It’s Gun Control Again

We have had another attack where multiple lives we lost by a douche with a gun….in this case many guns….and of course the debate has started again…all the political theater that this subject can muster.

Now is the time to look at the laws…..NO!  Now is not the time we should wait for calmer heads….

Gun Control?  Is that truly the conversation we should behaving right now?  Maybe not……

Statistician and writer Leah Libresco used to yearn for what she once considered “common-sense gun-control reforms.” Then she and her colleagues at FiveThirtyEight spent threemonthsanalyzing all 33,000 gun deaths the US sees per year, and her whole perspective changed. The sad truth is that the broad policies many people call for, like “banning assault weapons,” actually wouldn’t save the vast majority of those people, she writes. In the Washington Post, she delves into specific reasons why—in the case of an assault-weapons ban, gun hobbyists can easily turn a semi-automatic into an assault weapon, while skilled shooters can change magazines so quickly that limiting them might be “meaningless.” She also explains why it’s actually not useful to compare US gun laws with the strictly tightened laws in Britain and Australia.

So what could work in the US? “Narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.” That means individualized attention, like identifying gang members for intervention, putting police priority on women who are endangered by specific men, or getting older men (who make up the biggest share of gun suicides) access to care and help. In the end, Libresco “was still anti-gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners,” she writes. “But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. … We save lives by focusing on a range of tactics to protect the different kinds of potential victims and reforming potential killers, not from sweeping bans focused on the guns themselves.” Read her full column.

Personally, I think this whole conversation that we seem to have with each attack….is not the conversation we should be having.

In closing I want to offer up some red meat for all those liberal haters (and there are many)….it comes from the most hated liberal…Michael Moore…..

In a move highly unlikely to be approved by the NRA, Michael Moore has come up with a replacement for what he says is the “ancient and outdated” Second Amendment. In a Facebook post Wednesday, Moore offered a 28th Amendment that protects the right of people to “be free from gun violence,” Hot Air reports. “A well regulated State National Guard, being helpful to the safety and security of a State in times of need, along with the strictly regulated right of the people to keep and bear a limited number of non-automatic Arms for sport and hunting, with respect to the primary right of all people to be free from gun violence, this shall not be infringed,” it reads.

“The public’s safety comes ahead of an individual’s right to own and fire a gun,” wrote Moore. He said under the new amendment, it will be possible to pass laws requiring people to keep their guns at government-regulated storage facilities instead of at home, the Hill reports. He also suggested limiting clips to six bullets, banning semi-automatic weapons, and requiring men buying guns to obtain waivers from current and former spouses. This approach, he wrote, will meet the needs of everybody except the “serial killer, the mass murderer, the violent ex-husband, the disgruntled employee, or the disturbed and bullied teenager.” (Lawmakers want to ban a device the Las Vegas gunman used.)

Let the yelling begin…..please have a medical specialist stand by.

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The Right To Bear Arms

After the latest attack in Vegas we are having the usual conversation about gun control and/or gun rights.  It is inevitable that this issue be addressed after every attack…especially those with multiple victims.

I chose today to post all my thoughts on the 2nd….instead of like so many othersa drag it out for days….even weeks…..

An interesting point of view from the UK’s The Guardian…..

Its words have fueled centuries of debate – and not until 2008 did the supreme court clearly back an individual’s right to keep a weapon at home for self-defense.

The second amendment has become a badge and bumper sticker, a shield for gun activists and scripture for much of the American right. But like other cherished texts, it is not as clear as many make it out to be.

The amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

For most of the republic’s lifespan, from 1791 to 2008, those commas and clauses were debated by attorneys and senators, slave owners and freedmen, judges, Black Panthers, governors and lobbyists. For some, the militia was key; for others the right that shall not be infringed; for yet others, the question of states versus the federal government. For the most part, the supreme court stayed out it.

Source: The right to bear arms: what does the second amendment really mean? | US news | The Guardian

I offer up my thoughts on why the 2nd was put into the Constitution…..my next post will be those thoughts….

Puerto Rico, Stop Whining!

Our president is on another road trip….this time he goes to Puerto Rico to address the citizens and the world on the relief efforts.

I am about at wits end when it comes to this person….he is more clueless today that he was on the day he took office…is that possible?

It is reported that he stated the Puerto Rico should be glad that it was not a Katrina type storm.  Trump tried to downplay the devastation by telling Puerto Ricans that their disaster wasn’t a real catastrophe like Hurricane Katrina.

The President said, “Every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous — hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here, with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, nobody’s ever seen anything like this. What is your death count as of this moment? 17? 16 people certified, 16 people versus in the thousands.”

What kind of uneducated dolt makes statements like is?  Trying to make unbalanced comparisons does nothing to help the situation.  It is juvenile to make such a comparison.

I rode out Katrina in my home….and the devastation was horrendous but as devastating as Puerto Rico….at least we still had water and gas service in most regions.  It was stupid to make that comparison.

