Maine Writer

Its about people and issues I care about.

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Location: Topsham, MAINE, United States

My blogs are dedicated to the issues I care about. Thank you to all who take the time to read something I've written.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Audacity of U.S. Supreme Court male justices to rule on a woman's issue

Let's put the Hobby Lobby corporation out of business and vote all Republicans who support conservative Supreme Court justices out of office!

Maybe it's time to put only women Supreme Court justices on the nation's highest court. Today's court ruling, to support right wing corporations that don't want to pay for women's birth control in Obamacare health insurance coverage, is a sexist decision. 

None of the women justices voted to support the majority rule about corporations that don't want to provide contraceptive coverage for their female employees. 

Male justices supported the 5-4 decision to support corporations, rather than women's right to contraceptive healthcare. Anybody who believes Republicans, when they deny their "war on women", must also believe in flying saucers. In fact, flying saucers are more credible than believing Republicans care, at all, about women and their health care.

Obviously, it's time to completely remove all Republicans from office because they are the party of extremism that appoints conservative Supreme Court justices to the high court. It's impossible to understand how male Supreme Court justices can possibly rule on an issue as sacred to women as our reproductive health and the right to use birth control.

Shame on the US Supreme Court for supporting a ruling on women's health  without one woman justice voting for the wrongly decided majority rule. Moreover, every male justice on the US Supreme Court has a mother....obviously, they each have a mother, and their a person, practiced birth control. Did you read this, Justice Alito....Roberts.....all the rest of you men??? Your mothers used contraception, natural or abstinence or artificial. They all used contraception and birth control.

Male justices, today, ruled to support a decision about contraception, in opposition to what your own mothers practiced in the privacy of their bedrooms.

As for me....forget about shopping at "Hobby Lobby", and the right wing corporations that supported the issue the court ruled on about paying for contraception. Let's insure that they go out of business. Meanwhile, it's urgent to vote all Republicans out of office, so Americans can have confident in a government that supports people over corporations, women's' health care over the religious preferences of their employees and the right of innocent people to be protected from gun violence. 


La Kermesse in Biddeford: Franco-American festival celebrates heritage and community

La Kermesse in Biddeford: Franco-American festival celebrates heritage and community

Looking forward to next year's celebrations!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Americans built an anti immigration wall but it might as well be a magnet for people seeking freedom

It's possible people have nearly forgotten the era of The Berlin Wall, when Germany was divided between east and west. A cement barricade created a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to prevent people in east Germany from escaping to the west.  Of course, The Berlin Wall became an iconic attraction and raised the ambition of many east Germans to escape the tyranny of communism.  In other words, The Berlin Wall was a failure.

Berlin Wall

Likewise, the anti-immigration wall constructed with American tax money to prevent Hispanic immigration into the United States is a similar failure. 

When will governments learn the lesson, that walls don't work? They only raise the bar higher to challenge those who want to climb over the structures, regardless of how well armed they are or high they are built. Just consider The Great Wall of China as a magnificent example.

Therefore, as Americans face the conundrum of what to do about thousands of undocumented immigrants pouring into the Southwest to escape the tyranny of gangs and executions, we must realize that the anti-immigration wall in Arizona is a colossal failure.

In fact, the anti immigration wall in Arizona is among the world's three failed walls. They are (a) The Great Wall of China (b) The Berlin Wall (c) the Arizona anti-immigration wall.

Rather than prevent people from entering the US, the wall has become irrelevant as thousands of people are simply crossing the border from Mexico. Unfortunately, many of those making the arduous journey are unaccompanied children. Families who allow their children to travel over dangerous terrain must be extremely desperate. There's no solution to this wave of undocumented immigration. It's impossible to turn all these people away. Mexico won't take care of them unless they happen to be Mexicans and many of them are from Central American countries.

Nevertheless, what's evident is the ridiculous anti-immigration wall. It's is a complete failure and a huge waste of tax payer money.  
Rather than deter undocumented immigrants, the wall has become a landmark on the US border and a destination marker for those seeking freedom in America.  

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Republicans who claim we should have stayed in Iraq should instead demand Iraqi army wear their uniforms

Republicans continue to raise the bar on hypocrisy, especially about the failed war in Iraq. 

Regardless of the consequences to American troops, the Republicans have the audacity to claim the fall of the inept Iraqi government is the US fault. Their hypocrisy is intense enough to project the cause of the fall of the Iraqi government as somehow being the fault of President Obama 

Republicans claim they wanted President Obama to leave American forces behind when we left Iraq, to protect President Nouri al-Maliki, who lives in his Green Zone bomb shelter. 

Al-Maliki didn't want Americans hanging around, telling him what to do. Consequently, al-Maliki decided to hold himself hostage in the "Green Zone" of Baghdad while his exclusionary government pushed Sunni Muslims to the political edge. So, now they're causing a revolution. Sunni anger is so intense that they aligned themselves with Al Qaeda, a terrorist group.

Republicans must blame their political leadership for this fiasco. 

This is the situation as I see it today. If Iraqi people want to protect their nation from being consumed by Al Qaeda affiliated zealots, they must stand and fight for themselves. The Iraqi army cannot abandon their uniforms and turn over expensive American tax payer paid for equipment to terrorist insurgents.

Republicans who believe President Obama is somehow responsible for the failed War in Iraq are in denial. The longer Republican complain about the failed war in Iraq, the more they bring focus to their own complicity in bringing about the deaths of nearly 5,000 Americans and countless Iraqi citizens, who died because of a false premise about needing to destroy non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. 

Ironically, Americans will likely be required to save Iraq from collapse, as terrorist insurgents use our US guns, ammunition and equipment to assassinate Shia Muslims. Yet, the fact is, the Iraq War never, ever should have happened. Americans are still paying the price in human capital and in billions of dollars, for the Republican decision to use US military to defend our nation against non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction.

It's time the Iraqi army wears their uniforms to defend their own nation. Meanwhile, Republicans must stop pretending the War in Iraq is somebody else's fault. Reality check alert! The failed war in Iraq was caused by Republican mismanagement. This debacle on the part of Republican leadership will do more to harm future national security for the US than any Al Qaeda threat. 

Italians have a Proverb: He that deceives me once, it's his fault; but twice, it is my fault. 

