Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Conscience of a Trump Supporter and its Strategic Implications, Indictments and Rearing Technology's Ugly Head

Indictments

Watch FoxNews to see how trivial, how unimportant, how minor-league, Special Prosecutor Mueller's indictments are.  Only the gullible will believe that.  Reminds me of a friend's father who, back in World War Two days, was involved in the wholesale meat "black market."  They never managed to put him away for his law breaking in that area, but instead, turned to his tax returns instead which were how they ulltimately got him.
JL  

Democratic Strategy

More and more, I believe that I am on the right track in suggesting to Democratic candidates at all levels to challenge their G.O.P. opponents with a demand that they clearly state their position in regard to the President of the United States.  I started saying this months ago on this blog.  I say it again.  That is the only route to success.

Forget Trump's "programs" which domestically are in line with what Republicans have been advocating for years (and rarely accomplishing).  Of course, Republicans will support them ... but how do they feel about the man in the White House as a person?  That is the question.  Do they support him as the Messiah bringing fruition to years of G.O.P. efforts ... or are they ashamed of him?

Would they want their kids to look up to him?  To see him as an example?  Compare him with the George Washington who after chopping down a cherry tree, admitted it, saying "I cannot tell a lie."  See the difference between the "George" and the "Donald"?  Would they ever want Donald Trump's image on a piece of currency?  Okay, "Monopoly" money maybe, but U.S. paper dollar denominations?  Get them to take a stand!  Trump has demeaned the office he holds and the world knows it.  How do Republican candidates feel about that?

There will be two kinds of Republican candidates.  One kind will have their doubts about Trump, and say so.  Republican voters like the fictional one whose conscience is bared in the next article will not vote for that candidate.  Another kind will staunchly stick with the President.  As a result, Republicans with minds of their own (I mention a few conservative columnists below who fit that description) and those who think like Senators Flake and Corker ... and like former President George W. Bush does, will shun such candidates.  All this will benefit  Democratic candidates at all levels.  This is what 2018 will be about.

And Democrats must avoid emphasizing their contrast with Republicans in regard to economic and social issues.  Pushing these issues to "grow" the Democratic base beyond the choir to which Democrats usually preach can serve to mightily energize the conservative voter, as described below, who otherwise might stay away from the polls, if the Republican candidate is not to their liking.  Similarly, meaningless issues like Civil War monuments can be used to energize them.  That's why squabbles over statues of Robert E. Lee are to be avoided by Democrats.  They only serve to bring Republicans to the polls.
Jack Lippman




Back in the 1960's, Barry Goldwater wrote a book entitled "Conscience of a Conservative."  Senator Jeff Flake borrowed that title for his 2017 book.  But today's "conservatives" don't believe in the kind of conservatism these two have written about.  In fact, today's real conservatives are suspicious of any thing in the form of a "book," a form of communication usually reserved for liberals and elites.  

Liberals like Thomas Friedman, E.J. Dionne, Paul Krugman and conservatives like Michael Gerson, Kathleen Parker and David Brooks can pontificate with literate, well-reasoned journalism until the cows come home.  Trump voters never even get near these Republican opinion makers.  Of course,they do sometimes watch Sean Hannity and the Breitbart-based clones, however, and in my opinion, they prefer to have something like the following as the basis for their ideas.  So read on about ....

The Conscience of a (hypothetical) Trump Voter:

"I don’t like paying a big chunk of my earnings in taxes, particularly if a lot of that money goes to provide people with stuff for free that I have to pay for.  By that I mean Medicaid, Aid to Dependent Children, Food Stamps (or whatever they are called today), unemployment benefits and someone getting to the front of the line because life has shortchanged them, possibly their own fault, so that I have to take what’s left over.  I don’t like the idea that I have to pay to send my kids to private school, or find a charter school that fits their needs, because they are busing a load of semi-literate, ill-prepared, kids into the school in my neighborhood, lousing it up.  

