Thursday, December 31, 2015

Good Day

I am Ms.Golan I am getting in touch with you regarding an extremely important and urgent matter.If you would oblige me the opportunity,shall provide you with details upon your response.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Good Day

I am Ms.Golan I am getting in touch with you regarding an extremely important and urgent matter.If you would oblige me the opportunity,shall provide you with details upon your response.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Signe Wilkinson

No, this is not a Happy Holliday or Merry Christmas story.  However, it is part of the very slow process of getting control of an ugly issue.   Getting to the point where the discussion on controlling the violence is an openly discussed topic, is no easy feat.  We are now at the point that common sense and the presentation of facts is having an impact.   It will be a long and arduous task to get to the promised land, but the day will come when the NRA will no longer control Congress or your local government.  It will be done by marginalizing the opposition.   The next step is to call out the Republicans on their aiding and abetting the NRA:


The Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

The Republican Fear of Facts on Guns

By DEC. 24, 2015

Photo
CreditKelly Blair

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The three rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination showed enough sense of responsibility in their debate on Saturday to freely discuss the nation's epidemic of gun violence. Unfortunately, this was only half the debate voters deserve. The Republican candidates are callously ducking the issue. Among the recent casualties of such silence was a bill in Congress that would have lifted a ban on basic federal research into gun violence and its toll on public health.

For nearly two decades, Congress has banned needed research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last week, Congress, doing the bidding of the gun industry, quietly killed a provision in the omnibus spending bill that would have reversed that ban.

In so doing, it left intact an anti-science smoke screen that has helped the industry and its lobbyists deny and dispute the facts of the gun violence that takes more than 30,000 lives a year.

Imagine if the tobacco industry had been similarly favored by Congress with a ban on federal research about cigarette deaths. Imagine, too, if the auto industry had such a shield during the years when the government successfully fought unsafe cars in the cause of public health.

Perversely, the gun industry claims that research by private and academic interests — which it can't block — is untrustworthy. Expect that argument to be invoked in reaction to alarming research about the Missouri General Assembly's repeal eight years ago of background checks for gun buyers that required people to appear in person at the local sheriff's office.

A study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research found that in the first six years after the repeal, gun homicides rose within the state by 16 percent, while the national rate declined 11 percent. By contrast, it also found that Connecticut, which has maintained its 1995 background check law, registered a 40 percent drop in gun homicides across a decade.


One study
 estimated that gun violence annually costs $8.6 billion in direct expenses for emergency and medical care. Wyoming, the state with the highest rate of gun deaths, also has the highest per capita costs for gun violence — about $1,400 per resident per year, which is twice the national average. A new area for investigation is the fact that gun deaths have begun surpassing motor vehicle deaths in some states.The work of independent researchers suggests that there are many avenues of inquiry the government should be investigating more deeply.

Private research is valuable, but in-depth federal studies are crucial for discovering the full patterns of crime and death fed by the relentless weakening of gun laws in recent decades. Even the original sponsor of Congress's gag order on research now agrees. "I wish we had started the proper research and kept it going all this time," former Representative Jay Dickey, an Arkansas Republican, told The Huffington Post in October.

"I have regrets," said Mr. Dickey, who now asks whether the advances made in auto safety could have been achieved on guns if political positions had not been so hardened. That's an interesting question; it deserves to be asked of the Republicans running for president.


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Juan
 

The National Rifle Association aids and abets gun violence.

- An American Story



Monday, December 21, 2015

Something to Know - 21 December

Nick Anderson

The GeeOpie excuse for a selection of a nominee goes on.  Maybe we should pause and consider that the Bloviating Trumpet keeps on ticking (sorry for the pesky clock ad in this email).   Why he is still here is that is what the dumbing down of political debate and behavior has left us with after the misery of "W" and the shyster con job of the Grinch of Ging.   Real discussion is a lost art form.  What we have left is trash talk and fear mongering.   Shameful ain't it?:


The Opinion Pages | OP-ED COLUMNIST

The Donald and the Decider

Paul Krugman DEC. 21, 2015


Almost six months have passed since Donald Trump overtook Jeb Bush in polls of Republican voters. At the time, most pundits dismissed the Trump phenomenon as a blip, predicting that voters would soon return to more conventional candidates. Instead, however, his lead just kept widening. Even more striking, the triumvirate of trash-talk — Mr. Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz — now commands the support of roughly 60 percent of the primary electorate.