Americans say it another way:  Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and shame on me.  

Americans won't allow ourselves to be tricked into war again.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Maine's aging population anticipates caregivers while the average age of a professional nurse is over 50 years old

When Maine's Governor Paul LePage overrode the intentions of the states legislature by denying the expansion of Federal Medicaid assistance for qualifying beneficiaries, his short sighted political action wasn't made in the best interest of Maine's shrinking labor force.  Meanwhile, while Maine's population ages, the caregivers are also growing older at faster rate.

MaineBiz reports:

Maine's aging population contributes to 'barely growing' workforce

Maine's population continues to age, new U.S. Census data confirmed this week, and local economists said that will continue to slow the state's overall economic growth.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Maine's median age was 43.9 years in 2013, the highest median age in the country, according to the new U.S. Census data. The trend didn't surprise economists contacted by the newspaper, who said it explains "why Maine is experiencing slow growth in [gross domestic product], personal income, employment and [other] measures."

"Our workforce is barely growing," Glenn Mills, the state Department of Labor's chief economist, told the BDN, "and the challenges to growth will increase in the years ahead unless we are able to entice more young people to move to the state."

The newspaper noted that populations of people between the ages of 45 and 64 grew by more than 90% in every Maine county from 2010 to 2013, while populations of people between ages 18 and 24 decreased in six counties over the same period.

Moreover, while the labor force declines, the need for health care workers is increasing while the population ages:

Report warns of serious health care worker shortage

A report released Tuesday by the Maine Department of Labor concludes that the state could face a serious shortage of health care professionals in dentistry and psychology in the coming decades due to an aging workforce in those sectors.

The 2014 Health Occupations report, completed by the DOL's Center for Workforce Research and Information, states that two-third of practitioners in dentistry and psychology are more than 50 years old and are likely to retire in the next two decades. It also says nearly half of the state's pharmacists, nurse practitioners and licensed practical nurses are more than 50.

"Over the coming decade, nearly one out of five currently working in the health workforce may need to be replaced, and in some occupations — optometry, dietetics and nutrition, psychology, dentistry — approximately one out of three," according to the report's executive summary. "Overall, job opportunities due to replacement needs are expected to exceed those resulting from growth."

The report identifies regional disparities in terms of residents' access to services and health workers, with Cumberland County having 50% more health workers per thousand residents than the state average and Kennebec County 20% more. Rural counties such as Franklin, Oxford and Washington were singled out as having 20% to 50% fewer health workers per population.

"Maine faces a number of challenges on this front," the report's executive summary states. "According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, 41% of the state's population lives in rural areas that have lower incomes, higher rates of poverty and unemployment and lower levels of educational attainment. Recruiting and retaining providers in these regions is often challenging."

The report projects that jobs for healthcare practitioners and support staff are projected to grow a combined 17% from 2010 to 2020, which is higher than for all other major occupational groups and well above the 6% increase expected for all occupations.

The health sector in Maine represents nearly 106,000 jobs and $4.4 billion in annual payroll, making it the largest segment of the state's economy in terms of employment and wages, according to the report.

Not reported in the caregiver data is the average age of a Maine nurse is now between 47- 50 years old. In other words, even nurses will eventually require caregivers!

Attracting and retaining a young workforce would certainly be helped if Governor LePage followed the intentions of the people who voted, through their legislators, to expand Medicaid coverage under the Federal Health Care Reform Law.

As Maine's unemployment rate appears to decline, the number of people who abandoned the state to find jobs in other states aren't measured in the data. Maine's unemployment rate doesn't measure the number of jobs available because of the lack of qualified applicants.  

Accepting Federal funds to cover qualified Medicaid beneficiaries, especially to cover young working people, would bring millions of federal dollars into Maine and support a stable workforce. It's the right thing to do! Think of Federal Medicaid funds as a defense contract, because there is no difference in the source of the funds. Maine would never refuse a defense contract. Likewise, Maine should accept the Federal funds to expand Medicaid and, in so doing, follow the will of the people who support this expansion.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Maine's Second District - State Senator Emily Cain for Congress

State Senator Emily Cain is engaged in an important race for US Congress - but the good news is, she's running for office in a district where people get to know their candidates. She lives in Maine's Second District where she's represented her constituents in Penobscot County in the Maine legislature for several years. She's become knows as a neighbor who's willing to fight for her constituents.

Congressman Mike Michaud- D, made the decision to run for Maine governor in 2014, rather than run for re-election to Congress. In so doing, Michaud opened an opportunity for Emily Cain to be Maine's the next Congresswoman. 

Of course, Cain must defeat T-Party right wing Republican candidate Bruce Poliquin in the November election. 

Batten down the hatches - the negative campaigning will begin at any time. 

Fortunately, Emily Cain is quickly building on her favorable ratings among people who know her as a friendly, intelligent, capable legislator and good neighbor to her friends in Orono. 

At a meet and greet reception hosted by the American Nurses Association of Maine, Cain visited with guests of the event for over 2 hours, answering questions and posing for photographs.

Most important, Cain explained her position on protecting access to women's health, saving Social Security, and Medicare and support for quality education being available to all.

To help win the 2nd District Maine Congressional seat, State Senator Cain will be engaged in as many face to face meetings as possible, especially in neighborhoods where Franco-American voters live, in Androscoggin County.

Maine's Second District is a large land area with a low population density. Consequently, it doesn't take huge numbers of voters to make a difference in election outcomes.  

As a result, it's vitally important for all of Maine's Second District Democratic votes to support State Senator Emily Cain, by planning to support her in the November 2014 election.

Cain's election to Congress will minimize the impact of the T-Party's uncompromising control in public policy.

Maine's Second District election will be heavily financed by the national Republican Party but it's a place in the US where voters get to really know their candidates. With as much face to face meetings as possible, State Senator Emily Cain will win her election to Congress and set back right wing T-Party efforts to control the US Congress. Let's make it happen!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Franco-American history and culture at USM LAC in Lewiston

Franco-American history and culture at USM LAC in Lewiston

As the University of Maine is  consolidating programs to save money, the decision to move French in North America and Franco-American studies out of Lewiston's USM LAC seems to be counter intuitive.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Will freedom of speech trump telling truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

When the US Supreme Court hears arguments about whether or not to allow political lies to be challenged, it seems to me, the justices should go back to law school 101, before deliberations on this case begins. History tells us the Ten Commandments were the foundation of our western legal justice system.  In the document Moses is credited with chronicling, Exodus 20:16- thou shall not bear false witness...., seems to me the high court would be trumping this tenet of the bailiff's swearing in oath and Moses, if the ruling in support of free speech, including the liberty to spread lies, is permitted to overrule what's taught in the Ten Commandments.