Politically, I blame the Democrats for all of this kind of thing so that is why I wouldn’t vote for a Democrat, even for dog catcher.  They’d probably set up a nutritional program for stray dogs and cats with my money.  Trouble is that the Republicans I always vote for, once elected, usually end up supporting these kinds of things too, taking money out of my pocket, as part of a deal with the Democrats so that the Republicans can get something in exchange to benefit the fat cats who pay for most of their campaign expenses.   I guess all of these elected officials can be lumped as the “establishment” and they’ve been running the country, and running me down, for years, regardless of party.  Running the country, "ruining" the country:  Take your choice.

I know Donald Trump probably knows less about this stuff than I do. But down deep, he’s like me. He made his money screwing people like me, but now he’s on my side.  I don’t believe half of what he says but he’s a hell of a lot better than the Republicans who turn out to be just as much part of the mess in government as are the Democrats.   Some of the people he has brought along think that government is the problem and are busy ripping it apart.  Wrong or right, that doesn’t bother me, so long as it saves me money.  I can take care of myself.  Bottled water is fine. This scares the hell out of these Republican “establishment” dudes who are really little better than Democrats, who pretend to support Trump just to get votes from people like me.  But now I see through them.  I've had enough.  

I will continue to vote, as all good Americans should, but only for Republicans (Democrats can go to hell…  they’re only good for immigrants, queers and minorities) who really and truly support Trump, and for those who understand what government is really all about and battle its continued waste of money on stuff with which it should have nothing to do like healthcare and rules and regulations  for businesses. It’s all very simple.  Just read the Constitushun.  It says it all.  And none of that stuff is in it.

Believe me, I can take care of myself and my family, if the government will only let me.  And if worst comes to worst, thank God for the Second Amendment.  I have a couple of weapons and loads of ammo at home which I would only use to hunt for food and for self-defense.  Like I said, just read the Constitushun.  It says it all."
JL


Jack's Conclusion

The way I see it, intelligent voters who examine both Republican and Democratic economic positions will usually make a choice for the Democrats.  Same goes for social issues.  The G.O.P.'s line always comes down to tax reduction for the very rich and companies so they will have money available for investment in growth, which is supposed to trickle down to working people in the form of higher wages and more jobs.  Factor that into Republican tax reform ideas, which is what they are doing, and the G.O.P. position looks great!  Unfortunately, it never has and never will work out that way.  It's a dream to deceive the gullible, like the Trump supporter whose conscience is explored above.  Sadly, the "evangelical" voters are conned into going along with this because of grossly misrepresented issues such as abortion and freedom of religion.  They should know better but they don't.

Working people, women, retirees, liberals, the LGBT voters, environmentalists, union members, those at the bottom of our socio-economic ladder, academics, health care workers, doctors and lawyers (often for the wrong reason) generally can be counted on to vote Democratic, without even having to be convinced to vote that way.  But that won't be enough to capture the House and Senate, and some state legislatures in 2018 unless the split between Trump lovers and Trump haters in the Republican Party can be fully exploited.   That is the only way to overcome the new version of the "Conscience of a Trump Voter" which has become the mantra of what used to be the Republican Party.

I hope I've said enough about how to accomplish that.  The best and perhaps the only way to beat them is to split them.
JL



Resenting Technolgy and an Apology for Google


The other afternoon I got into my car.  Knowing my mobile phone wasn’t fully charged, I plugged it into the car charger.  As soon as I did, a message popped up telling me the best route, and the time it would take, to get to the place where I was about to drive.  Apparently, every time one does something “on line” or through their smart phone or tablet, it gets noted somewhere out there in cyberspace and somewhere, some kind of software is doing something with that information, something I never asked it to do.   In this case, “it” (1) knew I was in my car, (2) it was Friday afternoon when I usually drive off to visit my friend, and concluded that was where I was going and graciously provided me with helpful information about my trip.  Nowhere was this trip scheduled in an online calendar to clue “it” in.  Bottom line:  I resent this uninvited intrusion by software into my behavior.  What if I had decided to go somewhere else other than my usual Friday destination?  Would it store that information or report it to someone?  Technology exists to help us and not to control us.  Be careful.