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But how can this be happening? After all, the antiestablishment candidates now dominating the field, aside from being deeply ignorant about policy, have a habit of making false claims, then refusing to acknowledge error. Why don't Republican voters seem to care?

Well, part of the answer has to be that the party taught them not to care. Bluster and belligerence as substitutes for analysis, disdain for any kind of measured response, dismissal of inconvenient facts reported by the "liberal media" didn't suddenly arrive on the Republican scene last summer. On the contrary, they have long been key elements of the party brand. So how are voters supposed to know where to draw the line?

Let's talk first about the legacy of He Who Must Not Be Named.

I don't know how many readers remember the 2000 election, but during the campaign Republicans tried — largely successfully — to make the election about likability, not policy. George W. Bush was supposed to get your vote because he was someone you'd enjoy having a beer with, unlike that stiff, boring guy Al Gore with all his facts and figures.

And when Mr. Gore tried to talk about policy differences, Mr. Bush responded not on the substance but by mocking his opponent's "fuzzy math" — a phrase gleefully picked up by his supporters. The press corps played right along with this deliberate dumbing-down: Mr. Gore was deemed to have lost debates, not because he was wrong, but because he was, reporters declared, snooty and superior, unlike the affably dishonest W.

Then came 9/11, and the affable guy was repackaged as a war leader. But the repackaging was never framed in terms of substantive arguments over foreign policy. Instead, Mr. Bush and his handlers sold swagger. He was the man you could trust to keep us safe because he talked tough and dressed up as a fighter pilot. He proudly declared that he was the "decider" — and that he made his decisions based on his "gut."

The subtext was that real leaders don't waste time on hard thinking, that listening to experts is a sign of weakness, that attitude is all you need. And while Mr. Bush's debacles in Iraq and New Orleans eventually ended America's faith in his personal gut, the elevation of attitude over analysis only tightened its grip on his party, an evolution highlighted when John McCain, who once upon a time had a reputation for policy independence, chose the eminently unqualified Sarah Palin as his running mate.

So Donald Trump as a political phenomenon is very much in a line of succession that runs from W. through Mrs. Palin, and in many ways he's entirely representative of the Republican mainstream. For example, were you shocked when Mr. Trump revealed his admiration for Vladimir Putin? He was only articulating a feeling that was already widespread in his party.

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Meanwhile, what do the establishment candidates have to offer as an alternative? On policy substance, not much. Remember, back when he was the presumed front-runner, Jeb Bush assembled a team of foreign-policy "experts," people who had academic credentials and chairs at right-wing think tanks. But the team was dominated by neoconservative hard-liners, people committed, despite past failures, to the belief that shock and awe solve all problems.



In case you're wondering, nothing like this process has happened on the Democratic side. When Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate, say, financial regulation, it's a real discussion, with both candidates evidently well informed about the issues. American political discourse as a whole hasn't been dumbed down, just its conservative wing.
In other words, Mr. Bush wasn't articulating a notably different policy than what we're now hearing from Trump et al; all he offered was belligerence with a thin veneer of respectability. Marco Rubio, who has succeeded him as the establishment favorite, is much the same, with a few added evasions. Why should anyone be surprised to see this posturing, er, trumped by the unapologetic belligerence offered by nonestablishment candidates?

Going back to Republicans, does this mean that Mr. Trump will actually be the nominee? I have no idea. But it's important to realize that he isn't someone who suddenly intruded into Republican politics from an alternative universe. He, or someone like him, is where the party has been headed for a long time.


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Juan
 

The National Rifle Association aids and abets gun violence.

- An American Story



Friday, December 18, 2015

Something to Know - 18 December

Signe Wilkinson

The cacophony of the Caca Phonies is like the sad sounds of hyenas chewing on a dying zebra.   The Gaggle of GeeOpie fear mongers is like the WWE wrestlers hawking their demonic story lines at the crowd.   The display of arrogant dysfunctional values glorifies the mothers milk of Republican nourishment; the NRA:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/17/opinion/an-appalling-silence-on-gun-control.html?emc=eta1

The Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

An Appalling Silence on Gun Control

By DEC. 17, 2015

Photo
CreditJohn Locher/Associated Press




It was remarkable that the Republican presidential candidates' debate this week, supposedly focused on keeping Americans safe, was devoid of questions and comments about the public health issue of gun violence.

Instead, the nine Republican rivals spent much of their time dwelling darkly on potential threats from Islamic State terrorists. And when they brought up the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., this month, carried out by a couple found to be inspired by Islamic State violence, the discussion never veered to the easy gun access that enabled those killers — and many others — to commit swift and horrific slaughter of innocent people.

That would have complicated their pitch, and more important, would mean thinking about gun violence in ways that would displease the gun industry and its political lobby. Those forces demand unquestioning allegiance from politicians fearful for their careers — outspoken candidates who retreat into shameful timidity when serious ideas on gun safety are needed. Strangely, the debate moderators didn't care to touch the gun issue either, thereby burying a public health challenge that is a lethal, daily threat.

It's easier for these candidates to engage in eerie discussions of whether the next president should be free to bomb civilians in Syria or shoot down Russian bombers in a no-fly zone. They are experts at stoking fears about terrorism and great at wringing their hands about the unfounded bomb scare that shut down the Los Angeles school district on Tuesday, but actually facing up to gun violence — which kills more than 33,000Americans a year — is beyond their capacity or courage. Far from offering any ideas, their statements on the campaign trail are a national embarrassment.

"I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away," Dr. Ben Carson declared in October.

"You get rid of the bad guys by using our guns," Senator Ted Cruz passionately declared early this month. He likes to make light of the issue, too: "We define gun control real simple — that's hitting what you aim at."


Donald Trump favored an assault weapons ban in 2000, but this year
 he pledged to veto gun controls, making the death toll from firearms sound like the inescapable result of fate: "You're going to have these things happen and it's a horrible thing to behold.""Gun laws fail everywhere they're tried," Senator Marco Rubio flatly insisted last month. That claim is plain wrong, contradicted by major studies as well as experience in other countries where politicians have enacted sensible controls that helped to reduce rates of gun deaths.

Jeb Bush may be trying to run as a moderate against Mr. Trump, but he concedes nothing when it comes to pure fatalism about guns. "Look, stuff happens," Mr. Bush said in October, bizarrely trying to make the case that the impulse to do something constructive may not be the right course after mass shootings. He could have been speaking for any of his current rivals when he addressed the National Rifle Association convention in 2003 and exuberantly declared, "The sound of our guns is the sound of freedom!" This week, the sound of the guns from San Bernardino, Colorado Springs and a dozen earlier scenes of American carnage never penetrated the debate.


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****
Juan
 

The National Rifle Association aids and abets gun violence.

- An American Story



Thursday, December 17, 2015

Andy Borowitz


Lawyer for Martin Shkreli Hikes Fees Five Thousand Per Cent

BY 

CREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY RICHARD PERRY / THE NEW YORK TIMES / REDUX

BROOKLYN (The Borowitz Report)—A criminal lawyer representing Turing Pharmaceuticals chief Martin Shkreli has informed his client that he is raising his hourly legal fees by five thousand per cent, the lawyer has confirmed.

Minutes after Shkreli's arrest on charges of securities fraud, the attorney, Harland Dorrinson, announced that he was hiking his fees from twelve hundred dollars an hour to sixty thousand dollars.

Shkreli, who reportedly received the news about the price hike while he was being fingerprinted, cried foul and accused his attorney of "outrageous and inhumane price gouging."

"This is the behavior of a sociopath," Shkreli was heard screaming.

For his part, Shkreli's lawyer was unmoved by his client's complaint. "Compared to what he pays for an hour of Wu-Tang Clan, sixty thou is a bargain," he said.


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Juan
 

The National Rifle Association aids and abets gun violence.