Of course, cynics will deny the validity of the Ten Commandments as being the foundation for our western justice system. If so, then what's the basis of the oath all witnesses take before testifying in a jury trial or before a judge?  "I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth....". Although atheists are apparently permitted to omit the optional "so help me God" clause, the fact is, witnesses raise their right hand and swear to tell the truth. To do otherwise, or to lie while under oath, is called perjury, which is a crime.

It also seems to me, US Supreme Court rulings supporting Second Amendment rights to own guns, over the right of people to be protected from gun violence, likewise, trumps the Ten Commandment about "thou shall not kill".

Perhaps it's time for our US Supreme Court conservative justices, especially the Roman Catholic Justice Scalia and Chief Justice Roberts, should consider their Judeo-Christian heritage while contemplating how freedom of speech fits with the Ten Commandments.

In other words, perhaps the Supreme Court justices should read a law 101 book. Nearly all professions require refresher courses. It would be reassuring to know how the justices refreshed their judicial roots, before ruling on case law that puts our US Constitutional freedoms of speech and to bear arms, above the traditional enforcement of the Ten Commandments.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Senator McCain and his political magical thinking

On June 18th  NPR News Hour with Judy Woodruff Senator John McCain huffed his way through an interview by calling Virginia's Senator Tim Kain a man who was telling lies about how it is Americans lost so much human capital in Iraq. 

Even worse, Senator McCain rudely pontificated throughout the interview with newscaster Judy Woodruff.  Will Shakespeare would say McCain was acting like a man "who doth protest too much".

It turns out, it was Senator McCain who was telling the lies. 

In fact, Senator McCain is engaged in what some mental health professionals might call "political magical thinking".  

In other words, McCain is inventing truths without evidence.  

Iraq is crumbling today because the Iraqi people have traded one dictator, Saddam Hussein, for the incompetence of al-Maliki. It certainly didn't take a rocket scientist to realize it would only be a matter of time before al-Maliki would fail; but the hope was he would be toppled in an election rather than in a brutal military take over of the Iraq nation by ISIS.

Senator McCain knows the reason Americans didn't leave residual troops in Iraq is because the government of the now useless Prime Minister al-Maliki wouldn't abide by the rules of providing the US troops with immunity from Iraqi courts.  My  experience, living in the Philippines, recalls the vulnerability of all Americans when would leave the confines of the US military installations.  

Indeed, we usually hired Filipino drivers rather than risk having a traffic incident in our vehicles, because the consequences far surpassed the nature of the incident. In other words, when Americans became subject to Philippine justice, the daunting process was extremely costly and sometimes never resolved. 

Therefore, based on our experience living in the Philippines for three years, it makes perfect sense for our US President to protect American military from falling into Iraqi justice for perceived or real transgressions.  In the big picture, al-Maliki is getting just what he deserves as he's fortified in a bunker in the American built Green Zone located in Baghdad.  He wanted Americans out and now he's soon to get the boot himself.

Al-Maliki precipitated this current crises whereby a group called ISIS, an Al Qaeda-aligned Sunni Muslim insurgency, is claiming control over Iraq, including oil fields, initiating random executions and toppling one city after another in their tribal revenge for the overthrow of the Sunni President Saddam Hussein.

When the Americans left Iraq, al-Maliki didn't do anything to protect the new political order of the nation to include the Sunni's in his government. Not only did he kick out the Americans but he didn't include Sunni's in any meaningful way in the government. Now, al-Maliki is about to be kicked out of Iraq as well.
So, John McCain is doing a litany of interviews, acting like he has magical powers to fix what his Republican party started when President W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, for the purpose of destroying Weapons of Mass Destruction, which never existed.

Senator John McCain should be apologizing to the sad families of 4,486 casualties of the Iraq War and thousands of others who were harmed by the violence caused in the process of the invasion. Rather than engage in political magical thinking, Senator McCain should be supporting President Barack Obama's intentions to protect American security and personnel without engaging our military in any further expensive debacles, without an exit strategy.

The only reason President Obama is compelled to send any troops, whatsoever, back into Iraq is because of the Republicans'

failed war to defend oil fields, under the pretext of destroying mythical Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Sending more US support to prop up the Iraq government in Baghdad will put American lives at risk again. Yet, Senator McCain believes more involvement will make for better outcomes. He has no proof for his magical theories, but thousands of causalities are evidence of his misguided thinking.

It's time the American people are told the truth about Iraq rather than subjected to political magical thinking and lectures by Senator John McCain. And the truth is this - Iraq is a Republican made disaster, but it's taking a very reluctant Democratic president's cautious leadership to save what our US blood shed to defend, without cause to do so.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

President Obama Leadership - walk softly but carry a big stick said Sir Winston

President Obama:
“We have made clear to successive Libyan governments our intention to bring to justice the perpetrators of the attack on our facilities in Benghazi,” one official said. “So it should come as no surprise to the Libyan government that we would take advantage of an opportunity to bring Abu Khattala to face justice.”

While Chuck Todd on NBC reports poll numbers sinking for President Obama's leadership, I'm reminded of Sir Winston Churchill's quote about walking softly but using a big stick. 

How much bigger a "stick" can President Obama swing than taking on the challenge of ordering American special operations troops to exercise commando raids in sovereign countries, for the purpose of bringing terrorists to justice?  I can't thank of one.  

What the American people probably need to see are a line up of Nuremberg type of criminals, all of them tried, convicted and hung at the end of a rope.  

It's coming.

Warfare tactics and strategies are clearly clandistine in our age when terrorists blend with local populations. Men like Ahmed Abu Khattala, quickly stir up violence like tornadoes in the night.   Ahmed Abu Khattala is the ringleader of the September 11, 2012, mortally deadly Benghazi, Libya attacks on Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in the American security detail. They all will eventually be caught and held accountable for their henious crimes, just like their nefarious colleague Osama Bin Laden.