And while on the subject of technology, let me apologize for some of the advertisements which “Google AdSense" has been including on this blog.  I choose to include these ads because they produce income which I turn over to charities.  That’s why I encourage you to click on them to learn about the products and services which they are offering.

But from what I have been hearing and reading, I now conclude that some of the advertisements posted by “Google AdSense" on this blog, particularly those of a political nature, just may have been originated by groups outside of the country, possibly in an effort to influence our electoral process.   Apparently, Google had not properly vetted the origin of those advertisers.  Hopefully, in the future they will.  For the time being, however, I would recommend that you ignore any advertisements of a political nature on Jackspotpourri.com.  I stand behind the legitimacy of the “editorial content” which I personally include on the blog but I cannot say as much for any ads which "Google AdSense" provides to the blog.

Jack Lippman




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Jack Lippman 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Defanging Trump, Why Weinstein and Health Insurance in Rwanda


I will be out of town for a while, but feel it very important that this posting be published without delay.  Hence, its "early" delivery.

Rex Tillerson Had It Right

Before and since the 2016 Presidential election, opponents of Donald Trump have pointed out that he is totally unqualified to be President of the United States.  However great his skills as a pitchman and deal maker, these are not the skills needed to be the nation’s leader, if not the leader of the Western world. 

Some saner Republicans (other than the tea party people, the House’s “freedom caucus” and assorted other right wingers, all of whom I consider to be “crypto-anarchists” because of their opposition to “government” as an imposition on the rights of individuals) are beginning to openly question the President’s qualifications and fitness to hold office.  Many more agree with them but are reluctant to speak out, fearing reaction, including primary challenges, from the far right.  Steve Bannon is engineering this reaction and claims it is the best way of supporting the President.  Bannon is interested in destroying the Republican Party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ike and Ronald Reagan and replacing it with a far right party.

The nation faces many problems which are not being dealt with properly.  Right wing crypto-anarchists (such as Cabinet secretaries DeVos, Pruitt, Perry and the recently defrocked Tom Pryor) may be decimating much of the domestic progress made in this country over the past half century, but the Democratic administration which will eventually succeed the present Republican debacle will surely quickly remedy all of this “deconstruction.”   Fear not.

Corker
Foreign relations, however, carefully cultivated over many years, are another story.  Besides the nation’s credibility world-wide being dissipated (except perhaps among dictators), the looming threat seems to be North Korea’s nuclear aspirations.  Donald Trump lacks the skills to understand, let alone deal with, this problem.  It is clear that Senator Corker’s  public remarks are just the tip of the Republican iceberg which recognizes this.  Secretary Tillerson is balancing himself on a high wire between the truth, what has to be done, and the blustering of his boss, the President.

There are enough smart people in government who know how to prevent the nuclear destruction which a World War III would bring about.  They know when to say to the President, “EnoughLeave it to the diplomats.”  We are approaching that point.  If the President doesn’t listen to these wiser voices, something very un-American might happen: a “coup d’etat” in Washington!
                                                                                                         
              Mattis and Tillerson

If they haven't already done so secretly, I can envision the leaders of both parties in Congress, along with the Justices of the Supreme Court and Administration leaders such as Secretary of Defense Mattis, Generals McMaster and Kelly and a few saner Cabinet members quietly getting together to map out a strategy to follow if the President refuses to listen to their wiser voices.  Certainly, it would be unconstitutional ... but highly preferable to the deaths of millions of innocent people which a nuclear war would cause. 

The President would be put under house arrest in the White House, impeached and convicted in short order.  There are plenty of grounds for doing this. Michael Pence would become President, unless he chose to align himself with the President, in which case Paul Ryan would get the job.  This would mollify Republicans, mitigating any objections they might have to the “coup.”  Of course, Steve Bannon would be very unhappy, and use the episode to promote his new party.

It’s horrible to think of such a “third world” kind of thing happening in the United States of America, but it is a preferable alternative to nuclear war.  

