Month: May 2015

Over-Armed America Reason for Police Violence?

What do you expect from police who know there are 300 million guns on the street and that every person or car they approach might be armed and dangerous. That’s almost one gun per person but, then, it is when you consider infants that are too young. This is compounded now as the black community has decided the only way to keep from getting killed is to legally arm themselves. A move which has caused a slim majority in favor of gun rights over gun control for the first time in decades, according to Pew Research. All this because the National Rifle Assn. (NRA) has pushed for years to put more guns on the street. Salon says “more armed citizens will not make police work any easier—if anything, they will only make it more challenging.”

When you add to all this the Stand Your Ground law passed by over twenty states, also ramrodded by the NRA, this gun lobby has created a “shoot first” society as Salon puts it. Gun rights proponents led by John Lott claim that privately armed individuals are more qualified than the police, which, of course, is absurd, and it is no way to build relations between the community and cops. Lott, a gun radical even eggs on gun owners to vigilantism which has to eventually result in violence itself. The recent outbreaks in violence in cities like Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore MD, may just be the tip of the iceberg as the National Rifle Assn. (NRA) goes merrily on its way putting more guns on the street.

Where Bernie Sanders Stands on the Issues-Women’s Rights

Any candidate who expects to be President cannot do it without some help from the female vote. Barack Obama won the women’s vote by 12 percentage points in 2012 against Mitt Romney. A recent Gallup Poll gave Hillary Clinton a 56% favorability rating with women. Although I cannot find a poll indicating Bernie Sanders’ support by women, below are his stands/votes on women’s issues:

  • Voted YES on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Endorsed as “preferred” by The Feminist Majority indicating pro-women’s rights.
  • Enforce against wage discrimination based on gender.
But conservative has-been William Kristol resurrected an ages-old piece Sanders wrote intended to attack gender stereotypes of the 1970s which has been blown completely out of perspective since he announced his running. His “campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said it was a ‘dumb attempt at dark satire in an alternative publication’ that ‘in no way reflects his views or record on women.'” Salon goes on to say:
  • In 2003, Sanders was among 32 co-sponsors of the Prison Rape Elimination Act, a measure to “establish a zero-tolerance standard” for sexual violence in prison.
  • In 2011, Sanders co-sponsored a measure to address the rape kit backlog.
  • In 2012, Sanders co-sponsored the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.
  • In 2013, he called on the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to step up efforts to provide care and benefits for veterans who experienced sexual assault in the military.
  • In 2014, Sanders voted for New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s proposal to move the system of reporting and prosecuting rape in the military outside the chain of command.
Bernie Sanders clearly respects women’s rights and deserves the female vote.

Where Bernie Sanders Stands on the Issues

Bernie Sanders believes in the average person and detests wealth in relation to inequality between that and the other 99% of the country. This has kept him in office for almost 35 years now but it has all been in the state of Vermont. Not many racial problems there or gun violence or difficulty with immigration, nor has he had to really get out and actively woo the female vote. But that was Vermont and now he wants to be President of the United States. Although he is reasonably defined on many issues, his goal must be to make these positions crystal clear to the public. Here they are:

Racial issues:Voted NO on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions. Rated 97% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance. Sponsored Recognize Juneteenth as historical end of slavery.
Gun Control: Voted YES on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets. Voted YES on allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains. Voted YES on prohibiting foreign & UN aid that restricts US gun ownership. Voted YES on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers. Voted YES on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse. Voted NO on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1. Rated F by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun control voting record.
Immigration Reform: Voted YES on continuing federal funds for declared “sanctuary cities”.  Voted NO on comprehensive immigration reform. Voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the US government. Voted YES on eliminating the “Y” nonimmigrant guestworker program. Voted NO on building a fence along the Mexican border. Voted NO on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment. Voted NO on more immigrant visas for skilled workers. Rated 0% by FAIR, indicating a voting record loosening immigration. Rated 8% by USBC, indicating an open-border stance.

More on this later.

Americans Do Not Handle Guns In the Best Interest of a Civil Society

Following the Waco, TX, bike gang shootings where nine people were killed, it was only natural to bring up the issue of too many guns on the street again. It also is tragic that Americans continue to look on this kind of regularly occurring event as just normal in today’s gun culture. It’s not and it doesn’t have to be. I have been saying this in recent years and John Traphagan of the Dallas Morning News has written a story in agreement with that point and several others I have talked about for some time. For example, he also believes that owning a gun should be tied to the universal background check and extensive training. Now is that asking too much? He continues…

“The solution to gun-related crime is not further arming the public. It involves enacting comprehensive gun control laws that prohibit many forms of gun ownership, significantly curtailing or eliminating access to and the ability to purchase guns…”

As a matter of fact, unlimited arming of the public is what has caused the crisis in the first place like Adam Lanza in Newtown, CT, who massacred 20 kids and six teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School using his mother’s gun which was completely unsecured. It was a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle and he also took along two handguns and a shotgun, all hers. After shooting his mother he just picked up the weapons and went out on a rampage. And this woman knew her son was acting strange for some time, like covering his windows with black trash bags.

Thanks to the National Rifle Assn., this totally irresponsible person was able to maintain a fully equipped arsenal in her home and even with a gun closet, didn’t see fit to keep it locked. Yet the gun rights bunch would have us put more guns on the street in the hands of other people just like this. Their cries that it is the criminals with guns that cause the problems has become meaningless since Sandy Hook, and Aurora, Colo. and Tucson, AZ, as well as all the dumb parents who leave handguns on the coffee table so their kids can spread theirs or their siblings’ brains all over the couch.

