‘I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control.’

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Submitted by Bob Brody:

Thousand Oaks parent:’I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control.’

Dear Friends,

A 28-year-old veteran walked into the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California and killed 12 and injured a dozen more with a Glock 21 45 caliber pistol equipped with high-capacity ammunition magazines. According to Gun Violence Archive, the Thousand Oaks shooting was the 307th mass shooting incident in 2018 and there have been over 1800 incidents since the Sandy Hook tragedy.

We have warned all Americans that if a mass shooting can happen in an elementary school in Sandy Hook then it can happen anywhere. Until the federal government puts public safety first by passing a set of comprehensive gun control laws, more and more Americans everywhere will be killed or injured.

When we joined the fight to end gun violece after the Sandy Hook tragedy, we were told words matter. We were told to use “gun violence prevention” instead of “gun control” and use “limit” instead of “ban” because we will get more buy-in.  We were told to abandon the pursuit of a federal ban on assault weapons and embrace the federal background check bill as our legislative priority so that we can build on that success.

Sadly nearly six years later, not a single substantive federal “gun violence prevention” law has been passed. In fact, not a single “gun violence prevention” law has been passed in 24 years. Meanwhile the number of mass shootings and everyday gun deaths and injuries is rising. Too many mothers and fathers are losing their children to gun violence. We need to stop negotiating against our children’s lives and be unapologetic about asking for gun control laws.

The mother of Telemachus Orfanos who was killed at the bar said on local news, “I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control.” 

We agree! Enough with thoughts and prayers. Enough with letting the NRA dictate the narrative and our word choices. Enough with our elected leaders going after the low hanging fruit as their legislative priority. The bottom line is we need strong comprehensive gun control laws to regulate 300 million civilian-owned guns in America.

We urge you to contact your elected congressional representatives at 202-224-3121 to demand a vote on the following gun control measures to reduce gun homicides, gun suicides, unintentional shootings, and mass shootings in our towns and cities across the nation.

1. Background checks on all gun sales
2. Close the Charleston loophole or “delayed denial” where federally licensed dealers can sell guns if three business days pass without a verdict from the FBI
3. Restrict and penalize firearm possession by or transfer to a person subject to a domestic violence protection order or a person (including dating partners) convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor
4. Prohibit firearm sale or transfer to and receipt or possession by an individual who has: (1) been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor hate crime, or (2) received from any court an enhanced hate crime misdemeanor sentence
5. Mandatory waiting period for gun purchases
6. Red flag/gun violence restraining order/extreme risk protection order to temporarily prohibit an individual deemed by a judge to pose a danger to self or others, from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allow law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in the individual’s possession
7. Handgun permitting, licensing, training, and registration
8. Ban bump-fire stocks and other dangerous accessories
9. Ban future manufacture and sale of assault weapons, regulate existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and initiate a federal gun buyback program
10. Limits on high capacity magazines
11. Prohibit open carry
12. Make gun trafficking a federal crime
13. Repeal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to eliminate the corporate gun industry special protection from civil justice law that no other industry enjoys
14. Fund government research on gun violence
15. Child access prevention/safe storage requirement
16. Provide resources for people with mental illness
17. Microstamped code on each bullet that links it to a specific gun
18. “Smart guns” with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or biometric recognition (fingerprint) capability
19. Limit gun purchases to one gun per month to reduce trafficking and straw purchases
20. Require licensing for ammunition dealers
21. Enhance accountability of federally licensed firearms dealers
22. Digitize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gun records
23. Raise the minimum age for gun purchases to 21
24. Ban 3D and ghost guns
25. Prohibit guns in schools and college campuses
26. Report lost and stolen guns

Sincerely,
Po Murray
Chair, Newtown Action Alliance

Posted in Guns, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Leave a comment

Nobody Is Above the Law—Mueller Protection Rapid Response

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PROTESTS CALLED FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 5 PM LOCAL TIME
Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel’s Trump-Russia investigation, crossing a red line set to protect the investigation. By replacing Rod Rosenstein with just-named Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker as special counsel Robert Mueller’s boss on the investigation, Trump has undercut the independence of the investigation. Whitaker has publicly outlined strategies to stifle the investigation and cannot be allowed to remain in charge of it. The Nobody Is Above the Law network demands that Whitaker immediately commit not to assume supervision of the investigation. Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice. We will update this page as the situation develops.