The Washington Post reports:

Ahmed Abu Khattala had returned home Sunday night after a day of militia skirmishes in Benghazi when U.S. military commandos swarmed his residence south of the waterfront city and took him captive, quickly moving him out of Libya to a U.S. warship.

“He was isolated,” a U.S. official said. “It was pretty clean.”

One of the suspected ringleaders of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans, Abu Khattala, is the first of the alleged perpetrators to be apprehended. He now awaits a transfer to the United States and a federal trial in the District.

U.S. officials said the joint Special Operations, & FBI mission was planned for months and approved by President Obama on Friday.

Republicans are wasting their time demanding for Khattala to be detained in the terrorist black hole in Guantanamo. 

Fortunately, however, President Obama is using another "big stick" leadership option by having this murderer tried in the light of justice in an American court.

It makes no sense for Republicans to pretend they know how to solve all the worlds' acute problems by just declaring something to be done, without thinking through the consequences of their reactionary ideas.  For one thing, keeping prisioners in Guantanamo is very expensive.  Secondly, keeping these murderer prisioners in Guantanamo creates even more incendiary emotions among their terrorist colleagues to enact revenge. Perhaps, it's even a badge of courage for terrorists to claim they were incarcerated in Guantanamo, at American tax payers expense. Obviously, it's in the best interest of National Security to bring these men to trial so the world can see who they are and what diabolical acts they've commited to be found guilty.  

Like the Nuremberg trials after the Nazi's were defeated in Europe, the al-Qaeda group of terrorists must be shown hanging by ropes so their colleagues know what's inevitably in the wings for each of them.  

Meanwhile, President Obama continues to walk softly but carry a burdensome "big stick". Sometimes, unfortunately, President Obama speaks defensively about his decisions. He shouldn't.  Instead, every time he faces a media interview where he's asked about his leadership poll numbers, he must repeat the outcomes of his decisions, rather than defend them.  

Perhaps, rather than a pretty White House scene in the background of these interviews, the President's public relations counsels should have a litany of terrorists mug shots in the shadows as evidence of the outcomes of his soft spoken but big stick successes.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Supreme Court Justice Scalia compares buying guns to sending someone to the market to buy milk

It's impossible to believe it but here it is in print - Justice Scalia says giving money to someone to go to the market to buy milk is really no different than doing the same thing to buy a gun. In my opinion, Justice Scalia and those Supreme Court justices who block gun regulations to protect the public from preventable violence are complicit in deaths related to their rulings.  Ironically, the Justices who likely agree with Scalia are also the same ones who are sympathetic to pro-life arguments.

Scalia said:

In dissent, Scalia said the “plain language” of the federal gun statute supported Abramski’s argument that he, not his uncle, was the “buyer,” and therefore it wasn’t “material” that he planned to pass along the firearm to someone else. “In ordinary usage, a vendor sells (or delivers or transfers) an item of merchandise to the person who physically appears in his store, selects the item, pays for it, and takes possession of it,” Scalia wrote. “So if I give my son $10 and tell him to pick up milk and eggs at the store, no English speaker would say that the store ‘sells’ the milk and eggs to me.”

Bloomberg Businessweek reports:

Sometimes what the Supreme Court almost does is more striking than what it says in its majority opinion. 
Such is the case with today’s 5-4 ruling that federal agents may go after a “straw” purchaser who buys a gun for someone else, even if both people are legally eligible to own firearms.
What’s amazing about this decision is that four dissenting members of the court—led by Justice Antonin Scalia—were prepared to rule against the federal government in a fashion that would have undermined countless prosecutions of alleged gun traffickers. To put this more starkly: The Supreme Court is one vote away from judicially nullifying one of the most common tools U.S. law enforcers use to deter and punish criminals who send other people into gun stores to purchase firearms and circumvent the federal background-check system.
At a moment when Second Amendment activists are pushing in other lawsuits to limit the government’s ability to impose gun-control laws, Monday’s near-death experience for the straw-purchase prohibition offers a reminder of the skeptical view some justices take of aggressive regulation of firearm transactions. In 2008, Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion in a separate 5-4 ruling that established for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own a handgun. In the earlier case, the Supreme Court struck down what amounted to a ban on private handgun ownership in Washington, D.C.
Today’s ruling, which didn’t directly involve the Second Amendment, emerged from a strange set of facts. In a majority opinion written by Justice Elena Kagan, the justices ruled that the federal background-check law applied to Bruce Abramski when he bought a Glock 19 pistol in Virginia in 2009 and later transferred it to an uncle in Pennsylvania. Federal prosecutors sought to convict Abramski because he falsely told the Virginia gun dealer he was the actual buyer of the Glock, even though he had already agreed to give the gun to his relative and the uncle had provided $400 for the purchase. The high court acknowledged that Abramski and his relative were both legally allowed to acquire and own guns. Still, the majority said Abramski could be prosecuted for lying on forms he filled out for the background-check process.
Kagan noted that while there may have been nothing terribly nefarious afoot in this transaction, the whole point of the background-check system is to deter and punish the more common scenario, in which a would-be illegal trafficker arranges to have a “straw” buyer with a clean record purchase firearms that are then resold on the black market. “Abramski’s reading [of the federal statute] would undermine—indeed, for all important purposes, would virtually repeal—the gun law’s core provisions,” Kagan wrote. 
No part of that law “would work if the statute turned a blind eye to straw purchases—if, in other words, the law addressed not the substance of a transaction but only empty formalities.” Kagan was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.
Justice Scalia has clearly made a case for term limits on the United States Supreme Court. His analogy between buying milk and purchasing guns is misguided. Worse, his comment denigrates the important public safety work of those who are in harms way every day while protecting the public from preventable gun violence.  
Dear Justice Scalia, guns kill people.  Buying milk is not at all like buying guns.  Do you know that?  Apparently not.


Two Franco-Americans among three ordained by Bishop Robert Deeley

Two Franco-Americans among three ordained by Bishop Robert Deeley

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Right Wing Political Obsessions

Through a series of humanitarian crises consuming many world nations, one right wing constant we can count on, in spite of human suffering. We can rely on right wing media like Fox News and Rush (Bimbaugh) Limbaugh to push the negativity neurons in the brains of their followers, to create myths from truths and divert attention away from improving the human condition.

