error was discovered. A hearing by a retired African-American judge hired by the board, Francis Rivers, found that there were no credible charges against the teachers. But Rhody McCoy, the Ocean Hill-Brownsville local superintendent, told The New York Times, “Not one of these teachers will be allowed to teach anywhere in the city. The black community will see to that.” To protest the terminations, teachers throughout the city began a series of strikes shutting down the nation’s largest school system from early September through mid-November.

………

To begin with, Shanker believed he had no choice but to call a strike to protect his members from arbitrary dismissal. If an employer — of whatever race — had the right to dismiss unionized employees without due process, why have a union? Shanker understood that conservatives didn’t believe in collective bargaining rights and due process. But wasn’t it a bedrock liberal principle, he asked, for workers to have a right to organize and protect themselves from arbitrary actions by their employers?

Shanker and Rustin also thought it was important to fight for integrated schools and noted that “community control” was originally the slogan adopted by white parents in Queens who opposed desegregation. Shanker supported the creation of the nation’s first nonselective magnet schools to foster integration and cited the 1966 Coleman Report, which found that low-income students achieved at much higher levels in socioeconomically integrated schools than in those with concentrated poverty. Settling for community control of segregated schools was wrong, Rustin argued. The idea was, as he put it, “the spiritual descendant of states’ rights.”

………

Instead, to improve teacher diversity, Shanker worked hard to unionize teacher aides and to negotiate a stipend for them to go back to school, get their college degrees and become teachers themselves. Over time, more than 8,000 paraprofessionals became teachers, providing the largest single source of minority teachers in New York City.

When the third and final strike was settled, the community control effort was gutted. Shanker won among broader public opinion, but lost among liberals. Many progressives dismissed Shanker, a cerebral former graduate student in philosophy, as a madman, as a well-known joke from the era suggests. In Woody Allen’s 1973 science fiction comedy, “Sleeper,” Mr. Allen’s character wakes up two centuries in the future to find that that civilization was destroyed when “a man by the name of Albert Shanker got hold of a nuclear warhead.”

More generally, over the subsequent 50 years, the Lindsay/Bundy/Carmichael worldview would largely prevail over the Shanker/Rustin/Harrington approach among progressives. In the years since Ocean Hill-Brownsville, many upper-middle class liberals have demonstrated a lukewarm attitude toward unions. When Democrats held majorities in Congress under presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the progressive coalition failed to prioritize labor law reforms to give unions a fair shot at surviving. Likewise, those same Democratic administrations largely avoided the fight to support school integration, favoring instead spending more money for high-poverty schools. And at the federal level, Democrats have largely adopted the view articulated by Bundy and others involved in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville conflict that race could be an explicit factor in hiring decisions.

The shifts on unions, school integration and race-conscious decision-making that the 1968 teachers strikes symbolized are not unrelated to the disastrous election in 2016, a calamity from which progressives only partially recovered in 2018. A strong labor movement, an integrated public school system and a legal commitment to equal treatment of individuals by race all help make authoritarian white nationalism less appealing. But the reduced progressive commitment to these critical bulwarks helped clear the way for a demagogue.
This does provide at least a partial explanation of the moral vacuity of the modern education reform, as well as the disastrous abandonment of the labor movement by the modern Democratic Party.

Irony Much?

In response to aggressive Chinese actions in the Pacific and Indian oceans, Vice Presidence announces, completly unaware of the irony, that, "Empire and aggression have no place in Indo-Pacific."

Seriously?  There has been nothing but since the East India Company became the furst trans-national firm:
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told leaders of Southeast Asian nations on Thursday that there was no place for “empire and aggression” in the Indo-Pacific region, a comment that could be interpreted as a reference to China’s rise.

………

The prime minister of Singapore later said that Southeast Asian countries did not want to take sides when pulled in different directions by major powers, but that one day it may have to.

Leaders at the ASEAN meetings this week heard warnings that the post-World War Two international order was in jeopardy and trade tensions between Washington and Beijing could trigger a “domino effect” of protectionist measures by other countries.

“Like you, we seek an Indo-Pacific in which all nations, large and small, can prosper and thrive – secure in our sovereignty, confident in our values, and growing stronger together,” Pence said. “We all agree that empire and aggression have no place in the Indo-Pacific.”
Shameless.

As Yves Smith says, "Not the Onion"

16 November 2018

Nancy Pelosi Needs to be Fired ……… Out of a Cannon ……… Into the Sun

It looks like Nancy Pelois's first policy initiative will be to make the House Democrats even more useless than they already are:
This week, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi unveiled a list of new procedural rules that her caucus intends to implement when the next Congress is seated. Most of these measures are unobjectionable “good government” reforms. But one of them would create a new — and all-but-insurmountable — obstacle to the passage of many of the policies that the Democratic Party claims to support.

The rule, proposed by Pelosi and Massachusetts representative Richard Neal, would “require a three-fifths supermajority to raise individual income taxes on the lowest-earning 80 percent of taxpayers.”

………

Alas, there are several problems with this argument. For one thing, while progressives are committed to increasing the discretionary income of the bottom 80 percent, that does not necessarily mean keeping their tax rates frozen at historically low levels. Currently, for much of the American middle class, health-insurance premiums function as a steadily rising tax. A bill that required those households to pay a new, smaller monthly sum to the government — so as to fund a single-payer system that would actually reduce their cost of living by delivering radically cheaper health-care services — could hardly be called regressive. And the same can be said for legislation establishing universal child care, paid family leave, or any other program aimed at easing the middle class’s financial burdens by dramatically expanding the public sector’s ambitions. Equating support for middle-class families — with opposition to increasing their tax rates — is a conservative project, which Democrats have no business advancing. If the party wishes to establish structural barriers to policies that would hurt the middle class, why not require a three-fifths majority to cut Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security?

………

All this would be a bit less problematic if the Democratic Party had overcome its allergy to deficit spending (and/or accepted Modern Monetary Theory as its personal truth). But it hasn’t: In addition to forbidding tax increases on the bottom 80 percent, Pelosi has vowed to honor the “pay as you go” rule, which requires the House to fully finance any and all new government spending.

Taken together, these two requirements could make Medicare for All impossible to pass out of the House. ………
In the best case, Nancy Pelosi has decided to throw her lot with the Wall Street Bob Rubin Democrats, and in the worst case, she has been in Washington, DC for so long that she has lost touch with reality.

In either case, it is time for her to go now.

Dead "Man" Walking

I am not stating that  Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is not a human being, I am saying that he is an immature spoiled child who lacks the maturity to be a fry-cook, much less the de-facto absolute ruler of 33 million people

That's the first thing I thought when I read that the CIA had issued a report where they concluded that MBS had personally ordered the hit on Jamal Khashoggi.  (As an aside, this would NEVER would have happened if John Brennan was still running the CIA, because he's been a tool of the House of Saud since his day as a CIA station chief in Riyadh.)
The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government’s claims that he was not involved in the killing, according to people familiar with the matter.

The CIA’s assessment, in which officials have said they have high confidence, is the most definitive to date linking Mohammed to the operation and complicates the Trump administration’s efforts to preserve its relationship with a close ally. A team of 15 Saudi agents flew to Istanbul on government aircraft in October and killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate, where he had come to pick up documents that he needed for his planned marriage to a Turkish woman.

In reaching its conclusions, the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to the people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence. Khalid told Khashoggi, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, that he should go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so.

It is not clear if Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, but he made the call at his brother’s direction, according to the people familiar with the call, which was intercepted by U.S. intelligence.
In related news, it appears that MBS threw a tantrum when presented with a cease-fire plan for Yemen:
Multiple sources tell CNN that a much-anticipated United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities in Yemen and for Saudi Arabia to allow humanitarian aid to reach millions of starving people was "stalled" this week after the resolution's sponsor, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, met face-to-face with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Two sources said the crown prince "threw a fit" about the resolution. Two other sources with knowledge of the discussion didn't go so far as to describe the crown prince as angry, though they didn't deny he was annoyed.
Seriously,  what the f%$# is wrong with this guy?

This is what end-stage royal inbreeding looks like.

15 November 2018

And She's Gone

Mira Ricardel, who fell out with the First Lady when she attempted to extort seats on her Africa junket, has left the building:
Top National Security Council official Mira Ricardel is exiting her post after an extraordinary, high-profile clash with first lady Melania Trump.

The White House said in a statement Wednesday that Ricardel will “transition to a new role within the administration,” but did not specify her new job.

“The president is grateful for Ms. Ricardel’s continued service to the American people and her steadfast pursuit of his national security priorities,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The announcement capped off a tense day of speculation about Ricardel's future after the first lady's office took the unusual step of publicly calling for her ouster. It appears to be a compromise solution, since national security adviser John Bolton reportedly fought to save Ricardel, his top deputy.
The Trump White House is truly a complete sh%$ show.

CBC Has a Narcissistic Hissy Fit

The Congressional Black Caucus has issued a vote of no-confidence for DCC Chairman Tom Perez.

Normally, I might be inclined to support anyone who makes Perez's job less pleasant, but in this case, this vote is completely motivated by butt-hurt over the fact that they won't be super delegates any more.

Seriously, this is the most uselessly self absorbed thing that has happened in Washington, DC in at least the past 3 months, and I am including toxic narcissistic Donald Trump in this equation:
The Congressional Black Caucus passed a vote of no confidence in Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez on Wednesday, the latest sign of lingering bad blood between lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the Democratic Party’s top official.

According to CBC members, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, started a debate over the national party’s superdelegate policy, which led to a motion of no confidence in Perez, who took over the DNC in February 2017.

CBC members described the debate as “heated” and “controversial.” CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said members “felt that the DNC pitted them against their constituents.”

“So now if they want to be a delegate, they have to run against their constituents who want to be delegates, and it’s an unfair proposition,” Richmond told POLITICO. “We don’t want to run against our constituents, so the caucus had made its position known. … It speaks for itself.”

The DNC in August voted to dramatically diminish the power of superdelegates — elected officials and party activists who are free to vote for any candidate at the presidential nominating convention. The new rule bars superdelegates from voting on the first presidential nominating ballot at a contested national convention.
Seriously, I can think of no better example of the self-serving egocentric arrogance than this crap.

Stop.  Just Stop.

Well, Duh!

It appears that President of the Minneapolis Fed actually understands economics 101.

Neel Kashkari is suggesting that firms complaining about worker shortages should try paying more to get more of this currently scarce resource:
Companies should try digging in their pockets if they're looking to find workers for unfilled jobs, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said Tuesday.

With the unemployment rate falling to its lowest level in 49 years, there are nearly 1 million more job openings than available workers, according to the Labor Department. Even though payrolls have been growing at a solid clip, complaints persist from companies that they are having a hard time finding qualified workers to fill positions because of a skills gap.

Kashkari, though, said he doesn't completely buy the argument that there aren't enough bodies out there.

"I oftentimes hear businesses saying I just can't find the workers that I need," the central bank official said during a conference on immigration in his home district. "Now, I'm not entirely sympathetic with that view, because I've been saying you should try paying more, and you may be able to attract more workers."
This is literally the first time that I've ever heard a mainstream economist acknowledge this basic fact.

Turkey Feels Left Out, so Trump Wants to Send Someone to Ankara for the Turks to Murder


It appears that Trump is in the thrall of the House of Saud just as much as his 3-4 predecessors:
The White House is looking for ways to remove an enemy of Turkish President Recep Erdogan from the U.S. in order to placate Turkey over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to two senior U.S. officials and two other people briefed on the requests.

Trump administration officials last month asked federal law enforcement agencies to examine legal ways of removing exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen in an attempt to persuade Erdogan to ease pressure on the Saudi government, the four sources said.

The effort includes directives to the Justice Department and FBI that officials reopen Turkey's case for his extradition, as well as a request to the Homeland Security Department for information about his legal status, the four people said.

………

"At first there were eye rolls, but once they realized it was a serious request, the career guys were furious," said a senior U.S. official involved in the process.

………

The secret effort to resolve one of the leading tensions in U.S.-Turkey relations — Gulen's residency in the U.S. — provides a window into how President Donald Trump is trying to navigate hostility between two key allies after Saudi officials murdered Khashoggi on Oct. 2 at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

It suggests the White House could be looking for ways to contain Erdogan's ire over the murder while preserving Trump's close alliance with Saudi Arabia's controversial de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

………

Erdogan, meanwhile, has kept the pressure up by leaking pieces of evidence and repeatedly speaking out to accuse Prince Mohammed of orchestrating the murder of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and outspoken critic of the Saudi leadership.

………

Erdogan has for years demanded the U.S. send Gulen back to Turkey. The Turkish leader accuses the elderly cleric of being a terrorist who was behind a failed coup against Erdogan's government in 2016. After the coup attempt, Ankara made a formal request to the U.S. for Gulen's extradition.

………

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. for almost two decades, denies any involvement in the failed coup in Turkey in 2016. A one-time ally of Erdogan, he's become an influential cleric with a wide network of followers known as "Gulenistas." His movement includes a host of nonprofit organizations, businesses and schools, in the U.S., as well as South Africa.
So, Erdogon is using the US's desperation to make the uproar about Saudi misdeeds go away to secury policy concessions.

So not a surprise, and it is not a deviation from prior US foreign policy, but it does show that the US policy with regard to both Turkey and the House of Saud are miserable failures.

14 November 2018

Another Upside to the 2018 Elections

In New York state, with the Democrats taking decisive control of the state Senate, charter school support has been decimated:
One of the losers in Tuesday’s election is the charter school movement, which lost a big and reliable advocate when Republicans gave up control of the majority to Democrats in the State Senate, both sides said.

“There’s no question it’s going to be challenging,” said Robert Bellafiore, a consultant who works with charter schools. He also was part of the team under former Gov. George Pataki that authorized charter schools in 1998.

The strongest backer of charter schools now is Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who wields extraordinary power in crafting state budgets under New York law.

………

“This is a moment for charter schools,” said Andy Pallotta, president of New York State United Teachers, which has opposed expansion of charter schools and seeks greater transparency of their operations. “I think they lost their influence in the Capitol.”

Senate Democrats wouldn't say what their plans are for charter schools or if the new majority would support any expansion.
Here's a thought for New York Democrats:  Pass a law that requires that charter schools to be subject to the state Freedom of Information Act. (FOIA)

Any time someone does a deep dive into charter school operations, corruption and malfeasance are always uncovered, so making it easier for parents, journalists, and activists to peruse their books will result in greater accountability.

Another Reason to Hate Netanyahu

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attempted to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to start a conflict with Hamas in Gaza as part of a plan to divert attention from the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, sources inside Saudi Arabia have told Middle East Eye.

A war in Gaza was among a range of measures and scenarios proposed by an emergency task force set up to counter increasingly damaging leaks about Khashoggi's murder coming from Turkish authorities, according to sources with knowledge of the group's activities.

The task force, which is composed of officials from the royal court, the foreign and defence ministries, and the intelligence service, briefs the the crown prince every six hours, MEE was told.

It advised bin Salman that a war in Gaza would distract Trump's attention and refocus Washington’s attention on the role Saudi Arabia plays in bolstering Israeli strategic interests.
The fact that this plan was even discussed says a lot about the relationship between the Israeli PM and the prodigal son of the House of Saud says a lot about the dysfunction of the current Israeli leadership.

F%$# Them with Cheney's Dick.

While I understand why people oppose Nancy Pelosi as speaker, the demands of the Democrats in the so-called Problem Solvers Caucus (Spoiler, they have never solved a single problem) are forcing me to defend Nancy Pelosi. 

They are trying to get Pelosi to precapitulate to the Republicans, which should come as no surprise, it's been their act since the days of the Carter administration.

The ironic thing is that Pelosi has been aggressively placing right-wing Democrats in safe seats for years:
Nine centrist House Democrats are throwing another hurdle in the path of top party leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as she sprints toward the speaker’s gavel.

It’s not an unexpected obstacle: The nine are members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group formed to promote bipartisanship whose members agreed in September to condition their votes for any speaker candidate on support for a package of rules changes meant to improve how the House operates.

In a letter sent to Pelosi on Tuesday, the nine Democrats reiterated that their speaker votes are on the line and asked for a “written, public commitment” to their proposals by Friday.

………

The reforms range from making it easier to get amendment votes to ending the ability of a single disgruntled lawmaker to force a vote on ousting a sitting speaker. The centerpieces of the effort are mechanisms that would streamline the process of considering bills with broad bipartisan support on the House floor — at the price of eroding the power of the majority party’s leadership to control what gets put up for a vote.

Signing the letter are Reps. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), Tom O’Halleran (Ariz.), Jim Costa (Calif.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), Darren Soto (Fla.), Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), Tom Suozzi (N.Y.) and Vicente Gonzalez (Tex.).
This bit of snark further down is prize:
The Problem Solvers, whose efficacy has been in question, could represent more of a speed bump than a roadblock for Pelosi, who is facing a more serious uprising from a group of Democratic incumbents and incoming freshmen who are demanding new party leadership
I don't want Nancy Pelosi to be speaker, but these jamokes are not interested in good governance, they just want to make sure that Democrats are hamstrung so that they won't be forced to vote against things like card check or single payer.

Primary these folks, and start with some seriously invasive opposition research.

Do they Actually Believe this Sh%$?

I know that Kentucky Governor Matt Beven is no one's poster child for a member of the reality based community, but claiming that zombie television shows are the root cause of mass shootings is a bridge too far:
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has been forthright about what he believes are the root causes of mass shootings. A few months ago, he blamed gun violence on children’s access to smartphones, video games and psychotropic drugs.

Most recently, he blamed society’s obsession with a specific genre of violent entertainment.

“Seriously, what’s the most important topic that seems to be in every cable television network for example? Television shows are all about what? Zombies,” he said in an interview Tuesday with conservative Kentucky radio host Leland Conway.

Mass shootings point to deep cultural problems, Bevin said, particularly in a society that consumes daily doses of violence through the media. He acknowledged tying zombie shows to gun violence might be perceived as “trite and simplistic.” But, he argued, American culture is “inundated by the worst things that celebrate death,” including the forms of entertainment young people consume.

“These are drips, drips, drips on the stones of the psyches of young generations that are growing up in a society that increasingly said this is normal and okay,” he said. “And eventually, some of those young minds are not going to be able to handle it.”
I'm beginning to think that Matt Bevans is looking to take over Tom Cruise's role as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder II: Yokels in Yemen.