It’s disgusting and no one is listening, especially the gutless U.S. Congress. Gun control advocates should take their cue from Bernie Sanders and start their own revolution.

Huckabee Says Good Boy-Santorum Says Bad Boy

He said…He said, both Republicans caught up in a battle that the GOP richly deserves based on their stringent conservative standards for family values. In an earlier post I pointed out that a lot of their leaders are sure palsy with the Duggars. Josh Duggar has admitted to molesting five girls when he was younger, four reportedly his own sisters. Okay, the guy made a huge mistake and has probably already experienced  plenty of retribution, but the family’s close connection with the Republican Party should be explained, particularly all the GOP Presidential candidates that consider the Duggar family close allies.

If you represent such a high standard of family values, shouldn’t you know something about what these friends are doing? A story by In Touch exposed what had happened way back in 2006, and it was at that time that Jim Bob Duggar consulted an Arkansas State Trooper named Joseph Hutchens who talked to Josh but later said he was told only about one incident of molestation. It went no further. The police than halted their investigation in 2006 because the statute of limitations ran out. Hutchens is now serving 56 years in prison for child pornography.

It all comes down to living the life you preach to others or risk being brought down by the truth if you don’t.

Immigration Reform Could Haunt the GOP Right Up to 2016

You would think Republicans would have learned by now but a GOP Texas gang of conservatives brought the lawsuit along with 25 other states that stopped President Obama’s Executive order on immigration in its tracks. Obama’s action that would have helped up to 4 million undocumented immigrants came to an abrupt halt due to the Republican Party. Hispanics should take note of this now and go to the polls in 2016 to vote for the party that has their best interest in mind, Democrats. Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, deputy vice president of the National Council of La Raza, said”

“Those who continue to block commonsense relief to settle a score with the president should realize that their political gamesmanship is destroying lives and alienating an increasingly influential voting bloc, who will remember these very personal attacks on our families and our community come Election Day.”

 President Obama’s Executive Actions were designed to provide protection from deportation as well as granting work permits to millions of illegal immigrants. I’ve said this repeatedly but needs repeating now; these folks are vital to both American agriculture and for domestic purposes. What would happen in this country if there was no one to work in the fields, or in restaurants, or household care or in gardening, which these people excel in?

Hillary Clinton has taken her stance on the issue by backing full citizenship for potentially millions of undocumented immigrants. Bernie Sanders must come out quick and establish his position if he wants to be a viable candidate in this race.

Undeniably, Gun Deaths Up Nationwide

Gun deaths are up across the country, significantly in some states. Nationwide they are up 12% but Maine had the highest increase of 93%. The analysis was done by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution researching through government statistics, insurance industry data and reports from state vital-records agencies over the past decade. Five states had fewer gun deaths: The District of Columbia, California, New York, Maryland and Illinois. All five states have pretty strict gun control laws. Here are some more interesting figures:

California, the most populous state, reported 3,026 deaths from firearms in 2013. Georgia, with the eighth-highest population, had the sixth-most gun deaths: 1,262. Others in the top 10: Texas (No. 2 in both population and gun deaths), Florida (No. 3 in both categories), Pennsylvania (No. 4 in gun deaths, No. 6 in population), Ohio (fifth in gun deaths, seventh in population), North Carolina (No. 7 in gun deaths, No. 9 in population), Michigan (No. 8 and No. 10, respectively), Illinois (No. 9 in gun deaths, No. 5 in population), and Tennessee (tenth in gun deaths, but only 17th in population).

It is fair to conclude from these figures that stronger gun control laws prevent gun violence. Not all of it, but one life saved is worth the passing of the legislation.

It’s Official…Bernie Sanders’ Revolution Goes National

This sign says it best: “People for Bernie.” They’re sitting on it, the grass roots of Bernie Sanders campaign, showing their admiration and support. It all happened in Burlington, VT, but he has every intention of taking the revolution national, and it is people like these who will help him do it, eventually winning the Democratic nomination. To start the revolution he said:

“Today, with your support and the support of millions of people throughout this country, we begin a political revolution to transform our country,” he said. “This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It is not about Hillary Clinton. It is not about Jeb Bush or anyone else. This campaign is about the needs of the American people, and the ideas and proposals that effectively address those needs.”

 The time has come for these American people to put their support where their mouth is and come out for the man who is fighting for their needs. Bernie Sanders has started cropping up repeatedly on my Facebook and Twitter pages recently, an indication that more folks are becoming aware of his presence in the race and just who he is. The latter has a direct effect on MSNBC’s question of whether he can successfully take his revolution national and adds a national revolution is longer than a longshot for Sanders. But he did it once before and won the office of Mayor in Burlington, in another longshot.

One of his former staffers “…attributes Sanders’ later successes to reality catching up to Sanders’ rhetoric.” The hope is now that reality will catch up with the American public and put this man of the people in the White House.

Hillary Clinton Comes Out Swinging for Immigration

For a Hillary Clinton that can be cautious on the campaign trail, she has come out swinging by backing full citizenship for potentially millions of undocumented immigrants. Earlier she had spoken out in favor of giving driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, both issues a certainty to arouse the need for the Republican field to respond. It’s all about the Hispanic vote; although it hasn’t exerted its full muscle yet, there are still over 25 million registered Latino voters in the U.S. Historically Democrats, this voting block is slowly pulling away, in my opinion, caused by the lack of effort by the Obama administration. The question will be what gets Hispanics out to vote in 2016: in 2014 it was hands down the economy, followed by healthcare, surprisingly, the immigration issue coming in third.