Here are the top three examples of right wing obsessions, where facts don't matter, but media ratings trump truth:

1.  Benghazi, Libya September 11, 2012:  For reasons unknown, US Ambassador Stevens left the security of the the embassy in Tripoli, Libya and, as a result, he was tragically killed in a firefight in Benghazi. Stevens was the first U.S. Ambassador since 1979, killed on duty. Right wing media have created myths and legends about this incident to discredit Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Truth doesn't matter to right wing media when obsession creates higher ratings. Regardless of hundreds of media hours spent sensationalizing this truly tragic incident, and in spite of bringing emotional harm to the families of the victims of the killings, the right wing continues to obsess over this tragedy. Meanwhile, nothing new has been revealed in the myth making and American voters stopped listening. Nevertheless, this story takes up right wing air time, so the myth making rants continue, without truth.

2.  Taliban prisoner exchange to free Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl: Right wing media joined by Senator John McCain were obsessed by criticizing President Barack Obama for being unable to free Sergeant Bergdahl, who was held a prisoner by the Taliban for 5 torturous years. Surprisingly, the calls for Bergdahl's release turned foul when President Obama negotiated the soldier's release by freeing five ugly old Taliban terrorists who were held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for 13 years, without a trial. Right wing media abruptly screeched about the exchange deal, and labeled the sergeant as a traitor, a horrible trumped up accusation, without evidence. Throughout this reversal, right wing media used hearsay and tangential information to put Sergeant Bergdahl on trial about his motivation for leaving his base, an act which obviously resulted in his capture. There isn't a civilian or military court in the nation that could convict Sergeant Bergdahl of any crime, like being a traitor, given the third hand information currently used by right wing media to wrongly accuse the soldier, without a trial. More than likely, the right wing obsession about the Bergdahl prisoner exchange is obstructing the chance for a fair assessment of the soldier's situation.  

3.  Immigration reform - right wing media is obsessed with blocking immigration reform. This obstruction continues, in spite of every one of those obstructing progress being the descendants of immigrants. Obviously, the right wing isn't obsessed with the Statue of Liberty's poem by Emma Lazarus: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these the homeless, tempest toss to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Instead of reacting to facts about the Benghazi attacks or Sergeant Bergdahl's tragic captivity, the right wing prefers to invent information for the purpose of sensationalizing the news. 

In obstructing immigration reform, the right wing creates unjustified fear about how foreigners will impact on social services, welfare and "take American jobs". Unfortunately, the anti-immigration reform obsession is causing harm to people who live in fear of being dumped back into dangerous Mexico, regardless of how hard they work to earn the American dream.

For unexplained reasons, right wing obsessions are growing among those who feed on myths, lies and negativity. Which is all the more reason why it's irresponsible for right wing media to continue fueling these obsessions - because the myths eventually become the lies people believe.  

Making matters worse, the print media is becoming less effective at informing people with facts. Main stream media simply can't keep up with the volume of right wing misinformation.

Americans are more politically divided than ever, a situation likely influenced because main stream journalism is loosing out to the competition for ratings by polarizing media. There's probably only one way to reverse this disturbing divide. Americans must ask right wing media if their myth creations would stand up to the scrutiny of a jury trial, before believing the obsession driven news. Otherwise, our nation won't just be divided by the colors of "red states" and "blue states", but will expand to include "truth states" and "myth states".  

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Americans mourn the stress of animals especially cats and dogs- now 47,000 immigrant children need help

Right wing Republican zealots are intent on blocking US immigration reform, but they're at a complete loss about what to do with the 47,000 children who are now in the United States, because they crossed the border illegally. I'm confident many, if not most, of the right wing extremist, anti-immigrant Republicans, are animal lovers. It's even likely most of them own a dog, or several of them, plus cats. Therefore, these immigrant children deserve more than the compassion we shower on our pets. Indeed, they deserve respect and acceptance for the heroism they've shown as they braved the journey to flee oppression in their countries, for the purpose of achieving (as President George W. Bush would say)- "freedom!".

These children didn't just show up in the United States, all at once. Indeed, they've been illegally crossing America's border, to escape their home countries in Latin America, for at least two years, probably longer.

Fox News reports: Thousands of minors who entered the country illegally are flooding the U.S.-Mexico border and overwhelming federal resources. During a press conference on Thursday, Department of

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson implied that many of the foreign children will remain in the U.S. The secretary said that President Obama's Health and Human Services (HHS) will first and foremost use resources to act in the best interest of each child.

Johnson said that 24,000 unaccompanied children crossed the border last year--by May, 2014, that number had already doubled to 47,000.

As with many of America's ethical dilemmas, like how to provide health care for the uninsured, or income assistance for frail and disable people, the Republicans can't offer any plan about how to solve the problems they complain about.  

It's impossible for Americans to relocate 47,000 illegal immigrant children. If Republicans really cared about these children, they'd make it easier for their families to immigrate into the US to find work, so the parents would care for them, while earning money doing jobs Americans don't want to do for themselves - like menial labor. Now, without parents, Americans have no idea what to do with these desperate children. I suspect the parents of most of the immigrant children would love to care for them, if they were allowed to do so, but the opportunity simply won't be available. And so, cats and dogs will continue to receive more humane treatment than these 47,000 children, who would probably do anything to make a home for themselves in America.

Listen up, Republicans! Your expensive border wall, built to prevent illegal immigration, is a failure. So, tell us about your next wastefully expensive idea about how to humanely care for 47,000 stranded children? Although I have no solutions to offer, I've recommended the reason for the problem being the inability of the children's parents to immigrate. So, Republicans have caused this horrible humanitarian problem; therefore, let's challenge them to fix the humanitarian problem they caused.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Iraq is crumbling - eerie 1975 flashback during the fall of Saigon

This blog isn't meant to be a premonition, but the threat of the fall of Baghdad in Iraq seems eerily similar to what my husband and I witnessed in 1975, when living in the Philippines while Saigon fell and the Vietnam War was lost. Nearly all of the initial wave of Vietnam refugees in 1975 came through Subic Bay, where we lived, where we saw the carnage, through the distress of the thousands of people who were evacuated.

Saigon's fall was preceded by the evacuation of almost all the American civilian and military personnel in Saigon, along with tens of thousands of South Vietnamese civilians associated with the southern regime.