(The President's approach, not letting anyone know what he is going to do, but making it clear that his action just might include using nuclear weaponry, would certainly negate the threats posed by Iran or North Korea, if he chose to destroy one of them, setting an example for the other.  This kind of gamesmanship may produce winners in the real estate business, but doesn't belong in government.  All it can produce is the deaths of millions.  If he truly believes this, Donald Trump is probably insane.)

(Another scenario which I have heard bandied around involves the ultimate Oval Office conflict where the President reaches for the “football” containing the codes which will unleash nuclear warfare, and Mattis, Kelly and McMaster, all career military men probably in far better physical shape than the President, gang-tackle him and remove the “football” from his hands.  A “coup d’etat” would be preferable.)

JL



Harvey Weinstein is a Pig


So what’s new?  Haven’t we all suspected for years that this kind of thing goes on regularly in “show business”?  Ever hear of an audition for a role taking place on a “casting couch?”  Men in positions of power do these kinds of things and they include Senators, Presidents and TV personalities and show biz magnates.  You know about whom I am talking.  Why is everybody so surprised?  

Weinstein - Ultimate Dirty Old Man
From a biologist's standpoint, the purpose of life is to reproduce the species inhabiting the earth, procreating them, hopefully for eternity.  This is true of birds, bees, ants, chickens and human beings as well.  To make sure this happens, the male of our species is given a abundant sexual drive which drives him to reproduce.  In most civilized societies this drive is regulated and controlled by some sort of institution, typically marriage.  That should take care of the reproduction part of the story, but all too often, there is “left-over” male sexual drive.  Sometimes, one’s mate does not serve to fully satisfy this drive, and any perversions of it which manifest themselves. 

The Bible handled this by neatly including adultery as the Seventh of Ten Commandments, tucked in between prohibitions against murder and stealing.  Well, both of those vices still exist and of course, the one based on the male sexual drive “left over” from, and continuing on after its reproductive assignment, does too.  

This was quickly recognized by early civilizations which controlled it by such innovations as prostitution, multiple wives, pornography and homosexuality. In European society, mistresses of both sexes often served this purpose.  But today, these escape hatches often prove inappropriate, illegal or inadequate for some men. In some ancient societies, they might have been acceptable legal outlets for “left-over” male sexual drive, but not in ours.  So we end up with Harvey Weinsteins and Bill Cosbys.

Vice President Michael Pence recognizes this, and I suspect is aware of his “left-over” libido.  He knows that he might not be able, given the right circumstances, to repress this drive.  So he controls it by insisting on his wife’s presence when his duties entail sitting down for a meal with a female.  That’s good thinking!  I wonder what would happen if she were indisposed.

Of course, females have a strong sexual drive too, but it operates differently from that of men and seems to be better managed by women than the male's sexual drive is managed by men, avoiding the excesses mentioned above. One biological aspect of it leads women to try to make themselves attractive and “sexy” to men, making them more desirable and more likely to be selected as a mate. Often this drive continues, even beyond childbearing years.  Women enjoy being "attractive," even though they might not be trying to "attract" anyone any longer.  And if women "lust," they do it quietly.  Female Harvey Weinsteins may exist, but they are rarities.

None of this excuses Harvey Weinstein, who should suffer the penalties for what he has done, and ultimately seek some level of rehabilitation. This posting tries to set the historic and biologic stage upon which his excesses and those of others, occur.  Your comments and criticism are welcome.

JL



Rwanda?

In effort to weaken the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act, this week the President signed an Executive Order permitting individuals to join associations or groups which would provide them with health insurance at a far better price than the ACA does. Ha!

Such plans sold by Farm Bureau insurance agents, for example, while not complying with ACA rules and meeting ACA standards (and thereby incurring an IRS penalty for the insured) are available, it is reported for as low as $100 a month.  This is really a great deal for those healthy enough to be accepted for a policy by Farm Bureau, particularly if they can live with an up-front deductible of about $5,000 before 80% of their medical bills are covered.  Of course, pre-existing conditions are not covered on such a one-year plan which is renewable annually, just maybe.  And things like maternity, mental health and drugs are of course excluded.  This will serve to drain off healthy people with no pre-existing conditions from the pool of risks using the Affordable Care Act, making its coverages more costly.  That's what this "executive order" is all about.  Another step backward to "Make America Great." This kind of almost worthless health insurance is what created the need for the Affordable Care Act.  