Enter your ZIP code here and find the closest rally to protest: Nobody Is Above the Law

Once you sign up, make sure to invite friends to join you at the event!

In New York State the following towns have rallies planned:

NY: Albany, Auburn, Batavia, Beacon, Binghamton, Bronx, Buffalo, Canandaigua, Canton, Cobleskill, Corning, Cortland, Delhi, Fishkill, Fredonia, Geneseo, Geneva, Glens Falls, Huntington Village, Ithaca, Jamestown, Kinderhook, Kingston, Massapequa Park, Middletown, Mineola, Nanuet, New York, Newark, Olean, Oneonta, Patchogue, Peekskill, Plattsburgh, Port Jefferson Station, Rhinebeck, Riverhead, Rochester, Rockaway Park, Saranac Lake, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Utica, Warwick, Watertown, White Plains

The closest events for those on the East End of Long Island are Patchogue (Thursday 5PM) and Riverhead, rescheduled for Sat. at noon.

All Protests:

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and here is the News Report in Newsday:

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/fearing-end-of-russia-election-probe-long-islanders-protest-sessions-ouster-1.23140412?fbclid=IwAR2n5zjszcs8fRBr3eFvtapt7dtS6aw_ymuGI3j60q-WKw26o51vEXLZYQc

Posted in DOJ, Judiciary, mueller probe, Trump, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Audacity of Hope

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Nov. 6, 2018, 7 pm Eastern Time Zone

This is a weird moment in time. I feel the whole world is in limbo, waiting for the results of the US midterm elections. I feel mentally exhausted myself. Physically too.

Trying to relax by the fireside and listening to streamed classical music: Ottorino Raspighi, Preludio. Feels like everything is in the balance. The world could go to pot or there could be some semblance of normalcy, a swing back to rational leaders.

And as we wait for polls to close and results to trickle in, I wonder what the results actually depend on. Do they depend on our tireless efforts as part of the resistance all over the country. Did our small group of “resistance fighters” make any difference? Or was it all futile? Hundreds of hours of meetings, rallies, protest marches, writing op-eds, letters to the editors and blog posts, canvassing and phone-banking, did it help at all? I guess we will never know.

The cynic in me asks whether the outcome just depends on spewed lies from the orange monster and his followers, or on voter repression, or on robocalls, or on other malignant attempts to fool trusting citizens.

There have of course been many monsters in the history of mankind and somehow our civilization has survived. But, while we may survive Trumpism, I am still not sure about the future. The projected consequences of global warming are most alarming and I wonder whether mankind is doomed regardless of the outcome of tonight’s elections.  For the sake of my grandchildren, I hope not.

Yes, that’s it HOPE. That was Obama’s message: “The Audacity of Hope”. That is what we have to cling to.

Posted in Trump, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Playing Dirty: the Cox Brothers

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Funded by the Cox brothers
From:

Nigel Noble
Magic Lantern Media Inc.
A friend from upstate NY sent me this. Playing dirty: Received a postcard just today stressing how I should vote for my congressional district’s “Green candidate” over the “Moderate Democrat.” The political ad was paid for by “Fight for Tomorrow” and “not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.” If you look up Fight for Tomorrow, you will find that it’s a PAC based out of Texas affiliated with Conservatives/Republicans. Its largest donor, if you look a little deeper, is Howard Cox, partner of venture capital firm Greylock Partners. If you search further, you’ll find that Howard Cox last year contributed “an eye-popping” $500,000 to the New York State Republican Party, of which his brother Ed Cox is chairman. Fight for Tomorrow in New York for my district has a local address in a strip mall next to a Moe’s Southwest Grill. Their website is protected (read: hidden ownership) by GoDaddy’s Domains by Proxy. Just a little alert about divide-and-conquer strategies.
Don’t want this to get buried either: Here is Howard Cox pitching venture capital to Russians just 5 years ago — https://youtu.be/7h3B6JXkbyc
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Being Drilled for Armed Killer Opening Kindergarten Door

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By Charline Spektor (with permission).  She was the owner of Bookhampton stores and is now a Grandma.