Will the beautifully prayerful Vietnam Wall soon need a parallel structure, one inscribed with the thousands of names of the fallen soldiers who defended Fallujah and Mosul? These two Iraq cities were recently saturated with American blood. 

Now, unbelievably, Iraqi cities are falling to the military advances of an Al Qaeda splinter group, known by the acronym of ISIS. These cities are falling to insurgents, similar to how Saigon was crumbled by the northern Vietnam People's Liberation Army. 

These major losses caused by a splinter Al Qaeda group are happening because he Iraq government has been hiding in the "green zone", a heavily fortified region of Baghdad established for the security of the American military and ambassadorial services in Iraq.  Iraq Prime Minister al-Maliki has a fortified office in there. An article by Dexter Filkins published in the April 28, 2014, The New Yorker, reported how al-Maliki's office doesn't have windows, because there the frequency of bomb blasts outside the Green Zone risks one of them finding its way into his office. 

Filkins wrote, "I saw Maliki in his office in February, and he appeared as stiff and colorless as he did during his televised speech—an apparatchik become the boss. Wearing the same navy-blue suit and purple tie, he spoke in a monotone, his face blank, his body seemingly fixed to his chair. The office, a sterile room without a trace of warmth, had no windows, presumably because windows could be shattered by bombs."

Where will Maliki hide when the ISIS storm Baghdad? 

I'm not making a prediction (I don't think), but Maliki is likely planning his escape plan. He'll be gone, like the coward he is, before he becomes the human effigy of the Saddam Hussein statue being toppled in Baghdad on April 9, 2003, widely shown around the world as a symbol of the presumed success of the Iraq invasion.

Except, of course, the invasion has been a failure. This failure was long expected, but now evidenced as Fallujah and Mosel are falling apart. These assaults are tremendous insults to the defense of these cities that claimed the blood of American and Iraqi youth, to protect them against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. 

Tragically, we'll need parallel Iraqi War wall of names, to serve two purposes. Of course, we want to always remember the sacrifices of those who died trying to protect the Iraqi people from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein.  Yet, beyond this purpose, an Iraq War wall must be an everlasting reminder about the uselessness of war.

At this point, Americans have no way out of the catastrophic events in Iraq. It's time to acknowledge the mistaken invasion and apologize for the thousands of families who lost their youth in defense of a failed war. 

Unfortunately, the Middle East nations must figure out how to collectively protect their countries from an extremist take over, a catastrophe that will demand a world wide response.

Nevertheless, the situation in Iraq today, with Fallujah and Mosel falling to radical forces, is eeerily like a 1975 flashback when Saigon fell, and my husband and I witnessed the outcomes.

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Congress is wasting time rather than legislating - hearings with Secretary of Defense Hagel about the fait accompli Sargeant Bergdahl exchange

Congress should investigate the failed premise for America's invasion of Iraq and show leadership by standing up against National Rifle Association's (NRA) tyranny where our nation's children are dying by gun violence.

Congressional hearings are costly and taxpayers are paying for the time Secretary Hagel is taking to rightly defend the decision to exchange Sargent Bowe Bergdahl for 5 old terrorists held for 13 years without trial in Guantanamo. Nothing will come of these hearings except for muckraking a delicate situation where a young Army Special Forces Sargeant was freed.

Ukranian Greek Catholic Church recognition of freedom by Pope Francis- a short family story

Papal envoy to commemorate post-Soviet freedom of Greek Catholics in Ukraine

My father was a Ukranian Greek Catholic. By my paternal progeny, it makes me a Greek Catholic. My children, however, by their paternal progeny through my husband Richard, are Roman Rite.
Thank you Joe Pickering in Bangor ME for alerting me to this article. My father told us when growing up that his father fled the Ukraine in the very late 19th century, because he didn't want to be conscripted into the Czar's Russian army, where he'd be forced to become a Russian Orthodox and he was a Greek Catholic.

2014/6/12 0:42:08
The commemoration will take place on June 28 in Uzhhorod, the site of the 1646 agreement in which 63 Eastern Orthodox priests entered into full communion with the Holy See.

VATICAN CITY, June 12, 2014 (UBO) - Pope Francis has named Cardinal Jozef Tomko*, the retired Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as his special envoy to mark the 25th anniversary of the restoration of religious liberty for the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Mukachevo, which is located in southwestern Ukraine.

The commemoration will take place on June 28 in Uzhhorod, the site of the 1646 agreement in which 63 Eastern Orthodox priests entered into full communion with the Holy See.

Following World War II, Joseph Stalin’s Communist regime brutally suppressed the eparchy (diocese), which is the mother eparchy of the Eastern Catholic churches of the Ruthenian tradition and is immediately subject to the Holy See. In 1989, the Ruthenian Catholic eparchy was able to emerge from the underground.

Pope Francis’s June 7 appointment of a special envoy comes one week after a leading Russian Orthodox official strongly criticized the Eastern Catholics of Ukraine, referring to them as “a special project of the Catholic Church aimed at undermining canonical Orthodoxy.”


The article above appears through courtesy of the Religious Information Service of Ukraine. Access RISU at


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Preventable gun violence in America - stop the madness: where are the pro-life groups?

Pro life groups are eerily silent during the cluster of growing terror, whereby preventable gun violence madness is killing our youth at a rate at least as high as in the war on terror. If right wing conservative religious groups intend to protect life, then they should be demonstrating at gun shops the same way they harass women stressed by unwanted pregnancy who are seeking access to women's health clinics.

Unbelievable, but there's yet another school shooting in Oregon, expanding America's growing litany of preventable deaths by gun violence.  CNN reports:

When the shooting started at her high school near Portland, Oregon, early Tuesday, student Jaimie Infante didn't recognize the sound of the gunshot. She thought maybe somebody had dropped a book.
In reality, a lone gunman had opened fire at the school, killing one student and forcing others to flee. According to multiple law enforcement officials, the shooter was a student at the school. The gunman appears to have died from a self-inflicted wound, the sources told CNN.

There's a seemingly non-stop series of preventable American gun violence with tragic deaths and no end in sight. 

I personally accuse the United States Supreme Court as being accomplices to these crimes. That's because, while states have passed laws to try and prevent these killings, the high court has overruled the preventive initiatives in support of Second Amendment rights, protected by the US Constitution.