An alternative for those who object to the high standards of coverage required under the Affordable Care Act, but don’t like the Farm Bureau plans which can reject them and won’t cover pre-existing conditions is to move to Rwanda which I understand has a better health care system than do many rural parts of the United States.   Read a fascinating story from the New York Times describing health care in that country by CLICKING RIGHT HERE.  


JL







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To view older postings on this blog, just click on the appropriate date in the “Blog Archive” midway down the column off to the right, or scroll down until you see the “Older Posts” notation at the very bottom of this posting.  The “Search Box” in the right side of the posting also may be helpful in locating a posting topic for which you are looking.

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Jack Lippman 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Defining "Unless," The Second Amendment, Two Gorsuchs and a Facebook Posting




What I Meant by "Unless"

Here is a copy of the article about “secession” which appeared in the posting just before this one.  Note that I concluded it with the word “unless…. “And here is where that “unless” might lead us.  But please read the article from last week’s posting which appears below before you read on further.


“Kurdistan, Catalonia and the Confederacy

The Kurds want to be independent.  Catalonia wants to be independent.  They may have good reasons for wanting to be independent. But unfortunately, Catalonia is part of Spain and Kurdistan is part of Iraq, Turkey and even Iran.  None of these countries are willing to permit secession of those desiring independence, any more than the United States was willing to let the States of the Confederacy secede in 1861.  The Civil War was fought to prevent it from happening.


But if in the extremely unlikely situation whereby the nations from which Catalonia and Kurdistan are trying to separate themselves can be brought around to accepting their secession, there is no reason why the States of the Confederacy should not be able to once again ask for their freedom from our "Union" today as well.  Now that slavery is not an issue tied to secession, it might be a good thing for the United States to be relieved of Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas.


These States contribute far less in taxes to the Federal government than they receive in benefits, so their secession would make the United States far more governable.  And if West Virginia and Oklahoma wish to join with them, that would be fine too.  But of course, this will never happen.  Unless ....” 
JL

And here is that “Unless” contingency further explained: Imagine that the Democrats win control of both Houses of Congress in 2018, strengthen their majorities in 2020 at which time they elect a President as well. This is a distinct possibility because of the ongoing disintegration of the Republican Party into a traditional ‘free enterprise – low tax’ group and an extreme right-wing libertarian, crypto-anarchist group which believes that government involvement in anything other than national defense is a step on “the road to serfdom.” 

The G.O.P. candidates which come from one of these groups will automatically be unacceptable to the other group and this schism will open the door to Democratic victories at all levels.  The fact that the incompetent, unqualified occupant of the White House is a Republican will also help the Democrats.

Once in power, the Democrats will proceed to institute programs which provide Medicare for all, job creation through massive infrastructure rebuilding, environmental regulations, consumer protection, recognition of worldwide climate change and domestic economic growth based on globalization.  Other than fighting with a holdover Supreme Court about some of these things, the Democrats will pretty much have a free hand legislatively.  And the tax burden for all of this will fall upon the hitherto tax-protected wealthy.

Finally, they will, with great caution, introduce laws which will regulate private ownership of guns, making possession of any weapons for uses other than hunting, personal protection or sport shooting illegal, and will ban any military type weapons, automatic or semi-automatic or whatever.  This is the one issue over which the remaining Republicans will unite

Once these gun control laws are passed by the Democrats, the threat of insurrection by those who have cherished their weapons for years, egged on by the NRA, its publications and their advertisers, will rear its ugly head.  It will be time for the payoff from years of training by private militia in the woods and shooting semi-automatic and automatic weaponry on ranges.  It will be time to see if Charlton Heston’s famous slogan about taking away his guns “only from out of my cold dead hands” is anything more than empty rhetoric to those who have sworn by it.

Of course, they would be no match for the Federal government’s armed forces, even if some State National Guard units sided with such an insurrection.  IT IS THEN THAT THE GOVERNMENT, sensing that decades of lax gun laws just cannot be wiped out overnight, and RATHER THAN PROVOKE ANOTHER CIVIL WAR, WILL OFFER THOSE STATES THAT FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT THEIR GUNS "THE RIGHT TO SECEDE."  And that is the big “Unless ….” with which I concluded the prior posting.  

The underlying issue in 1861 was the expansion of slavery.  The underlying issue today is gun control and the Supreme Court’s politically motivated misinterpretation of the Second Amendment.  Ending slavery was worth fighting a civil war over.  Gun control is not.  If they want to, let them secede.  

And if they choose to, it will not just be the opponents of gun control in States that support secession who would be delighted to leaveJoining with them will be those whose agendas oppose the Democratic program of supporting immigration, environmental regulation, consumer protection, unions, health care for all, public education, recognition of climate change, LGBT rights and women’s rights as well. Those “suffering” from the higher taxes on the wealthy instituted by the Democrats would also be glad to leave.  

Many in the remaining United States will believe that the country will be a different and far better place once all these folks leave the Union!  Their departure would be a step forward in “Making America Great!”













John Calhoun ... advocate of "nullification" and "secession" throughout first half of Nineteenth Century.  Enough of the South believed him to result in the Civil War and the resulting bloodshed.  

As for forming a government, until the secessionists hold elections, their new country will be temporarily governed by the governors of the seceding States and the NRA, with its membership automatically becoming registered voters.  One good thing, at least for the secessionists, will be that Wayne LaPierre will turn out to be a far more competent president than Donald Trump. 

Jack Lippman



Second Amendment Commentary

Here's a posting from this blog which appeared late in 2015.  Please read it again, and note my comments at the close.   (This is more realistic than the "unless" scenario outlined above.)
                                                                  *   *   *   *   *
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution 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.”

In the lobby of the NRA Headquarters Building in Fairfax, VA, the final fourteen words of the Second Amendment are exhibited on the wall.  It’s as if the first thirteen words of the Second Amendment did not exist. (Imagine a group which opposed equality of the sexes misquoting the Bible’s Fifth Commandment as “Honor Thy Father” eliminating any reference to one’s mother.  This is what the NRA has done to the Second Amendment.


Those first thirteen words of the Amendment were pertinent from its inception until the Supreme Court chose to ignore them in D.C. vs. Heller in 2008.  Up to then, the right to bear arms was taken to mean that in the days when the government could call up civilians to serve in militias telling them to bring their own guns, there should be no impediments to gun ownership.  In 1789 those first thirteen words made sense.  But we have a regular army now.  We didn’t then.  So while those first thirteen words are no longer important, it doesn’t mean that the second fourteen words can be taken to stand alone in regard to freedom to bear arms, and that states and municipalities cannot regulate weaponry, if they choose to, without violating the Second Amendment.  But that is what the Supreme Court said in 2008.

The role of the NRA in shaping public opinion and supporting legislators who support this misreading of the Second Amendment will be viewed by history as a dark time in American history.   Its constant opposition to any kind of gun control legislation has contributed to making weapons available to those with mental disorders and with evil intent, including terrorists.  Anyone who really wants to secure a weapon can always do so, but the NRA (and the Supreme Court decision in 2008) makes it much easier.  Opponents of gun control measures  look to the misinterpreted Second Amendment as a protector of “due process” for gun purchasers.

The “Father of our Country,” George Washington, had his own thoughts on gun ownership.  He strongly implied that owning guns was important not only for use if called up to serve in a militia, but to use if our own government became oppressive. 


This kind of thinking is held by many today who oppose certain things our government may do.  That’s why there are extremists training in the woods bent on taking the law into their own hands with the aid of their weapons! In the United States in 2016, however, opposition to the government should be voiced in the voting booth, and not with a gun, regardless of what George Washington may have said.  But don’t tell this to the NRA, nor many of its members who fear that gun control regulation, on a local basis, will be the first step toward trying  “to take their guns away” if the Second Amendment is ever again interpreted the way it was written, and intended, until 2008.  And they feel their opposition to gun control is justified by the words of George Washington.  Well, George was wrong.


This is why it is very important to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate in 2016. 
                                  (end of reprinted posting from 2015)

                                                              *  *  *  *  *

Who's on the NRA's Payroll?

Well, we didn't elect a Democratic President and Senate in 2016 and the country is paying the price.   A big part of that is the number of Senators and Representatives who take large amounts of blood money from the NRA.  

They do so out of fear of losing the votes of those who believe that a "gun culture" is a basic part of the American way of life.  That is bullshit.  We regulate drugs, alcohol, tobacco, automobiles (which can be lethal weapons) much more heavily than we do guns in the hands of Americans, who in this country kill far more people with them than ISIS has ever done.  That must be changed.  The only way we can  get real gun control in this country is to elect a Democratic President backed by two Democratic Houses of Congress.  Until that day, nothing meaningful will be done.  The NRA has seen to that.

To learn what Senators and Representatives (all Republicans, of course) received the most blood money from the NRA, read the recent New York Times article on the subject by CLICKING RIGHT HERE!
JL




Facebook Posting

And while on the subject of guns, here is an item I posted on Facebook last Friday.


It’s very clever of the NRA and their “bought” stooges in the House and in the Senate to want to do away with the “bump stock” attachment which can turn a rifle into an automatic weapon, firing off rounds faster than any trigger-finger can.  (Those kinds of automatic weapons, actually machine guns, are already illegal.) It makes the NRA and their stooges appear to be reasonable and willing to compromise, neither of which they are! 

Without a “bump stock” attachment, a legal “semi-automatic” rifle can still fire off rounds as fast as a trigger finger can repeatedly squeeze a trigger stopping only when the magazine is exhausted.  Conservatively, that amounts to about two shots per second, exhausting a 30 round magazine in fifteen seconds, requiring reloading.  Of course, an illegal automatic weapon or a semi-automatic weapon equipped with a “bump stock” can easily shoot off four times as many shots. 


By stressing their “opposition” to “bump stocks” which turn legal semi-automatic weapons into already illegal automatic weapons, they are fortifying their position regarding the legality of semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15.  These too should be illegal.  Until the Las Vegas tragedy, they have been the weapons of choice for mass murderers.  Who, other than the police and the military, needs to shoot off 30 rounds in fifteen seconds?   Target shooters? Hunters? Home defenders?  Let’s see the NRA compromise on these semi-automatic weapons.  Then we will be on the road to real gun control.
JL

Two Gorsuchs

In 1851, under the provisions of the Fugitive Slave Law, a Maryland slave owner, accompanied by a U.S. Marshall and some armed men, marched northward into Pennsylvania to recapture several of his slaves who had fled north a few years earlier.  You can learn what happened by CLICKING HERE to learn more about this event, known as the Christiana  Incident.   It served to awaken the country to the evils of the Fugitive Slave Law which the Dred Scott decision by a Southern-dominated Supreme Court had made possible, a year earlier.  There is no disagreement among legal scholars that this was the worst decision ever handed down by the Supreme Court, and was instrumental in causing the Civil War.


The slave owner, who was killed in the incident, was named Edward Gorsuch, and came from the Baltimore County area of Maryland.  The latest addition to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, 



      Justice Neil Gorsuch


comes from a long line of Gorsuchs who lived in Baltimore County, Maryland.  A brief investigation into online genealogical records does not specifically connect Justice Neil Gorsuch with Edward Gorsuch, but he did have some ancestors with the Gorsuch name living in that area at that time.  If they were related, it was very remotely.    I hope that Justice Gorsuch’s rulings on the Supreme Court are fair and able to make up for the evil Dred Scott decision in 1850 which led to the death of slave owner Edward Gorsuch in 1851, and eventually, the Civil War.






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JL