My grandson began public school kindergarten a few weeks ago. He is so excited, and he comes home to tell “the best thing that happened today.” The other night at dinner he began: “Today in school we had a drill. It’s called lockdown. I thought it was  lockup but it’s lockdown.”

None of us moved. And he continued. “We’re getting ready for a bad person who can come in and want to hurt us. The drill is you have to listen. That’s the drill. Listen. Don’t talk. Go into the closet. You have to go into the closet. If you don’t fit in the closet you have to go into your cubby. And you can’t say anything. And there can be a lot of noise. Close your eyes. Don’t say anything. Even if you have to pee. That’s okay. The drill is you don’t move, you don’t talk. Until someone comes to say you’re safe.”

My grandson just turned five.  He is the most beautiful, wondrous gift on earth, as are all of our children, precious to us beyond words.  As he told us about the lockup, lockdown drill, my daughter pressed her fingers into my hand: Don’t speak, don’t cry.  And my daughter-in-law said, “Angel baby, you are such a good listener, I am so proud of the way you know how to listen. Did you go into the closet?”  My grandson  nodded. And then he said, “Ahma, did you ever have a drill like that? The kind where you had to be ready for someone bad to come in? Talk about it.” 

Talk about it? Talk about what it means that we have created a gun-loaded society where sociopaths can be armed and murder children in school? Talk about what it means that children in kindergarten are being prepared for murder? Talk about the teachers who are teaching how to hide from bad people with guns, preparing children to be assaulted by people who have guns. Murderers with murderous intent who have guns. 

I want to ask every single person I know: is this what you want for our children? Do you want our children having lockdown drills? Why didn’t we have lockdown drills? Because gun money was not controlling our country and our politics. Our childhood was not awash in the nightmare of gun-holding murderers. And yes, it is political. And yes, we have been sold and played, and our children’s lives have been put at risk. 

We cannot afford to be silent for one more minute. I sat silent as my grandson told me the truth: This is what we have allowed our country to become, a freak show of random violence. 

Talk about it? I wanted to say please forgive me. Forgive us.

The cash-and-carry politics of this country corrupted our moral intelligence. Our communities of silence have failed our children. We are facing a midterm election, and one of the remaining opportunities to speak up. Lee Zeldin co-sponsored a bill that permits concealed weapons to be carried in New York. When Zeldin sold out to the gun lobbies, he kicked open the door to the assault of our children. 

Who the hell is responsible for my small grandchild being drilled for the day that an armed killer opens his kindergarten door? It’s political. I am voting against Lee Zeldin. I am voting for Perry Gershon. 

Courage. Vote for our children.  VOTE GERSHON.  Please share.

Thank you, 

Charline 

Posted in Education, Guns, NRA, perry gershon, school shootings, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zeldin on Yemen

By Ken Dorph

Amal Hussein, the seven-year-old in the two photos below, died of starvation last week in Yemen. I am working with a Yemeni team here in Cairo and I can’t help but despair over the never-ending war there. Our American leadership has created a human catastrophe in Yemen, taking sides in a tribal conflict driven by our greed to sell weapons. I asked our Congressman, Lee Zeldin, who has consistently supported the sale of weapons used to kill civilians to the Saudis, if we could somehow stop these sales. His response, verbatim:

“Not unless there’s, not unless … I’m not completely … No one’s read members of Congress like myself completely what strategically the big picture is with that deal. So I’m left to speculate. I don’t believe that that is a solely Yemen play, what the President agreed to in Saudi Arabia. That there is more of a regional play there that’s going on right now. Yemen is a piece of it. If everything got narrowed down to that we’re giving weapons in order to fight in Yemen, it would be a different analysis of what I am speculating to be part of the picture, not all of it.”