Obviously, by their inaction, pro-life groups and the conservative leaning Supreme Court are incapable of correlating public safety with Constitutional gun protection rights. These killings incidents are now a growing public health and humanitarian American crises.

Americans must vote out of office all politicians who are owned by the National Rifle Association, where money backs those who can't seem to stop this increasing violence. Check out the campaign donations to candidates running for political office and hold them accountable for taking actions to reduce the preventable deaths by gun violence.

Meanwhile, pro-life groups must be consistent. If the pro-life groups want to protect life, this means all life as we know it. It's time for pro-life groups to speak up, provide leadership and demand the end to preventable deaths by gun violence.

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Monday, June 09, 2014

Rose petals over the Statue of Liberty - Americans should have seen this in real time on national media

One million rose petals showered the Statue of Liberty on D-Day June 6, the 70th anniversaray of the Allied landing on Normandy Beach, during the Second World War in Europe.

Fortunately, I found this link on my Google news feed. Unfortunately, I did not see this stunning memorial on any of the main line media I monitor.  Why?

Here's the story from a posting on; following is a link to a video site.

Shower of rose petals over Statue of Liberty marks D-Day

A million red rose petals were showered over the Statue of Liberty on Friday in a spectacular display to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy during World War II.

Dropped from three helicopters, the petals looked tiny against Lady Liberty, a 305-foot (93-meter) colossus rising from an island in New York harbor.

But the crowds applauded enthusiastically, as tourists and children carefully gathered the petals as they floated down around the statue, a symbol of the United States and of Franco-American friendship.

In all, 70,000 roses -- 1,000 for each year since the epic landing -- were used.

One hundred and thirty French and American schoolchildren unfurled huge French and American flags at the foot of the statue, and sung French and American hymns, in honor of the US forces that stormed ashore June 6, 1944 to help liberate France from Nazi occupation.

A dozen veterans, all more than 90 years old, also took in the sight, some overcome with emotion.

"I am not a hero, the heroes are still in Normandy, and France," said 91-year-old Joseph Chiopolo, a former army medic who remembers the landing on Omaha Beach with horror.

"All you do is walk over dead bodies. It was awful."

He survived, saved by a comrade who lost his life.

"God was on my side. I made it. I am blessed," he told AFP.

Although he has returned to France several times, Chiopolo has never wanted to go back to Normandy.

"There is no winner in any war. Never, ever," he said, urging younger generations "to take care of each other and be friendly."

- A flotilla of boats -

Morton Warnick, like other vets, speaks of their exploits with modesty.

"I felt it was a job that had to be done," he said of the landing. "The Germans did a lot of terrible things, we had to get rid of them."

Warnick was supposed to disembark on Omaha Beach, but because of an error ended up on Utah Beach, a twist of fate he has never forgotten and for which he will always be grateful.

Unlike Omaha Beach, where fighting was fierce, the Americans who landed on Utah Beach encountered much less resistance.

"I still remember getting on the boat, getting off the boat, my heart panting," he said.

The ceremony on Liberty Island was organized by the association The French Will Never Forget with the French Embassy and the consulate in New York.

"We wanted to do something grand, unique," said Paul Bensabat, a founder of the association formed 10 years ago in the context of the Iraq war to affirm US-French friendship.

A shower of rose petals on the Statue of Liberty had never been done before, "and perhaps never will again," he said.

The French navy frigate La Fayette anchored near Liberty Island for the occasion, and sailboats flew French and American flags.

A New York fire boat sent up jets of water in blue, white and red, to the applause of spectators.

Other commemorative events organized by the French veterans of New York and the American Society of Le Souvenir Francais are planned for Saturday at Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn and the French section in the Flushing Cemetery in Queens.

Video site: Three helicopters dropped one million red rose petals over the Statue of Liberty on Friday in New York City in honor of D-Day's 70th anniversary.

The nonprofit group The French Will Never Forget spent about $100,000 in preparation for the show and froze the 1,200 pounds of petals so they would stay fresh. After the petals fluttered to the ground, 13 World War II veterans were honored with a 21-gun salute on Liberty Island. Two 60 x 30-foot flags — one American, one French — were also unfurled at the statue's feet.
Although American news media are preoccupied with gun violence deaths, and the useless reporting about Sergeant Bergdahl's role in the Taliban prisoner exchange, a story to highlight positively heroic French and American international friendship has flown over their heads, like phantom helicopters. 

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Franco-American entrepreneur Tom Plant and the American dream

Franco-American entrepreneur Tom Plant and the American dream

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Pope Francis hosts Vatican peace prayer on Pentecost Sunday

Beautiful prayer for all faiths attributed to Saint Francis now a plea for peace by Pope Francis in Rome.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, harmony; where there is error, truth; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive;It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Pope Francis hosts Israeli-Palestinian prayers.

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Veterans promises broken: giving their youth but loosing access to healthcare

Among the dozens of solicitation letters received in our mail box every day, we opened a sad appeal from the Secretary of the Navy, asking for donations to help pay for veterans' health care and to support the Navy-Relief Society.

Since when did veterans' healthcare and relief services become a charity?

This is a demeaning request, in spite of the letter's high ranking signatures, ie., Ray Mabur, Marine General Amos and Admiral Greenert. This solicitation is especially sad considering how the men and women who are entitled to receive Veterans' healthcare gave up their youth to serve in our nation's military. Now, as these veterans age, they need the care promised to them. Instead, they are now included in a charity, which has to provide for the administrative cost of the administration of the appeal. The system created to provide veterans with quality healthcare is clearly underfunded and unable to guarantee them access to the care they  need.

Ironically, in the letter's opening sentence, the argument is validated about why the entire appeal is demeaning.  "Thank you for your service to our country," leads the narrative for the solicitation. This opening sentence undermines the entire purpose of the letter. Veterans are not charities. They are among those who are included in the "thank you" opening sentence.

Veterans positively deserve fully funded healthcare, period.

Veterans were there, during their youth, to protect our nation and defend our national security. America must, likewise, be there, to fulfill the promises made to them, as they age. Rather than become marginalized by the veterans health care programs, their access to health care should, instead, be expanded.