- An American Story



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Something to Know (2) - 16 Drecember

Joe Heller

Hope you had a chuckle on your trip to Canada.  However, this story from the NY Times has to be introduced.  It concerns the BigAg (Agriculture/Chemical) Lobby and its influence on preventing food labeling that allows consumers to see if the food that that is bought and eaten contains Genetically Modified Organisms (G.M.O.).  Why is it that almost every consumable product that we eat or drink, or ingest from the environment, which require regulation to ensure our safety, is hijacked by industries that do not want us to know what we are consuming?   Dig deep enough and you will understand the framework of politics in our democracy.   It is shameful:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/15/opinion/are-you-eating-frankenfish.html?emc=eta1

The Opinion Pages | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Are You Eating Frankenfish?

By TOM COLICCHIODEC. 15, 2015

Photo

THIS month, Congress may decide whether consumers are smart enough to be trusted with their own food choices. Some lawmakers are trying to insert language into must-pass spending legislation that would block states from giving consumers the right to know whether their food contains genetically modified ingredients.


They must be stopped.

Nine out of 10 Americans want G.M.O. disclosure on food packages, according to a 2013 New York Times poll, just like consumers in 64 other nations. But powerful members of the agriculture and appropriations committees, along with their allies in agribusiness corporations like Monsanto, want to keep consumers in the dark. That's why opponents of this effort have called it the DARK Act — or the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act.

As a chef, I'm proud of the food I serve. The idea that I would try to hide what's in my food from my customers offends everything I believe in. It's also really bad for business.

Why, then, have companies like Kellogg and groups like the Grocery Manufacturers Association spent millions in recent years to lobby against transparency? They say, in effect: "Trust us, folks. We looked into it. G.M.O. ingredients are safe." But what they're missing is that consumers want to make their own judgments. Consumers are saying: "Trust me. Let me do my own homework and make my own choices."

In fact, some of us have done our homework, and here's what we found: The use of G.M.O.s has led to unintended consequences. For instance, most G.M.O. crops are engineered to withstand blasts of a powerful weed killer that the World Health Organization has decided probably causes cancer. New "superweeds" are appearing that require even more lethal formulations. Since the introduction of G.M.O. crops, use of these chemicals has increased 16-fold.

G.M.O. advocates like to label anyone who objects "anti-science." It's true that genetic technology has had an amazing impact on the development of medicine and the eradication of infectious diseases. If G.M.O. foods were actually providing a clear benefit to the public, like improved nutrition, lower costs or better taste, without creating a spiral of ever-increasing toxicity in our environment, I'd be all for them. And if G.M.O.s ever deliver on their promise to improve food security, which they have yet to do in the more than 20 years since they were introduced, I'd be over the moon.

Vermont recently passed a law requiring the labeling of these foods. Other states are considering doing the same. That's the impetus behind this backdoor effort: Opponents want Congress to pre-empt Vermont and other like-minded states from implementing these rules.

The federal government already requires labeling of ingredients and basic nutritional information and regulates against marketing that misleads the public. In this context, labeling G.M.O.s makes sense.

But that's not what is happening. Consider the situation of genetically engineered salmon.

Last month the Food and Drug Administration approved for sale to the public the first genetically engineered animal approved for human consumption — a fish they are calling the AquAdvantage salmon.

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This "super" salmon was conceived by combining genes from Chinook salmon that produce extra growth hormone with an "antifreeze" gene from a bottom-feeder, the non-Kosher ocean pout. The result is a fish that grows far faster and larger than non-engineered salmon.


Fine, you say. Enough already. If you don't like the Frankenfish, don't buy it.
The F.D.A. insists the transgenic fish is safe for humans, but many experts believe they have yet to prove AquAdvantage will be safe for the environment or other fish. Factory fish farms depend on the use ofantibiotics and pesticides to control disease and parasites that flourish in high-density environments. The waste they release can decimate other marine life and contaminate the water supply. Farmed fish often escapeinto larger waters, endangering native species. While these new salmon will be sterile, mistakes can happen.

But there's the rub. This new engineered fish could be marketed as … Atlantic salmon. There might be no way for consumers to identify it as genetically engineered.

Consumers have a right to seek out food produced in accordance with their values, and not be misled by an industry's strenuous efforts to keep them in the dark. When G.M.O. ingredients are clearly labeled, consumers can exercise those rights.

Blocking the labeling of G.M.O. foods would be a step in the wrong direction, away from greater accountability and responsibility. Congress should reject these efforts to block our right to know.

Tom Colicchio is a chef, owner of Crafted Hospitality and co-founder of Food Policy Action.


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Juan
 

The National Rifle Association aids and abets gun violence.

- An American Story



Something to Know - 16 December

Mike Luckovich

Planning on taking a trip?   Here is a little vacation planning hint for you.  Is all of the noise and distraction from the GeeOpie rabble upsetting your sense of America and its values?   Well, consider a trip north - not quite up as far as the North Pole and Santa, but, in that direction:

DECEMBER 14, 2015

To Those Fleeing President Trump: Welcome to Canada!

BY 

CREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY NANCY HOYT BELCHER / ALAMY

Welcome to Canada! You threatened to leave America if Donald Trump was elected President—and, true to your word, here you are. We're so happy to have you!

We'd like to extend an extra-special welcome to the ethnic, religious, and other groups that President Trump has deported from the United States: Muslims, Mexicans, black people, people who look like Muslims, "Jews, who are just Muslims with smaller hats," Prius drivers, "that one Asian guy," tweens, "Jessica Alba, because maybe she's a Muslim. Who knows?," all women, and books.

Make yourselves at home. You're going to be here a while—traversing that wall that President Trump built between America and Canada seems extremelytreacherous. Although I'm no wall expert, just a simple Canuck immigration minister from Toronto, Ontario. Maybe Canadians really are, as President Trump has called us, "murderers and upstairs Mexicans." Sorry!

We have so many amenities to offer. Please enjoy our free health care! Though we'll admit that President Trump's sweeping Obamacare revisions do sound awesome—for just ten thousand dollars, you can pay a drone to come shoot your tumor? Amazing! We can't do that, but we can offer you all the usual vaccines. (President Trump, of course, has outlawed all vaccines, with the exception of "hot-beef injections.")

I promise we won't bother you. Canadians are very quiet. You might not even know we're there, unless you shine a bright flashlight on us. And don't be nervous if you see cops on horses; they're just for decoration. Not like in America, where President Trump, we hear, has passed a law allowing American police to arrest women for "letting themselves go." That doesn't sound like a good law, does it? Sorry if it does!

In Canada, we don't allow murder. I forget, is it legal in Trump's America, or just smiled upon? Trump's Secretary of State is a gun with googly eyes, so I think it's probably legal? Either way, please, no murders here. Unless you reallywant to. We don't want to be bad hosts!

Feel free to tease your new Canadian brothers. We can laugh at ourselves! President Trump once called our maple leaf a "gay oak leaf." He called French "gay English." He called Canada "gay France, which is saying something, because France itself is very gay." Also, President Trump once used American tax dollars to send five thousand pizzas to our Parliament Hill. In fact, eight per cent of your American taxes are now allotted for "international pranks on huge haters." What a goof that guy is! Sorry for cursing just now.

Once you get settled in your new country, I think you'll find that Canada isn't the backwoods place you Americans sometimes make it out to be. We have many modern conveniences, like paint, and milk! We're so friendly, we barely need locks on our doors. The locks are mainly to prevent our neighbors from coming over and doing chores for us in the night. One time I left my door unlocked and a family of Ottawans redecorated my entire dining room in stylish mid-century-modern d├ęcor.

I think you'll find it's an easy transition, since we mostly speak the same language as you. Our slang is slightly different, though. In Canada, we call losers "hosers." So, translated into Canadian, the new American sixty-nine-dollar bill would feature the motto "No Fat Chicks or Hosers Allowed."

We use the metric system, so there are a few conversions you should memorize, such as one pound equals 0.45 kilograms. Yup, we're into math here, which President Trump calls "gay reading."

Additionally, we have a beautiful national anthem. I'm not saying President Trump's "Muslims Suck (Mexicans Blow)" isn't catchy. I'm just saying ours has fewer "f" words and racial slurs in it. No offense to the composer—I've been a huge fan of Toby Keith for some time now! Sorry!

Anyway, we are so excited you're here! If you need anything, don't hesitate to shout. Which, of course, in Canada means "inquire at a reasonable, considerate volume before 10 P.M." And, if someone rings your doorbell and leaves five thousand bags of flaming excrement on your porch, don't worry. It's just the neighbors.


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Juan
 

The National Rifle Association aids and abets gun violence.

- An American Story