Then he had to go and try to make things worse by blaming Puerto Rico for any budgetary problems we may have….

“Every death is a horror,” President Trump said Tuesday while meeting with local and federal officials at Muniz Air National Guard Base in Puerto Rico, but other remarks he made weren’t quite so heavy. While discussing his administration’s response to the devastation on the island, he quipped, “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that’s fine.” The AP reports he was referencing the island’s $74 billion in debts and decade-old recession.

What a buffoon!  what about the money spent on Texas and Florida….these somehow were budget neutral?  What is Florida and Texas more of a citizenship thing?

BTW, Mississippi was in budgetary crisis during Katrina and no one blamed the state for the storm or the cost of the assistance………and relief was sent anyway.

If so will someone tell this bozo that the people of Puerto Rico are American citizens.  They may be brown and speak Spanish but Citizens nonetheless.

Maybe he should just stay at his golf club and try to keep his feet out of his mouth.  NOTHING he has said so far has done anything to make the recovery easier.

No Rehab For Vietnam

Ken Burns documentary on the Vietnam War has me posting several articles explaining various aspects of the war…..there will be both pro an con articles…to understand completely then all sides need to be discussed.

1975 and the fall of Saigon brought an end to the involvement of the US in the small Southeastern nation of Vietnam.

Since that day there has been an on-going effort to rehabilitate America’s role in the war.  An attempt to change something ugly into something noble, honorable….or at least acceptable.

There is enormous pressure and a lot of money working to rehabilitate Vietnam, to put the guilt and the shame of it behind us. But it was precisely the guilt of the people, their shame at what was being done in their name, and their courage to denounce it that made it impossible for their government to carry out the savagery any longer.

Since the day it ended, in 1975, there have been efforts to rehabilitate the Vietnam War, to make it acceptable, even honorable. After all, there were so many sides to the story, weren’t there? It was so complex, so nuancical. There was real heroism among the troops.

Of course, all of this is true, but it’s true of every war so it doesn’t redeem any war. The Vietnam War is beyond redemption and must be remembered and condemned for the calamity that it was. The Vietnam War was “one of the greatest American foreign policy disasters of the twentieth century.”

Those are not the words of a leftist pundit or a scribbling anti-American. They are the words of H.R. McMaster, the sitting National Security Advisor to the President of the United States.

Source: There Is No Rehabilitating the Vietnam War | By Robert Freeman | Common Dreams

The war cannot be rehabilitated for those that fought…..the images of the war are burnt into their minds to remain with them through life.

As a veteran of that war I have had many conversations with people wanting to know….then when they are told they dispute whatever was said….

This war cannot be rehabilitated with the truth…..only by manipulating the facts can it be made to appear otherwise.

Tax Reform–2017

A Repub president, a Repub Congress and now it is time for the Repub stand-by….TAX REFORM.

They are in control….time to do what they always want to do…..Tax Reform….those policies that screw the Middle Class and give the wealthy incentives and more money.

Trump made it official……he put his tax plan out there……

President Trump launched his push for tax reform Wednesday in Indianapolis, promising a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” and “revolutionary change.” “Under our framework, we will dramatically cut the business tax rate so that American companies and American workers can beat our foreign competitors and start winning again,” USA Today quotes Trump as saying. The New York Times reports the proposed framework reduces the corporate tax rate to 20%, doubles deductions for married and single filers to $24,000 and $12,000 respectively, and reduces the number of tax brackets from seven to three. The top bracket would see a reduced tax rate; the lowest bracket would see an increased tax rate. Overall, Trump claims the plan represents the biggest tax cut in history: “There’s never been tax cuts like we’re talking about.”

Trump is promising the middle class will be “the biggest winners” of his tax plan, which will cause “jobs to start pouring into our country.” But the framework presented lacks details to show whether that would or would not be the case. (CNN reports Trump also claims the plan is “not good for me,” but that’s impossible to prove without his tax returns.) The framework does, however, include details that will specifically benefit rich Americans, for example by getting rid of inheritance taxes paid by the country’s wealthiest families. Without further specifics, the head of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget calls Trump’s tax plan “nothing more than a fiscal fantasy.” Trump says he wants to work with Democrats to fill in those details, but Republican leaders say they’ll likely use a special rule to pass tax reform without Democratic support.

It has all the selling points needed…..jobs creation, more tax savings for the workers,etc…..for instance…..a few highlights to work with….

  • Corporations: The New York Times reports that the plan calls for a steep reduction in the tax rate paid by corporations from 35% to 20%, which Trump sees as vital to stimulating the economy.
  • Standard deduction: This would roughly double to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples, “meaning Trump can accurately argue that many more low income earners would pay no tax under his plan,” writes Jonathan Swan at Axios. But:
  • The fine print: The savings in the larger deduction isn’t quite as big as it appears, notes Business Insider, pointing to the fine print: “To simplify the tax rules, the additional standard deduction and the personal exemptions for taxpayer and spouse are consolidated into this larger standard deduction.” For example, a single person with no dependents currently takes the standard deduction of $6,350, plus one personal exemption of $4,050. The new plan replaces that with a single deduction of $12,000, or a 15% increase.
  • Wealthiest: Though initial plans called for a reduction in the top rate paid by the wealthiest individuals (those who make more than $418,000) from 39.6% to 35%, Politico reports that this is “now open to negotiation.” That’s partly because Trump wants to make sure Democrats are on board, reports CNN. Another idea being floated is to impose some kind of tax surcharge on the wealthiest Americans. The plan also calls for the elimination of the estate tax and the alternative-minimum tax.
  • Lowest rate: It would reportedly rise from 10% to 12%, though the increase for low-income Americans would likely be offset by the bigger standard deduction.
  • Simplification: The current system has seven brackets ranging from 10% to 39.6%. Trump wants to reduce the number of brackets to three, perhaps from 12% to 35%, reports the Hill. (Income levels for each have not been determined, and it’s possible a fourth bracket would be added for the wealthiest Americans.) Under the changes, Trump says most Americans would be able to fill out their taxes on a single page, reports the AP.
  • Elderly parents: A new credit of up to $500 would be created for those caring for non-child dependents, including parents, per USA Today. The newspaper’s roundup also notes that people would no longer be able to deduct state and local income or property taxes, which would hurt residents in high-tax states such as California and New York.
  • More details: Business Insider has a comprehensive roundup of what is known about the plan, including a 25% rate for “pass-through businesses,” which applies to those who own their own business The plan would also increase the Child Tax Credit, an idea championed by Ivanka Trump.

“Trickle Down Economics” makes a comeback……a theory that has NOT worked in 30 years and so why not keep pushing a lie…..something the GOP has mastered.

And yes I have an idea for tax reform that I posted a month ago…..

Source: Tax Reform—-2017 Edition – Gulf South Free Press

Listen to the rhetoric and smile or dig through the manure pile and find the truth of the matter……this is a typical GOP proposal…..wealthy get richer and the working stiffs get buried…..

The one thing that the GOP seems to ignore….what may have worked in the 1980’s will not work in the 21st century…..but Hell keep pushing that failed theory….dress it up and force feed it to the population.

Campaign Funding

I am sure that most Americans realize just how much it costs to campaign these days.  Thanx to Citizens United it will get more and more expensive.  Think about it….last election it cost damn near a billion dollars to run for the office of president.

Personally, I would like to see all elections publicly funded….people would pay a fee as in a tax filing every year….no more dark money or PAC interference.  Each candidate would have an election budget spent however they see fit but no additional money when it is all gone.

This political system needs reforming…..it has gotten out of hand……and wasteful.

The goals behind the public financing of elections have shifted. The old dream of completely eliminating big, private money from politics has been dashed by Citizens United and other court rulings.

“It’s probably not a realistic goal in any case,” says Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute. “People who are interested in politics have many ways of influencing the political system.”

Now, the hope among some advocates of publicly financed campaigns is to impose limits on the size and scope of campaign treasuries while increasing citizen involvement. To do that, reformers are promoting the use of matching funds and so-called democracy vouchers, which allow citizens to steer government money directly to the candidates of their choice.

Source: The New Strategy for Advocates of Publicly Funded Campaigns

If we are serious about the slogan…”Of the people, by the people and for the people” then this reform is a necessity.

Of courser as badly as it is needed reform is not forthcoming…..cash can buy at lot things….can keep things as they are today.

We will truly have the “best government money can buy”…..

The Wall – An In-Depth Examination

It’s the WALL…..again.

WE have been having this back and forth about a promise that President Trump first made on his 2016 campaign…..a “big, beautiful wall” across our Southern border.

Since he first uttered the slogan there has been a massive amount of ink wasted on the analysis on what he has meant by his assertion.

Most people know what their “party” thinks about the Wall….very little has been written about a total analysis of the issue…..

Maybe this would help….that is if you are truly interested in the issue or you just like the concept….for whatever reason……..

A USA TODAY NETWORK special report examines the impact of Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, exploring every foot of the 2,000-mile boundary.

“Build the Wall.” Three words energized a campaign.

But could it be done? What would it cost? What would it accomplish? Our search for answers became this, a landmark new report, “The Wall.”

The task was massive. We flew the entire border, drove it too. More than 30 reporters and photographers interviewed migrants, farmers, families, tribal members — even a human smuggler. We joined Border Patrol agents on the ground, in a tunnel, at sea. We patrolled with vigilantes, walked the line with ranchers. We scoured government maps, fought for property records.

In this report, you can watch aerial video of every foot of the border, explore every piece of fence, even stand at the border in virtual reality. Still, breakthrough technology would mean nothing if it didn’t help us better understand the issues — and one another.

Source: The Wall – An in-depth examination of Donald Trump’s border wall

Personally, I believe that an article like this would have served a greater purpose if it had been publish during the primaries…..