Our leadership will only change if we change them.
Vote for Perry Gershon on November 6th.

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Posted in foreign policy, Iran, israel, perry gershon, Trump, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized, war, Zeldin | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Our Healthcare System will Change (Like it or Not)

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Submitted by John Hooker

In reply to a recent laudable post “Drug Prices: How Pharma Games the System,” I have this to add.

To gather momentum to change our system we should be relentless in emphasizing the cost that affects patients directly.

There is one major fallacy of our healthcare system. We chose to link healthcare insurance to employment in the years following World War II. In contrast, at that same time, Europeans chose to provide health care as a right for all (Universal Healthcare). Their countries chose different systems (some public and some private), but the underlying intent was always to insure everyone in the country, because that is how a successful insurance system works.

Healthcare obtained through your employer was our original sin. It never insured more than 70% of the population, and it actually took over our rights to choose and in stead put our employers in charge.

As per “Drug Prices: How Pharma Games the System,” Medicare is not allowed to negotiate prices. Pharmaceutical prices are still unregulated. Worse, Medicare is hamstrung by administrative rules that tend to increase fraud or waste. As we all know, that led to claims that anything government puts “its hands on” cannot work.

But the reality is that Medicare was engineered to be inefficient and to maximize profits for our private health care industry.

However, recent talk about healthcare is raising factual awareness and creating a platform for campaigns. Excessive patenting to extend branded product life, as described in “Drug Prices: How Pharma Games the System,” is only one aspect of the problem.

Most important is to remind ourselves that American pharmaceutical companies are free to charge whatever they want, whether the product is on or off-patent! Even if the drug is 30+ years old! That is outrageous.

Another point related to messaging: We should stop reminding the younger generations that health care costs are rising and implying they are being made to pay the bill for the costly care of older Americans via higher healthcare premiums. What no one seems to get, is that this is how insurance works! If you are a very careful car driver and never have an accident you are still paying insurance and this “covers” the expenses of the insurance company when others submit claims. In contrast to auto-insurance where higher premiums due to accident prone driving make some sense, health issues are often unrelated to negligent behavior. Even if you think that those who smoke, drink, or have unprotected sex with multiple partners, should be made to pay higher healthcare premiums, consider this. In our immediate future, say in 10-20 years, everyone will get a full sequence of their genetic profile. This means that you, your doctors and perhaps even your health insurance, will know the details of which diseases you are prone to get in the future.

Will you get a heart attack with 10% chance or with a 90% chance? Will you get hypertension? Will you have a stroke? Will you have diabetes? Will you get any number of different cancers? Thanks to Angelina Jolie and other celebrities, everyone already knows about BRCA gene mutations and the high risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer that they impart. Within a few decades there will be thousands of such cancer genes. You can bet that private for-profit health insurance companies would love to get your genetic profile and charge you insurance rates accordingly.

The ONLY way to “overcome the inequity of nature” is to adopt the widest healthcare insurance pool possible, distribute the risk, and lower premiums for everyone.

It is time to debunk healthcare insurance through employment. It increases the lack of transparency. It decreases control for the individual. It is unmanageable in its current form and it is getting worse.

Experts predict that the expanded use of genomics will eventually afford predictability of disease for the entire population. This is the “holy grail” for healthcare providers. It is also the right time to dramatically change our healthcare insurance system.

If not politics, science may compel us to accept Medicare for all.

Let’s simplify and make good.

 

John Hooker is an International Medical Communications Consultant with 36 years of experience working with Big Pharma.

Posted in ACA, Health Care, Medicaid, medicare, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment