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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Guns- Executive Action needed to protect Second Amendment for law abiding Americans

President Obama must act to prevent gun violence in America. To talk about gun violence but do nothing to end the public health dangers of the growing numbers of morbid incidents, is irresponsible leadership. Moreover, prevention measures at amy level of regulation will protect American from those who seek to abuse Second Amendment rights. In other words, if ordinary people can buy bigger guns than law enforcement personnel own, then terrorists and those intent on sedition can do likewise.

Many Americans become paraoid about loosing their Second Amendment rights to own guns, as though weapons are essential to their basic survival. Meanwhile, one gun doesn't satisfy those who make a point of having one to wear and others to display, like trophies. Regardless of how many guns a person owns, the physicial reality is that only one gun with one bullet is required to kill any target, be it human, or otherwise. 

On the other hand, if oridnary people are permitted to buy the same, or even more deadly kinds of armament, as the military or law enforcement (as is now the case), the reality is that people of evil intent will use Second Amerndment rights to destroy the very government that allows gun ownership, in the  first place.

Therefore, using public safety logic, it makes perfect sense to protect the rights of people to own guns by creating barriers against those who will misuse the privilege to create carnage. 

It's a counterintuitive argument, ie "protect Second Amerndment rights by regulating guns", but the logic is a win-win. Prevent terrorists, and those intent on murder or sedition from using guns to destroy our basiic right to life, liberty  and the pursuit of happiness.
It sounds counter intuitive but to protect 2nd Amendment rights to own guns means to regulate who is athorized to buy them. It's becoming a national security issue.

It certainly  makes sense to me. Hopefully, President Obama will take executive action to prevent the growth of gun violent carnage before his last State of the  Union address coming up in Janaury.

I suspect Americans will be pleased to learn about the President's intention to use Executive Action to prevent growing gun violence. After all, if guns were "germs", like influenza or ebola, even  the US Congress would demand a public health response. It's difficult to understand how Second Amendment zealots don't understand that guns kill,, just like untreated germs. Therefore, unregulated guns must be treated like a public health danger. Otherwise, as deaths by gun vilence grow, the ownership of deadly weapons could destroy the very "right" the Second Amendment advocates are trying to protect. 

CNN reprots By Jim Acosta and Kevin Liptak:

President Barack Obama is expected to announce in the coming days a new executive action with the goal of expanding background checks on gun sales, people familiar with White House planning said.

Described as "imminent," the set of executive actions would fulfill a promise by the President to take further unilateral steps the White House says could help curb gun deaths.

Plans for the action are not yet complete, and those familiar with the process warn that unforeseen circumstances could delay an announcement. But gun control advocates are expecting the new actions to be revealed next week, ahead of Obama's annual State of the Union address, set for January 12.

Although the White House wouldn't comment directly on the exact timing or content of Obama's executive orders, the spokesman Eric Schultz said that the President expected a set of recommendations on unilateral action to arrive at the beginning of the year.

He said Obama was "expressing urgency" for a list of steps he can take on his own after high-profile incidents of gun violence at the end of this year.

"It is complicated. That's why it's taken some time for our policy folks, our lawyers, and our expects to work through this and see what's possible," Schultz said.

A spokeswoman for the (politically powerful) National Rifle Association (NRA) said the group had no comment. Previously, the gun rights group told CNN that Obama's "gun control agenda was rejected by Congress. Now, he's doing what he always does when he doesn't get his way, defying the will of the people and using executive action." (Excuse me???? Listen up NRA! It's not the will of the American people to see mass killings on nearly a monthly basis, murders are consuming our national identity and allowing terrorists to buy guns!)

The group said at the time that Obama had his "wish list of gun control," in California but "it didn't prevent the San Bernardino attack."

"The fact is, the President's gun control agenda will only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to self-defense," NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker.

Gun control advocates and White House officials say the focus remains on the so-called "gun show loophole," which allows certain sellers of guns -- at gun shows and elsewhere -- to avoid conducting background checks before making sales.

Months after the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school massacre that claimed 26 victims, the then-Democratic majority Senate rejected a similar proposal.

Congress would still need to act in order to make background checks fully universal. But advocates and administration lawyers have struck upon a provision in the law that could allow for Obama to expand the background check requirement to additional sellers.

Federal law currently requires all individuals "engaged in the business" of selling guns to obtain a license and conduct background checks on buyers. But others who only make occasional sales or are selling firearms from a personal collection are exempted from the background check requirement.

Gun control advocates say Obama could take action himself by issuing a regulation that provides expanded guidance on who falls under the "in the business" standard.

One group, the Michael Bloomberg-helmed Everytown for Gun Safety, has provided recommendations to the White House that include creating a test for assessing who must become licensed to continue selling guns. Factors would include volume and speed of sales, and whether or not the seller relies on advertising to sell guns.

The group also recommended Obama define a gun in a "personal collection" as having been in the seller's possession for at least a year.

Before leaving for his winter vacation in Hawaii, Obama met with Bloomberg at the White House to discuss gun control.

Aside from the background check provision, people familiar with Obama's plans say his new gun control announcement will include new funding for government agencies to better enforce existing gun laws.

CNN's Chris Frates and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Britian to debate a censure of Donald Trump for anti-Muslim bigotry

It's an embarrassment to the US, because we should be the nation to do this.  Yet, let's give a "hip-hip-horray" to the brave British, who signed a sanctioned censure of Donald "Trump the Chump" motivated by his Muslim bashing behavior.  Of course, let's give kudos to the US newspapers, especially the Des Moines Register in Iowa and the New Hampshire Union Leader for taking Donald "Trump the Chump" head on for his over the top bigotry, boisterous showmanship and destructive bully behavior.  Yet, the British get the award for taking up a petition drive to sanction the Trumponian narcissistic braggart by passing a government sanctioned reprimand against the wanna-be presidential candidate.  In other words, if by some bizarre set of unpalatable circumstances, Donald "Trump the Chump" should become a stateman in the US, his presence in Great Britian would be unwelcomed, perhaps even prohibited.

BBCNews reports:
Image result for Great Britain Flag
Government 'recognises' anger at Donald Trump comments


The British government responded to a petition calling for presidential hopeful Donald Trump to be banned from the UK after he proposed a temporary halt on Muslims entering the US.

More than 500,000 people have signed the parliamentary e-petition.

In response, the government said it recognised the strength of feeling against Mr Trump's comments, which are expected to be debated by MPs. (Ministers previously criticised his remarks but disagreed with banning him.)

Any petition with more than 10,000 signatures on the parliament website gets a government response, and if one gets more than 100,000 signatures it is automatically considered for debate in Parliament.


The cross-party Commons petitions committee is due to meet next week to decide whether to hold a parliamentary debate on the petition to ban Mr Trump.

Given the number of signatures, there is a presumption it will be debated.