US Congress and Senators are often seen marching in veterans parades, but they must deliver on the promises expected by those who are recognized in these annual ceremonies.

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Thursday, June 05, 2014

Gun violence in America is growing like an infectious disease

Right wing zealots are obsessed with protecting Second Amendment rights while young people are being murdered by the growing public health menace of gun violence.  If the rate of killing young people murdered by gun violence were caused by any other vector, the American public would demand a responsible public health cure. 

It's impossible to understand why Second Amendment zealots are protected by the United States Supreme Court's supportive rulings, when young people are at risk of dying in the US, every day, from guns. Now, Seattle WA has reported yet another in the unbelievable litany of gun violence incidents on a college campus, including the death of at least one of four victims.

Meanwhile, right wing zealots are cruelly attacking the decision to exchange 5 ugly old terrorist Taliban leaders, who were held without trial in Guantanamo, for a young Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was held prisoner for 5 years. It's unbelievably hypocritical for the right wing nuts to ignore the deaths caused by growing gun violence, while they waste energy criticizing a humanitarian act to save an American soldier from certain death in captivity.

Although the right wing establishment within the Republican and Libertarian political parties are paralyzed by money the National Rifle Association showers on them to sustain support, maybe young and untainted voters can make a change in this zealotry.  

Let's educate young people about the horrible danger of gun violence in America. This is the fact: guns kill people

In the absence of guns, the death rate from gun violence would be reduced to practically zero.

Like any infectious disease, it's time to remove the causation and cure the epidemic. We can enforce gun safety regulations that will protect Second Amendment rights and save our youth from preventable violent deaths.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Five ugly and old terrorists are no longer supported by US taxpayers

Americans who are leaping to judgement about the reasons Special Services Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was exchanged for five ugly old Taliban terrorists, aren't thinking clearly. Right wing cruel pundits have leaped to the conclusion that, somehow, one soldier isn't worthy of being rescued.  Consider the following:

1.  America's justice depends on due process. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, of Idaho, hasn't been given a chance to tell his story, as yet. Regardless of how Bergdahl was captured, he was held as a prisoner of the Taliban for five years.  

2.  Prisoner exchanges are frequently negotiated during war.

3.  Five terrorists exchanged for Sergeant Bergdahl were costing American taxpayers millions of dollars to keep them alive, without ever bringing them to trial. Good riddance to them.

4.  Paying ransoms for political prisoners and AWOL military people who find themselves in foreign jails happens, and occurs without contacting the US Congress, as my husband and I witnessed when living in the Philippines. Therefore, Sergeant Bergdahl's release isn't an isolated incident.

5.  It's plainly wrong for Americans to judge the Sargent Bergdahl's release without ever hearing from him. If he left his unit in Afghanistan, he'll receive a court martial.

6.  Of course, it's tragically unfortunate to know how US military were lost in Afghanistan, presumably while searching for Sergeant Bergdahl when he went missing from his unit. Yes tragic, but those who were killed were serving in a war zone and we don't have sufficient facts about the mission they were on when they were fatally wounded. 

7.  Shame on the right wing nutty pundits for minimizing the value of the life of an American soldier, a man who deserves, under the American justice system, the right to due process.

8.  Americans have yet to understand the long term implications of the Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl exchange. It's possible the prisoner exchange negotiations will provide a breakthrough in US-Taliban communications, based on honesty rather than cloaked in hate. 

For the moment, the US taxpayers have finally stopped paying for the sustenance of five old and ugly terrorists in Guantanamo.

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Sunday, June 01, 2014

Republicans without a plan - exploit, victimize and undermine success but won't pass progressive legislation

Republicans who've never served in the US military seems to have a lot to say about how to manage our national security. They've criticized the tragic death of four Americans in Benghazi to the point of causing nausea, without producing one piece of evidence to help resolve the reason for the tragedy. 

Now, the prisoner exchange to release Special Services Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was held hostage by the Taliban for 5 years, is being used as another leg to the Republican campaign to stir up controversies in a vacuum of facts.

A third leg to this exploitation stool is the Republicans exhausting tirade against health care reform, aka "Obamacare". Americans, frankly, are finding out how this insurance reform program helps people to afford to buy health insurance. Americans are already telling Republicans to stop their misinformation campaign about "Obamacare", but their talking points are concrete and there's nothing to replace their irresponsible rhetoric.

There's no way to bring back four dead Americans killed in the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, in Libya. On the evening of September 11, 2012, Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, in Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer. Several hours later, in the early morning of the next day, a second assault targeted a nearby CIA annex in a different compound about one mile away, killing two CIA contractors, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. Although initial news reports stated that Woods and Doherty were State Department security officers, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has since confirmed that the two men were CIA operatives. Ten others were injured in the attacks which were condemned by the governments of Libya, the United States, and many other countries throughout the world. 

But Republicans continue to resurrect this tragedy without regard for how the details harm the families of the victims.

Ditto, now with the prisoner exchange, negotiated for the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, on Saturday, in Afghanistan. Rather than praise the release of the only American being held captive by the Taliban, the Republicans, instead, are criticizing the release. They're complaining because the exchange involved turning over 5 terrorists who've been prisoners in Guantanamo, Cuba, for up to 13 years, without a trial. Republican don't want these terrorists to have a trial in the USA, so they've been stuck in Guantanamo, while American taxpayers paid many millions to keep them alive.
Unless critics have served in the US military, those who are leaping to judgement about this release-exchange should have nothing to say about what happened. A young Special Services Sargeant is going home after 5 years in captivity. Period.

Republicans clearly have no plan to capture the attention of Americans.  Instead, they invent news.

It's time for Republicans to stop relying on the exploitation of old information, especially when their negativity harms those left behind in the Benghazi attacks or the joyous parents of Sergeant Bergdahl. Moreover, it's time to end the criticism of Obamacare and come up with a plan to either improve or replace the law's reforms.

Republicans must create a plan to improve our nation's national security and access to healthcare, rather than create yellow journalism using tangential information.

Republicans without a plan act like spoiled children who demand their own way, without regard for the consequences of their behavior. It's time to plan for a time when Republicans are voted out of office. Americans must vote for elected officials who can pass progressive policies, and stop the wasteful time exploiting tragedies like Benghazi, and the Sergeant Bergdahl' prisoner exchange or undermining health care reform.

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