In its response, the government said it did not comment on individual immigration and exclusion decisions.

"The home secretary may exclude a non-European Economic Area national from the UK if she considers their presence in the UK to be non-conducive to the public good," it said, adding that Theresa May had said coming to the UK was "a privilege and not a right".

"Exclusion powers are very serious and are not used lightly" and would only be used "based on all available evidence", it said, adding: "The government recognises the strength of feeling against the remarks and will continue to speak out against comments which have the potential to divide our communities, regardless of who makes them.

"We reject any attempts to create division and marginalisation amongst those we endeavour to protect."

Prime Minister David Cameron has labelled Mr Trump's comments "stupid" but said he did not support a ban, telling MPs the tycoon would "unite us all against him" if he visited the UK.


Obviously, the US Constitution allows for Donald "Trump the Chump" to excercise his freedom of speech. Nevertheless, the candidate's political bigotry is an embarrasment to his own GOP party and to the American people who, like me, simply can't tolerate the right wing rhetoric being fueled by the Trumponian's extremist candidacy. It's time for American people to pay attention to how the world will loose respect for our nation, when we consider nominating a right wing bigot to be president of the US and leader of the free world. This outrageious possibility is expecially chilling when we realize that 2.2 billion or 23 percent of the world's population are Muslims.  

It's time for sane, reasonable, politically astute Republican leaders to stop playing games with Donald "Trump the Chump" for fear of loosing his right wing base. In fact, Donald "Trump the Chump" can take his right wing base to live happily ever after in a walled off Trumponian Towers. Indeed, they and their extremism are the people who need to be sequestered from our nation.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hillary Clinton fights back at Trumponian plebian attacks

Trump the Chump is a coward! Rather than bravely discuss issues, ideas, visionary leadership or preach compassion, he takes plebian low life attacks at the humanitarian Hillary Clinton. Nevertheless, Trump the Chump continues to churn up controversy and the media laps it up like a dog who chews on a juicy bone.
News media eats up "Trump the Chump's" anger and bully rhetoric like a dog chews on a juicy bone

If "Trump the Chump" were so confident about his political leadership, he'd be courting his own precarious political GOP nomination, rather than making personal attacks on the popular First Lady of the World, Mrs. Clinton.

As Gregory Krieg of CNN reports-
Hillary Clinton hits back at 'demeaning' Donald Trump

(CNN) Hillary Clinton late Monday hit back at Donald Trump after nearly two days of attacks on her and former President Bill Clinton. In a statement her campaign said she wouldn't be "pushed around" by Trump like his GOP rivals or "bullied and distracted" by the mogul's rhetoric.

"When [Trump's] insults are directed at women, immigrants, Asian-Americans, Muslims, (Mexicans) the disabled, or hard working Americans looking to raise their wages -- Hillary Clinton will stand up to him, as she has from the beginning," a campaign spokeswoman said.

Trump on Monday again warned Clinton against attempting to use "the woman's card" on him, a day after he accused the former secretary of state of unfairly trading on her gender. The "Trump-billionaire's" brushback follows his labeling Bill Clinton as "fair game" on Sunday, as the former president prepares to hit the trail next week to campaign for his wife.

"With all of her past and her past dealings and, frankly, she's been involved in it with her husband as much as anybody, for her to be discussing that I think is out of bounds and I've let them know that," Trump said during an interview on Radio Iowa. "Probably maybe more so than anybody I know she shouldn't be discussing that."


(Okay, if President Clinton's administration is fair game, then likewise are his political successes and the prosperous times when the nation had a balanced budget.)

Trump made similar comments during a Sunday interview on Fox News, when he called out Bill Clinton as "fair game because his presidency was really considered to be very troubled because of all the things that she's talking to me about."

"She's mentioning sexism," Trump continued, referencing a recent interview in which Clinton told the Des Moines Register the billionaire had "demonstrated a penchant for sexism."

He kept up the line of attack Monday morning, again slamming the former president and former secretary of state.

"If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband, with his terrible record of women abuse, while playing the women's card on me, she's wrong!" Trump tweeted.

Meanwhile, Trump-the-Chump continues to soak up the political oxygen the media gives him, free of charge, while not discussing the implementation of new ideas, vision for the future, plans for how to secure our nation against terrorism (other than deporting all Muslims) or anything else to improve the human condition.

President and Mrs. Clinton have experience helping people. 

Trump the Chump has no political experience whatsoever. 

In fact, "Trump the Chump" should get out of the presidential 2016 race, unless he's brave enough to stand up for something, other than degrading his adversaries with bigotry, bullying and boisterously billigerent buffoonery.

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Hillary Clinton's presidential stature

It doesn't take a political guru to figure out how plebian the Donald Trump's attacks are against all of his rivals. Whether Trump is attacking his political Republican rivals, or other people in general, the media or even war heroes like John McCain, the Trumponian penchant for being "common". is now his tradmark.

Contrast the low life political behavior of "Donald Trump the Chump" with  the professional demeanor of Secretary Hillary Clinton.  Now, Americans see a clear and present political contrast between two political adversaries.  

No longer can "Trump the Chump" attack any unsuspecting person of his choosing. Instead, the Trumponian plebianism is now vainly trying to create a Clintonian scandal. Astoundingly, what "Trump the Chump" seems unaware of is that Americans have already vetted the lifestyle of the Clinton's and deemed it unworthy of our political time. In other words, "what goes on in a marriage, stays in a marriage". Being bullied by "Trump the Chump" is an invitation to political disaster, a black hole "vortex" for the teflon "bully-ianaire", mega rich wanno-be politician. 

"Trump the Chump" is entering into a polticial vortex by degrading the popular Bill and Hillary Clinton

When Americans consider a Hillary Clinton presidency, they're looking for a future of economic security. Voters don't care about the past, unless it appears to impact the future. Moreover, there's no "new news" in the Trumponian low life attacks on Hillary Clinton or her marriage.  

In my opinion, the Trumponian plebian attacks on the Clinton's will go nowhere, because there's simply no place to go. It's history.

On the other hand, the Clinton's are obligated to stand together against the Trumponian denegrating personal attacks. They now have a wonderful opportunity to prove how Secretary Clinton's leadership will be far more predictable and "presidential" than the potential of a Trumponian "I like Putin" (oh paaaleeze, a Trumponian horror trailer) reality TV regime.

Trump's plebian attacks on the esteemed Mrs. Hillary Clinton will give the Clinton family their chance to show how their presidential stature will, in fact (not rhetoric) make America great again.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Putin to Trump- "read my book" 400-pages of Schmootin' quotes

Vladimir Putin has taken his egotistical Russian passion for self promotion to a new level. Now "Schmootin-Putin" is into self publishing and massive distribution, promoting his own prose. Although he denies having anything to do with this narcissism, it's hard to believe anybody can publish anything about Schmootin'-Putin without his seal of approval.  Now, apparently, everybody who's anybody in Russia is receiving an unsolicited gift copy of quoteable "Schmootin" quotes. I sure wouldn't want to be a person who was left off of Schmootin-Putin's gift list.  (I believe the Chinese tyrant Mao tried the same thing with his Little Red Book.)


Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung bilingual.JPG

Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976) - he's dead and so is his book.

Fortunately, Mao Tse-tung is now dead and his quotable book is posthumously useless. As we all know, Vladimir Putin is, likewise, a mortal human being, just like Mao, he'll eventually die. 

When "Schmootin-Putin" is dead, his book of forgetable quotes will wind up as fuel in a camp fire. Maybe, a few hundred will survive so people can vilify the forgetable quotes. Just like the ugly relics of the communist occupation of Central Europe, the hideous buildings retained to remind the people about the tyranny and austerity of the Russian occupation, the book of "Schmootin-Putin" quotes will serve the same purpose.  

In other words, Putin's self promotion will become his failed legacy.

BBCNews reports:
Officials across Russia have been given a 400-page book of "prophetic" quotes by President Vladimir Putin as a new year gift, it's reported.

The collection, entitled Words That Change The World, (aka, "Schmootin-Putin's" view of the "schworld", according to his Russian understanding of geogrpahy, haha!) was sent to as many as 1,000 people, by one of Mr Putin's top aides, Vyacheslav Volodin, according to the business newspaper RBK


Recipients include MPs, regional governors and civil society representatives. In an accompanying letter, Mr Volodin says the book should be seen as a guide to the Kremlin's "values and guiding principles". He's also reported to have recommended it to a recent meeting of officials as "required reading for any politician". (OMG, the book is obviously being re-printed, imagine that!)

The book is said to include the text of 19 speeches by Mr Putin, and highlights key quotes in bold that the introduction says "predicted and preordained" world events. 


Among the texts are a 2007 speech in Munich in which Mr Putin accused the US of courting disaster by seeking to dominate the global order, and his 2014 address to Russian parliamentarians fiercely defending the annexation of Crimea. (No opposition party recognized in any of Schmootin's speeches. As a matter of fact, Schmootin-Putin's audience look like a ,macabre group of rigor-mortis anataomy lab specimins, dressed up for an Irish wake.)

The book is edited and published by Network, a pro-Kremlin youth movement. "We noticed that everything Putin says to some extent comes true," member Anton Volodin - said to be the brains behind the book - tells RBK. "Putin's words can be described as prophetic."  (Excuse me?....Prophesy! The last I heard, prophesy is dabbling in the occult. In fact, Hitler believed in evil hocus-pocus.)

But the Kremlin itself appears keen to distance itself from the project, at least in public. Mr Putin's official spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, says he hasn't heard anything about the book and therefore can't answer any questions on it.

Earlier this month a 2016 Putin-themed calendar appeared in Russia, showing him in various scenes, including in naval uniform, holding a flower, baring his chest while fishing, and cuddling a dog. Each photo was accompanied by a Putin quote. (I don't think sports illustrated is interested in buying the rights to the Schmootin-Putin flabby photo.)


When Putin dies, as he will, his book, calendars and his horrific legacy will be vilified. Meanwhile, Schmootin-Putin is obviously positioning himself to become a bigger self promoter than his shadow ego- ie. Donald "Trump the Chump". 

My suggestion is for Donald Trump to ask Schmootin-Putin to send him a first edition of "the book", because they seem to be a dangerous mutual admiration society, of two.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Trump the Chump and his political harem are out of their league

Honestly, it's a waste of time to continue the charade about who is running for 2016, president and leader of the free world.  It's "Trump the Chump" and Secretary Hillary Clinton.  In fact, Donald "Trump the Chump" has given up on his legitmaate political competitors. Instead, he's unleashed a harem of critics to make degrading personal attacks against Secretary Hillary Clinton, because he doesn't want to be bothered with debating his legitimate Republican competitors, who are challenging him for the GOP nomination. Well, Trump the Chump should be very cautious about having his harem throw the "fidelity" first stone. "The Chump's" full court press to intimidate the Clinton's based on past marital history will become a Trumponian disaster. Here's my advice to Donald "Trump the Chump": find another place to take your vitriolic personal attacks on the Clinton's. You're an "out of your league braggart" by trying to intimidate the Clinton's.  Listen to your Clinton refresher 101: Mrs. and Mrs. Clinton are a formidable duo who won't succomb to the harem of Trumponian bullies who you're intending to unleash in a slander campagin. In fact, Trump is blowing up a political storm in which he won't be able to survive.

Batten down the political hatches - turbulent times ahead for Donald Trump the Chump


Katrina Pierson, (yawn) a Trump harem spokeswoman, in effect called Hillary Clinton a hypocrite for scolding Trump over sexism while she remains married to Bill Clinton, whose personal life back in the 1990s was frequent tabloid fodder. While he was president, Clinton paid $850,000 to Paula Jones to settle a long-running sexual harassment lawsuit, admitted he had a sexual relationship with former Arkansas state employee Gennifer Flowers, and engaged in a tryst with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which led to his impeachment in 1998, which failed.

"Hillary Clinton has some nerve to talk about the war on women and the bigotry toward women when she has a serious problem in her husband," Pierson told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "Erin Burnett OutFront."

Well, Pierson better come up with something Americans don't already know. What happens in the Clinton marriage, stays in the Clinton marriage.  Bill and Hillary Clinton are not responsible for making sexist remarks about Fox newcaster Megyn Kelly: ‘Blood Coming Out of Her Eyes, Blood Coming Out of Her… Wherever’

Obviously, Donald Trump the Chump decided to leap frog over his political competitors so he can personally attack Secretary Hillary Clinton. But, the problem is, Donald Trump the Chump has very little credibility among his political peers. Meanwhile, Mrs. Hillary Clinton is hugely popular, and her husband Bill is politically charismatic among Democrats and with many independent voters. 
Throughout the Trumponian political drama, the Hispanic community are engaged in a voter registration campaign to create a block in the 2016 election- to vote against Trump. 

In other words, Trump the Chump had better call off his harem and focus, instead, on winning over critics from within the Republican party.  He's totally unqualified to challenge the Clinton's, especially when marital fidelity is not a politcal campaign issue. If marital fidelity were a qualification to be the presidential leader of the free world, I doubt many would be qualified to be elected.  

Moreover, Hillary Clinton's marital fidelity is not a campaign issue.

Trump the Chump is certainly living in a politcal glass house by taking on an issue where his own moral behavior is now subject to scrutiny.  So sorry for the current Mrs. Trump.  She'd better "batten down the hatches" because rough political waters are expected.

Trump the Chump is certainly not an example of sexual morality.

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A Message from the Past from The JFK Presidential Library & Foundation

A Message from the Past from The JFK Presidential Library & Foundation



Enjoyed this Holiday message from the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, MA.

Certainly is reminiscent of "Camelot".with an inspiring wish for the future of mankind.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Republicans are the political anti party even anti "themselves"

Republicans are anti-science, anti-climate change, anti-evolution, anti womens' health, anti wealth sharing through taxation and anti any history that's contrary to their reinvention narratives (like African slaves were migrant workers).  

Indeed, the "anti" movement within the Republian party is so pervasive, it appears the political party is even "anti" itself.  

In other words, the Republicans don't even believe in one another. 

 Now, the conservatively faithful George Will is predicting a Trumponian implosion of the Republican party if "Trump the Chump" is nominated in 2016, to run for president.

In a Christmas Eve article, George Will predicte: Trump nomination would destroy GOP

George Will is warning that if the GOP nominates Donald Trump for president, it would be the "end" of the Republican Party. (Maine Writer wonders if George Will might consider creating a Republican political "doomsday" party.)


Conservative George Will is predicting a doomsday outcome if Trump the Chump is nominated as the 2016 GOP candidate

Will is more a threat to "Donald Trump the Chump" than the competent Trumponian political competitor, Secretary Hillary Clinton.

Will says, “Conservatives’ highest priority now must be to prevent Trump from winning the Republican nomination in this, the GOP’s third epochal intraparty struggle in 104 years,” he wrote in a Washington Post column Thursday. (George Will needs a contemporary language interpreter!)

The conservative columnist says preventing Trump from winning the nomination should be an even higher priority than denying the Democratic Party a third term in the White House.

“One hundred and four years of history is in the balance. If Trump is the Republican nominee in 2016, there might not be a conservative party in 2020 either.

In fact, Will pans the GOP front-runner as a “fundamentally sad figure,” arguing that he has every “disagreeable human trait.”

“His compulsive boasting is evidence of insecurity. His unassuageable (Maine Writer translation- "inconsolable") neediness suggests an aching hunger for others’ approval to ratify his self-admiration,” Will writes. “His incessant announcements of his self-esteem indicate that he is not self-persuaded.” (Maine Writer translation: GeorgeWill doesn't like Donald Trump the Chump.)

Noting Trump’s recent platitudes for Russian President Vladimir Putin, he compares the real estate tycoon's actions to “a puppy’s insatiable eagerness to be petted.”

He also criticizes Trump's dismissal of allegations that Putin has had Russian journalists killed, and for suggesting a moral equivalency between Putin's government and the United States.

It’s far from the first time Will has taken to the page to bash Trump, with columns that have provoked the ire of the GOP front-runner. In November, Trump tweeted that Will should be thrown off Fox News because he is “boring and totally biased.” (Maine Writer says, "ya think?") 

Although I can agree with the "boring" review of George Will, the fact is, Donald Trump the Chump is unqualified to assess the performance of any journalist. George Will should be flattered by Donald Trump's criticism because, in the boring Will universe, anybody who talks about him is improving his "boring meter".

Nevertheless, as George Will aptly points out, the Republican party is now "anti" almost anything that improves the human condition, including, even, being "anti" itself.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Guns - a Holiday gift you won't use

Gun sales have hit record highs, as the gift giving season includes arming people who, most likely, will never use the gift.

Most people want to avoid the situation where a Christmas gift is a politely received item, but one the recipient isn't likely to use. 

Sometimes, the gift might be a boldly printed tie or outrageous socks. Not so with guns. Although Americans purchased gungs by record numbers to give as Christmas or Holiday gifts, the fact is, the recipient is not likely to use the gift. Nevertheless, the expensive gifts of guns are being sold as those given out of "love" and as assurance of "protection" against violence.  

Indeed, while Americans are buying guns in record numbers to defend against numerous potential threats, including the risk of terrorism, the fact it, the guns themselves are dangerous, regardless of who or why they're used.

Guns are dangerious regardless of how they are used.

Meanwhile, no one I know wants to be in a position where they will use guns for personal protection. We don't want to be in a position where we need to use a gun to defend ourselves; moreover, there's no evidence that having a gun makes a person safer than if they had none at all.

As a matter of fact, just how many guns does a person need to protect themselves? If a person owns dozens of guns (becoming more common) the absolute fact is, only one gun at a time can be aimed and fired for any situation. In fact, most dangerous situations, where one might consider using a gun for protection, are totally unexpected and occur when guns aren't easily accessible. When was the last time someone was defended from a gun violence incident, because they were readily armed with their own personal gun? It's a rare event. (Tragically, even the Navy Seal marksman Chris Kyle, was unable to defend himself when he had acess to a gun but was, nevertheless, murdered by a mentally ill man.

In other words, Americans are spending millions of dollars on guns to give away as gifts to  people who will, for the most part, never use them for anything. Meanwhile, the number of guns in the population are so pervasive that it's impossible to say how anyone can feel safer with a weapon, when the risk of being harmed by a gun related accident are, likely, greater than the ability to defend against violence.

Worse, the enormous amounts of money spent buying and selling guns doesn't include dedicated tax revenue to apply toward prevention of violence or to help treat the mentally ill, who are often victims of gun-violence.

Consequently, when gift givers are looking for a gift nobody ever wants to use, then there's every reason to seek out a gun shop to buy just the right weapon. Buying guns are an expensive way to waste money. At least, outrageious ties or socks can always find use as a "regift". Guns, on the other hand, will rust over time and collect dust......because it's the gift we never want to use.


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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Horror of the Syrian refugees- a flashback from the London Blitz

At Christmas, the world is reminded about brilliant angels at the scene of the Nativity in Bethlehem, reported 2000 years ago. In the Bible account, the angles sang about peace on earth and goodwill toward all mankind, when Jesus Christ was born.  Luke Chapter 2 verse 14, in the New Testament, described the glorious scene.
Angels in Bethlehem are reported to have sung of Peace and Goodwill to all....Luke 2:14

Yet, for millions of victims of war and refugees who live in fear, this joyous season seems void of hope. Just today, another 18 refugees were reported to have drowned off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea, while trying to escape war and reach Europe.

What's it like to live in a state of constant fear of loosing your life as a result of war? A first person article by Linda Le Vine was published in the Rotary International January 2016 edition, titled "Survive the London Blitz". This article provides a timely reminder about how many innocent lives are impacted by war, leaving emotional scars to last generations. While reading, think about how the Syrian refugees feel while they're suffering the loss of their homes and risking death to escape Middle East revolution and carnage.

Linda Le Vine:  Rotary Club of Westlake Village, California: Survive the London Blitz

When Le Vine was a child, she lived with her mother in an apartment near the center of London, during World War II.

During World War II, she said her neighborhood was constantly under assault by the German Luftwaffe.  She writes:

Most nights and many days, monstrous bombs, sometimes from hundreds of bombers at a time, attempted to destroy our city and demoralize or murder its citizens. This nearly unceasing attack on our civilian population completely terrorized us and left lasting scars. None of us were certain we would survive. We lived in constant fear that Germany would win this horrific war and our country would be brutally occupied.

England’s capital at the time was mainly inhabited by women, children, and elderly men. Most of the younger men, including my father, were in the British armed forces. One evening when I was six, after we had eaten our usual rations of a sausage, cabbage, and a boiled potato, my mother tucked me into bed, forgetting to close the blackout curtains. She kissed me goodnight and went to visit with neighbors in an upstairs apartment.

A short time later, the piercing shriek of an air raid warning jolted me awake. Within seconds, thousands of tons of exploding bombs shattered almost every window in our apartment. Because the curtains weren’t drawn, broken glass and shrapnel flew into my room, grazing my arms and legs. Then the walls imploded, entombing me under the mangled wreckage of what had been my bedroom. I was trapped and unable to move.

The raid seemed endless. One plane after another dropped its sinister cargo. I was more scared than I’d ever been in my young life. Between bombing runs, I could hear the frantic cries of my neighbors.

Eventually, my mother found her way to my burial site. She screamed hysterically as she tried to reach me under the pile of rubble. She couldn’t do it alone, and I was too little and too trapped to move. It required the help of several neighbors to pull me to safety.

When I was finally free, my mother kissed me all over, wetting my face with her tears. She wiped a little blood from my arms and legs but decided my wounds were superficial and could be attended to later. As the bombing continued, we grabbed our gas masks and my doll and raced to the bomb shelter.

I hated that shelter: a small, crowded, putrid hole in the ground. Rats often burrowed through the crumbling brick walls and hid within the flimsy bedding that gave us only a little relief from the cold. Rodent droppings covered the filthy floor. Many people became ill with hepatitis A because our food and water were often contaminated, and it was not uncommon to see skin and eyes yellowed by the disease. In one particularly horrific incident, a two-year-old boy was bitten by a large black rat. The child was taken to a hospital, howling in pain.

That night, we couldn’t sleep. The cries of babies crammed together on dirty cots along the walls echoed throughout the night. I huddled in a corner, fearing that the shelter would be destroyed and that I would again be buried alive.

The next morning, my mother and I joined the hordes of other dazed and injured refugees who were suddenly homeless, wandering the streets of London. We shouted with rage at our enemies when we saw the ugly black craters that had once been the homes of our neighbors. It was impossible to believe that so much evil existed in the world and that people of another country would want to slaughter us like we were simply cockroaches to be extinguished. Fires still smoldered from the previous night, and acrid smoke filled our nostrils. The dead and injured were scattered everywhere. Rescue workers solemnly unearthed body parts in an attempt to recover victims for proper burial. My mother removed her apron and placed it over my head so that I wouldn’t see the charred, lifeless bodies.

The government arranged our evacuation to a pretty town outside London. Two elderly sisters received money from the war authorities to take us in. After several months, the sisters discovered that our religion was different from theirs and demanded that we leave immediately. Having no money, my mother had no choice but to move us back to London to stay with relatives. Their apartment, crowded and small, was several miles away from our previous one. It was, however, still within the target range of the enemy’s bombs.

I enrolled in a new school. A few weeks after school began, I became best friends with a lovely blond girl who kindly welcomed me into her “girlfriends group.” Later that year, she and her family were killed during an aerial attack at her home. I was devastated. At school, our teacher solemnly told the class to put our heads down on our desks to pray for her. We lowered our heads, folded our hands, and quietly wept.

One morning during recess, our games were halted by the shrieking siren of an air raid warning. Within seconds, we heard the roar of massive groups of planes approaching. Thunderous blasts rolled through the neighborhood as incendiary bombs exploded nearby. The air filled with the bright orange of explosives and the choking smoke from burning buildings. I closed my eyes to erase the unbearable reality of it. Most of the students cried or screamed, while others held their fear deep inside as the teachers led us to the basement shelter. My teacher, Mrs. Clark, looked to the skies and shouted at the butchery and wickedness of it all.

After that, it was almost impossible to keep our minds on our studies. How to survive the next onslaught dominated our thoughts.

Toward the end of the war, my kind and gentle grandmother Esther was cooking dinner in her tiny apartment in East London when a buzz bomb speeding over 300 miles an hour incinerated her neighborhood. For a long time after she was killed, I would lie in bed at night and imagine the panic she must have felt when she heard the sickening buzzing sound of Hitler’s latest weapon. She knew, as we all did, that when the buzz bomb became silent, it was falling to earth to erase the lives of all of those within its path.

I couldn’t believe Grandma Esther and I would no longer laugh together or share fish and chips (with extra vinegar) in her cozy kitchen. I feared I would never again smell the golden daffodils she nurtured in small window boxes around her apartment, or hear the beautiful symphony music she loved to listen to on her radio.

During the night, I slept cocooned within my mother’s comforting arms, afraid that she would die as so many other mothers had and that I would be alone in the world. I became obsessed with the thought of losing her as I’d lost my grandmother.

Even after these many years, memories of the bombings haunt my dreams. Often at night, when I hear friendly airplanes flying over my home in California, I shudder with long-ago memories of other planes.

Violence is still a daily occurrence for many children. The wars are different, but the cruelties that are inflicted upon innocent children remain the same. Hardly a day goes by without the media showing us the confused and terrified faces of children who are the victims of war. These images of suffering play out like a recording without end. When I look into the eyes of these children, I automatically think back to the atrocities that I experienced in my youth.

How can we stop subjecting generations of children to death and destruction, to the loss of home and family? These experiences will haunt them forever. To paraphrase Golda Meir, the former prime minister of Israel, “War will only cease when we love our children more than we hate our enemies.”


Now, fast forward 70 years and think about the victims of the Syrian and Middle Eastern carnage going on today, resulting from President Bashar al-Assad's tyranny (supported by Russia). 

In fact, millions of people have been displaced as a result of Assad's genocide. Thousands have died trying to escape. Tragically, another 18 people, including children, were reported drowned today, on Christmas Eve, when their boat capsized off the Turkey coast.  It's impossible to understand how this genocide can continue. Nevertheless, even if peace and goodwill somehow miraculously returned to the Middle East, the fact is, the social and political turmoil caused by the mass migration of people who are living in constant fear will take many generations to overcome. 

It's time for the world to demand the surrender of President Assad and to set up a multi-national provisional government to help restore peace in Syria and to stabilize the Middle East. Otherwise, it's difficult to imagine the enormous consequences caused by millions of people living in fear of carnage 

The Rotarian Action Group for Peace provides resources for Rotary members and clubs to work together for tolerance and understanding. Learn more at www.rotarianactiongroupforpeace.org.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Where's the hope? Republicans stoke politics of fear

Remember the nostalgic political President Reagan days?  Back in those days, politicans talked about "Morning in America".  

In fact, "Morning in America" was the name of a political campaign television commercial, viewed during the 1984 U.S. presidential campaign of Republican Party candidate (elected) Ronald Reagan. It featured images of Americans going to work and a calm, optimistic narration that suggested improvements to the U.S. economy

Sadly, times have changed! Now, fear is the prevailing political emotion..

So, what would President Reagan do, today? In my opinion, although the late 40th President isn't here to defend himself, I suspect he'd revet to  beoming a Democrat  (as he was before he became Republican)! In my opinion, President Reagan would get the Republicans out of the ugly quaqmire they've sunk into as a result of being unable to create a salient political message of hope and optimism. As a result of a lack of inspiring political leadership, a scary number of voters are falling victims to the politics of fear. 

Presidential candidate Donald Trump (a.k.a. "Trump the Chump") has raised fear to a hypnotic political emotion. Trump's ability to take all the media oxygen out of the news has exacerbated fear and, or course, he's hypnotizing the media, too.  Trump "the Chump" created fear of Mexicans (he said "they're rapists!"), against immigrants (he'll build a wall to prevent them from entering the USA), against the disabled, against women who menstruate and, now, he's even politicized certain Yiddish language profane words. There's not much left for "Trump the Chump" to be against; but whatever's still out there, he's against it.

In contast to Republican fear stoking, the Democrats are advancing progressive ideas. In other words, Democrats are clearly contrasting the Republicans' doom and gloom with uplifting and inspiring concepts....like, for example, health care for all (universal health care) and financial retirement security by protecting Social Security and loan relief for student debt.

Democrats are promoting a civil discourse in their "debates", especially when compared to the Republican right wing extremism. At the December 19th, Democratic candidates debate in Las Vegas, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley conducted a discussion, in contrast to their rivals' Republican insult debacle.

David Remmick reports in October 26, 2015, The New Yorker, how history may look back on the Las Vegas debate as the event that elevated Mrs. Hillary Clinton to the Democratic nomination for the 2016, presidential campaign. One debate will not erase what many voters see as some linering perceptions about Mrs. Clinton's detractions, like her lawyerly slipperiness under questioning, the walled garden of her political circle and other characterizatios created by political cartoonists. Yet, Mrs. Clinton's debate achievement accentuated the salient politcal problem in the 2016 campaign. In other words, she attacked her chief rivals, who aren't her party competitors. Instead, she looked beyond Senator Sanders and Governor O'Malley, but attacked the Republicans. 

Indeed, even if there may have been some flaws in Mrs. Clinton's debate appearence, she did succeed in accentuating the chaos and the "intellectual barreness and general collapse of their rivals in the Republcian Party," wrote Remmick.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump will say anything racist, or anything "funny", to terrify voters or rile them, or amuse them, depending on the moment.  

In political terms, Democrats must sense the Las Vegas debate events with confidence. In the debate, Mrs. Clinton was clear about who her enemies are - and they're "the Republcians". 
Nevertheless, in spite  of Republicans' political fear stoking, the reports about the death of the radical right are premature.  

In 2016, unfortunately, the G.O.P. are still likely to hold a majority in the House of Represenaties. In other word, political obstructionism will continue, in spite of the Democratic will to create optimism, or as the Republican Reagan would say, "Morning in America".  

Sadly, it sure looks like the political war will continue, because, within the G.O.P., the politics of perpetual fear will go on corroding, not just a political party, but our nation.

America needs a candidate who inspires hope. Let's create a landslide victory for Mrs. Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Donald Trump is a vulgar opportunist - Mrs. Clinton will rise above this

Let's not let anybody "bully their way into the presidency", said Mrs. Hillary Clinton. Thank you Mrs. Clinton.


Mrs. Hillary Clinton is qualified to be the first woman US President and leader of the free world
I'm completely fed up with Donald "Trump the Chump" as a presidential candidate or anything else for which he believes he's qualified. Clearly, Trump is an egotistical bully. Unfortunatley, as a resident of Maine, I've seen the state's governor elected twice, despite his bullying of legislators and public officials. Therefore, and most unfortunately, I've seen how a bully like "Trump the Chump" can, sadly, be electable.  

In all honestly, I never liked "Trump the Chump" when he was a boisterously rich television personality. "You're fired!" was his caustic slogan and trademark.  

"Trump the Chump" is still amazingly rich, but no more likekable than when he bullied his way on television. Trump's bullying behavior is politically scary. Frankly, if  "Trump the Chump" should ever (God forbid) be elected as our nation's chief executive, the result would be to experience four years of political drama. Every single day would be consumed by acrimony between the press and the Congress. As a result, American public policy would regress and the American dream would go into cardiac arrest. 

Indeed, it's possible that upwardly mobile people would hide, rather than be exposed to the toxicity of "Trump the Chump's" Wizard of Oz style of smoke and mirrors leadership.

Let's face it, "Trump the Chump" has zero politically affluent friends, as far as I know. 

Instead, "Trump the Chump's" political friends are people who wrongly believe his political outrageousness is, somehow, refreshing. Yet, "Trump the Chump" hasn't done anything to politically improve the human condition! For example, has he visited a ghetto or spoken with victims of domestic violence? 


Sure, Trump's corporate empire pays a lot of worker-bees people's salaries, but he can't employ the entire US population to make them compliant with his Chief Executive Officer style of bullying.

Certainly, I'd vote for removing "Trump the Chump" from the unqulaified line-up of presidential candidates who are aspiring to become the leader of the free world. 

In fact, "Trump the Chump" has disqualfied himself, because of his horrifically unprofessional and caustic personality. "Trump the Chump" is especially unjust by pontificating his disgustingly denegrating attacks on Secretary Hillary Clinton. 

In the past, Trump the Chump has denegrated entire social groups like hard working Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, the disabled and his political adversaries. Now, he's trying to eviscerate Mrs. Hillary Clinton.  

Obviously, "Trump the Chump" doesn't care about the money costs of his media time. Unfortulately, to the ire of his opponents, "Trump the Chump" gets all the free time he wants by just calling in to any news show he feels like dialing up on his cell phone. If he was paying for his media time, Trump the Chump would never waste precious "sound bites" expensive minutes by denegrating Mrs. Clinton's bathroom break during the December 19th, Democratic candidates debates. Anybody else in the workplace would be fired if they'd reacted to a bathroom break like "Trump the Chump" did during Mrs. Clinton's off stage time during the Democratic debate. 

Trump the Chump wasn't even remotely involved in the debate, yet he created a disgusting bully campaign against Mrs. Clinton's time away from her podium. Why she was away from the podium was none of "Trump the Chump's" business, but he made a disgusting display of her assumed biological call to the rest room. If the same incident occured in the workplace, the result would, undoubtedly, be a human resources complaint based on workplace harassment.

Regardless of how people perceive Mrs. Clinton's political ambitions, her stature as a highly respected professional woman is unquestionable. She certainly doesn't deserve "Trump the Chump's" disgraceful personal attacks. Indeed, "Trump the Chump" must be reminded that Mrs. Clinton is the First Lady of the World! Although "Trump the Chump" may not agree with Mrs. Clinton's world class status, he needs to be brutally reminded about how exaulted she is based on her experience and leadership positions. In other words, "Trump the Chump"...."just get over it"and begin responding to Mrs. Clinton as a worthy political adversary rather than as one of your top of mind rants.

Let's face it, "Trump the Chump" doesn't promote policies to support the greater good. He's a braggart.

Insetad, "Trump the Chump" is a boisterously unqualified politician with a super ego, as big as a blimp. God forbid, "Trump the Chump" is elected to the executive office he's running for, the result would be to see his ego blow up like a Macy's mega parade balloon and vulnerable to an unforseen punctures.  

Nevetheless, Mrs. Clinton will rise above "Trump the Chump's" horrifying insults. She'll be our nation's first female president because she's already the First Lady of the World. Therefore, Mrs.Clinton's response to "Trump the Chump" must first represent our nation with the stature of a statesman and rise above the pomposity of an evil faced Trumponian circus clown.

Let's not allow a braggart, bully and circus balloon politician with Trumponian ambitions to be elected to the American presidency.

Go Hillary Clinton 2016! She's the stateswoman who's qualified to be the leader of the free world. She will rise above Trumponian bullying.

Mrs. Clinton must be elected the first woman president of the United States and Trump's denegrating vulgarity must be dumped. Women deserve and must elect a qualified leader of the free world.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Republicans and anti-science: count the ways

Let's do a summary of the Republicans' war with science.  
Republicans don't believe many scientifically proven facts
It's sad to write this particular blog because science denial defys my understanding. Nevertheless, it's time to list some of the Republican "anti-science" in one succinct narrative. If we don't keep tabs on anti-science, the ridiculous cacophony of invented truths will drown out those who expect rational arguments to speak truth to resistant Republicans.

It's impossible to explain why Republicans have made an ideologial decision to politicize science. Their negative reaction to emperical data, in either support of or to debunk scientific theories and facts, like "global warming", are counter intuitive. Honestly, the purpose of the "scientific process" is to prove, and even replicate sources of information, for the purpose of eliminating bias, or "politics" during the creation of theories and validating facts.

Nevertheless, Republicans have challenged even the most basic scientific theories. For example:

1.  Creationsim - American Republicans are the only people in the world who support the preposterous fantasy that the world was created in seven days, as described in a story told in the Old Testament book of Genesis. In fact, scientists including archeologists and astrophyisists laugh at Creationists. Unfortunately, these fundamentalist concrete thinkers are serious about creationism. In fact, Creationists aren't laughing, at all, about their unproven theory describing how the earth was created. Indeed, Creationists do not believe in the science of astronomy or geology.

2.  Gun-violence and public health- American Republicans do not believe guns are the cause of gun-violence. In fact, they even deny that gun-violence is a public health danger, although scientifically collected data documents 12, 574 Americans were killed in 2014 by guns.  Republicans believe the morbidities caused by gun-violence are caused by perverted people; but absolutely refuse to believe that the root cause of the deaths are guns.  In fact, Republicans deny the emperical data that directly correlates the number of guns available to people with the death of 12,574 Americans, in just one year. If influenza were the cause of thousands of deaths, the Republicans would be demanding quarantine of the people with the virus. On the other hand, Republicans don't see guns as being analguous to deadly germs.

3.  Global warming and climate change -  Republicans believe climate change is just a routine meteorological event. In other words, in spite of the rapid rise in the earth's temperature, related to human activities, they refuse to believe the dangerous impact of the warming earth. In fact, global warming could end life as we know it because people can't live in air we can't breath or in heat we're unable to tolerate, plus the myriad of other and unforseen consequences. Republicans simply deny "global warming"....period. Unbelievably, no rational discussion or emperical data will change their minds. Meanwhile, the world famous writer Ernest Hemingway would be challenged to write "The Snows of Mount Kilimanjaro" today, because there's just so little of it left to inspire creative prose. In other words, the snows have melted.  

There are other anti-science nonsense theories harbored by Republcians, but each one is incredulous. For example, consider the anti-science about womens' health and conception. In fact, although some Republican believe that women have a mysterious ability to prevent the fertilizaton of an egg. There's no way a woman can will away the fertilizaton of an egg during ovulation, except if she happens to be taking birth control pills. In fact, women can, unfotunately, become pregnant as a result of rape.  

It's time for Americans to fire the anti-science Republican party. Instead, it's time to form another political party, one where emperical scientific data are accepted and public policy responds appropriately to facts.


Anti-science is as regressive as saying the earth is flat. Republicans must keep pace with scientific data rather than deny its impact. Otherwise, Americans will wind up behind progressive nations like India, and China, that know, by their own populatons' oral histories, that the earth was absolutely created many millions of years ago.  

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Republicans cut intervention programs to care for epidemic drug addictions

Republicans seems to enjoy cutting health safety net programs where needy and low income people are helped; but now everybody is "shocked-shocked" because America is seeing a horrific drug abuse epidemic. If Republicans supported substance abuse treatment programs, instead of cutting funds to Medicaid programs, the response to this epidemic would be rapid and many lives would be saved. Shame on the Republican budget cutters! Many drug abuse deaths are preventable with rapid referrals and interventions, when people in need can access these services
But, its urgent for the programs to be funded!
Drug overdose treatment by emergency services is the most expensive way to respond to morbidities and mortalities related to substance abuse.
Instead of rapid interventions, emergency servcies are picking up the extraordinary cost of responding to the growing public health damage caused by drug addiction. Often, during the emergency response, the outcomes have been expensively fatal; becauses screening, brief intervention and referrall for treatment (SBIRT) before the crisis would've been more efficient and effective. 

A report in The Daily Beast by Zachary Siegel: 
Deaths from heroin and opioid pain-killer overdoses increased 
sharply in 2014, by 14 percent, according to a 
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention report.  
The 2014's record number of opoid overdose deaths continues 
an upward trend the CDC has tracked over the past several years. 
The CDC reports that heroin-related deaths have tripled 
since 2010 and that almost a half-million 
Americans died from drug overdoses between 
the years 2000 and 2014.

SBIRT: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment
(SBIRT) is a cost effective and evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs. The SBIRT model was incited by an Institute of Medicine recommendation that called for community-based screening for health risk behaviors, including substance use. (This evidence-based intervention sure beats the cost and dismal outcomes of emergency transport and treatments.)

Unfortunately, many effective drug treatment programs rely on providing rapid access to those who need the services, when they need it. Cutting Medicaid benefits, as many states have done, and the budgets of worthy provider agencies, has allowed the addiction epidemic to become a danger to our society. Drug addiction impacts the abuser, the families of the abusers and the communities where the victims receive the illegal substances. Pubic safety expenses to capture the sellers of illegal drugs are, likewise, costly. 

Meanwhile, Republicans continue offering tax cuts to the rich and they support "corporate welfare". Indeed, it seems like Republican don't support any social policy to improve the human condition, except to offer "charity" (whatever that means). As a political party, Republicans have abandoned the concept of "compassionate conservatism". Instead, they've become the conservatives who don't care about compassion.

America's drug problem is worse than the public is being told. Nevertheless, Republicans continue to deny emperical evidence provided about practically any subject. Therefore, it will take a continual die-off of drug abuse victims to prove the Republicans wrong minded political austerity progams are responsible for killing people.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Senator Marco Rubio - a scandal in waiting

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is simply not vetted enough to qualify for being a national presidential candidate. There're too many questions about his use of undue influence with the prison release of his brother-in-law and mismanagement of his finances. Americans can't trust him as a national candidate.
Senator Rubio talks a lot but he doesn't answer questions about his financial management, use of undue-influence and laziness about doing his day job.

Now, Marco Rubio's relative is making news about illegal drug dealing.  In fact, the Business Insider blog reports:
Florida Senator Marco Rubio's Brother-In-Law Is A Convicted Drug Trafficker

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a presidential candidate in the Republican party, who is often mentioned as a potential vice presidential nominee, could find his political prospects tarnished by news that his sister and her husband were caught up in a South Florida drug trafficking raid in the 1980s. Now, Rubio is facing questions about his brother-in-law but, typically, the Senator is side-stepping the facts.  In his autobiography Rubio made reference to his brother in law. The Washington Post reported that Rubio's brother-in-law spent 12 years in prioson for his roll as second in command in an illicit operation, which sold more than $75 million worth of cocaine. Rather curiously, Rubio's brother-in-law was released from prison four days after Rubioo was re-elected in 2000 to the florida House of Representatives. Rubio says he had no role in his brother-in-law's release, but he would not say whether or not he had received financial support from his brother in law.

An investigation by Univision found that Rubio's brother-in-law, Orlando Cicilia, was arrested during a major antinarcotics operation in 1987. Rubio was a 16-year old high school student at the time.

According to public records, Cicilia was arrested after federal law enforcement seized the Miami home where he lived with Barbara Rubio, Senator Rubio's sister. Barbara Rubio was not arrested or indicted. Cicilia was sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana.

The arrest was part of "Operation Cobra," a federal crackdown on a Florida drug smuggling ring that killed a federal informer and chopped up his body, according to a NYT story published at the time. The story reports that the ring, led by Cuban American Mario Tabraue, paid $150,000 in bribes to the Key West police chief and Miami-Dade county officials, and used Miami police officers to collect, count, and disburse drug profits.

Cicilia  currently lives in Senator Rubio's mother's home in southwest Miami and is listed as a co-owner of the house.


Moreover, Rubio’s financial problems come back to haunt him
CNBC’s Becky Quick reminded Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) of his “bookkeeping” troubles during the GOP candidates debate: 

“You accidentally inter-mingled campaign money with your personal money. You faced foreclosure on a second home that you bought. And just last year, you liquidated a $68,000 retirement fund. That’s something that cost you thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties. In terms of all of that, it raises the question whether you have the maturity and wisdom to lead this $17 trillion economy. What do you say?”

The Florida senator replied, “Well, you just listed a litany of discredited attacks from Democrats and my political opponents, and I’m not gonna waste 60 seconds detailing them all.”

The problem, of course, is that the question – literally, every detail – was entirely correct. Not one of these claims has ever been “discredited.” Rubio’s attempt to deflect an uncomfortable inquiry was, by any fair measure, a lie.

And now that Rubio has been elevated to the top tier in the GOP race, the issue is starting to become more important. Just yesterday, Donald Trump told reporters, in reference to Rubio, “For years I’ve been hearing that his credit cards are a disaster.” Jeb Bush added that the issue is “fair game.”

The Tampa Bay Times has moved the ball forward with this new report. It has become legend in Florida political circles, a missing chapter in Marco Rubio’s convoluted financial story: two years of credit card transactions from his time in the state House, when he and other Republican leaders freely spent party money.

Details about the spending, which included repairs for Rubio’s family minivan, emerged in his 2010 U.S. Senate race. But voters got only half the story because the candidate refused to disclose additional records.

Some of this is already beyond the realm of “allegations.” Rubio has acknowledged his misuse of a Republican Party credit card to purchase personal items, including using party money to repair his minivan, and charging $10,000 to attend a family reunion. The Floridian conceded several years ago that the story “looks bad,” adding, “I shouldn’t have done it that way.”

There was also an incident in which he double-billed the party and taxpayers for airline travel, though he paid back the money.

But the Tampa Bay Times’ reporting yesterday tells us the story is incomplete due to details Rubio has not yet disclosed.

Charlie Crist, Rubio’s opponent in 2010, tried to make the spending an issue, but Rubio rode a tea party wave to blow past the then Republican governor, the start of national attention that has propelled him into the presidential race. Through it all, Rubio has refused to provide credit card statements from 2005 and 2006.

“Those credit card statements are an internal party matter. I’m not going to release them,” he told the editorial board of the Times-Union of Jacksonville in September 2010.

Attempts by reporters and Rubio’s rivals to obtain them have fallen flat, leading to speculation about what they might contain.
The Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell added over the weekend:
[Rubio] entered the Florida Legislature nearly broke and with $30,000 in credit-card debt – but managed to live high on the hog thanks to a GOP credit card funded largely by special interests that wanted legislative favors. […]

Rubio has admitted most of this, repaying improper expenditures and expressing regret for what he called mistakes. But last week facts became “discredited attacks.” […] Rubio’s baggage is his actual track record – much of which runs counter to the virtues he claims to embrace.

Dear Senator Rubio, with great hype comes great responsibility. Ready or not, the scrutiny is coming.


Sun-Journal writes:  Rubio has missed more votes than any other senator this year. His seat is regularly empty for floor votes, committee meetings and intelligence briefings. He says he’s MIA from his J-O-B because he finds it frustrating and wants to be president, instead.
“I’m not missing votes because I’m on vacation,” he told CNN on Sunday. “I’m running for president so that the votes they take in the Senate are actually meaningful again.”
Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We’ve got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government.
If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it.
Marco-Rubio has too many quesitons in his political resume to become the leader of the free world.  By evading answers to the questions raised about his qualifications and family scandals, Rubio is inviting a cascade suspicions.
Therefore, Rubio should withdraw from the Republican campaign so the candidates with real leadership credentials can be heard.  (By the way, it would also be nice if Rubio took Donald Trump out of the campaign, along with him, as he walks off the political stage.)

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