By Kasson

This marks the 209th school shooting since Columbine in April 1999. That’s about once a month for the last 19 years. 163rd since Virginia Tech in April 2007, once every 3.5 weeks for almost 11 years. It’s the 114th since Sandy Hook in December 2012, once every 2.5 weeks for 5 straight years. And it is the 7th in 2018, once a week.

What are the only 2 major pieces of gun legislation since Columbine in 1999? In 2004 the Assault Weapons Ban was allowed to expire, and in 2005 Congress passed a law preventing gun manufacturers from being sued for negligence. That’s it. That’s the sum total Congress has done regarding gun legislation.

What will it take for meaningful reform to slow down these shootings? We all know the answer; no action will be taken. If nothing was done when 15 were killed at Columbine, or when 33 were killed at Virginia Tech, or when 20 first graders and 8 others were slaughtered in Newtown, CT; nothing will be done now that at least 17 were killed in Florida.

When a bump-stock to effectively turn a semi-automatic rifle into a fully automatic rifle was used in Las Vegas to kill 58 and injure 851, legislators on both sides of the aisle came out FOR common sense laws banning that loophole. Yet five months later, no action has been taken.

Solving this is going to take comprehensive reform. It is going to take better healthcare to treat mental illness. It is going to take society destigmatizing mental illness. And it is going to take common sense gun laws to prevent the most dangerous weapons from legally reaching the hands of the most dangerous people in our society.

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One final note, in no longer so hushed racial undertones blacks, and Mexicans, and Muslims are blamed for the violence in this country. By and large these school shootings (and mass shootings in general) are done by white middle to upper-class students and adults with legally acquired weapons.

Notice how it is always mental illness when it is performed by white middle class Americans, but if a crime is committed by someone who is black, or Muslim, or Mexican, or atheist, it is their race or creed that is at fault. People don’t want to believe that someone like them can commit atrocities so it is always something else to blame, and they choose the most obvious difference from their views, or actions, or looks, and when there is nothing left only then does it shift to mental illness.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shootings_in_the_United_States
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_law_in_the_United_States

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By Wink

Remember when Republicans professed to care about ‘family values’? Remember when they supported veterans, and especially POW’s? How about the dire warnings about deficit spending? Remember that? How about professing to superior morals? Remember when religion mattered, particularly the part about helping the poor? Remember when they cared about Russia and always accused Democrats of being ‘soft on communism?’

How does the current White House resident measure up? Here is an abbreviated, abbreviated, abbreviated, abbreviated, abbreviated, abbreviated list:

  • Bragged about grabbing women by the p***y
  • Cheated on his pregnant wife with a porn star.
  • Paid the porn star $130,000 to keep quiet.
  • Belittled a war hero POW (McCain).
  • Insulted a Gold Star family.
  • Refused to sanction Russia for the election meddling that everyone everywhere knows happened, in spite of a Senate vote of 98-2 and a House vote of 419-3 in favor of sanctions.
  • Signed a tax cut for the extremely wealthy that will increase the deficit by more than $1,500,000,000,000.00, to the obvious detriment to the poor and middle class.
  • Supported a pedophile for Senate.
  • Supported a top aid accused of years of beating BOTH of his ex-wives.

So how is Mr. Trump doing among the family value, military veteran and POW-supporting, deficit hawk, superior moral and religious Republicans?

Sadly for ‘The Donald,’ his approval rating among these people is only 90%.

Nine-zero.

I presume, if we had video of him handing our nuclear codes to Putin, his approval among Republicans might plummet to 89%, but I sort of doubt it.

90% Approval.

What else could he do and not lose any GOP support? It boggles the mind…

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P.S. The $1,500,000,000,000.00 number shown above is not made-up. This is the actual dollar amount the deficit will increase to benefit the wealthy… not a ‘fake’ number.

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By Wink

I live in a not-distant zip code from one sensationally rich person – Warren Buffett.

Mr. Buffett, his family, and any of the other of the super-wealthy will benefit an enormous amount from the recent tax cuts enacted by Congress.

When Congress tells you the tax changes are to benefit you, or will create high paying jobs, they know differently. They are not being disingenuous, they are lying. They do not care about you. They never have, except to get your vote.

Despite calling themselves ‘conservatives’ they are happy to send the U.S. budget another ONE AND ONE HALF TRILLION DOLLARS into debt, transferring this money to their rich donors, to get re-elected.

What does Warren Buffett feel about this? Well, he is still optimistic about the future of the U.S., but he has concerns about which direction the money is going.

Says Buffett: “The challenge will be to have this bounty deliver a better life to the disrupted as well as the disrupters, and on this matter many Americans are justifiably worried.”

He feels the American economic boom has left millions of hardworking citizens “stuck on an economic treadmill,” hopelessly behind as the economy and jobs become more specialized.

In the meanwhile, the wealth of the top 400 families has gone from $93 billion in 1982 to $2.7 trillion today, a 29-fold increase.

Of this, Buffett says: “During this period, this tsunami of wealth didn’t trickle down, it surged upward. These devastating side effects can be ameliorated.”

Speaking both literally and metaphorically, he says: “A rich family takes care of all of its children, not just those with talents valued by the marketplace.”

“In the years of growth that certainly lie ahead, I have no doubt that America can both deliver riches to many and a decent life to all. We must not settle for less.”

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by Wink

From the uproar, I can only surmise there is a large contingent of NFL players who regularly jump up and down on the American flag, spit on it and then set it on fire.

What? They aren’t doing that?

This hubbub is about silent kneeling?

Hmmmm. Okay, I have an idea. What if the player kneels and PRAYS?

Prayer is not enough? How about if they kneel and pray for our soldiers?

Still no? How about if they kneel and pray that the fake media starts writing only nice things about how wonderful Donald Trump is?

For Pete’s sake people, why is peaceful, silent protest in the United States controversial? The founding fathers, the same ones who gave you that fabulous 2nd Amendment, also gave you the right, and freedom, to protest. This is why America is so great!! Celebrate it!

I do have a suggestion though. If the existence of peaceful protest raises your blood pressure too much, you are free to move to a country where you will never-ever be bothered by protesters – North Korea for example.

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By Wink

Southern Christians voted for Donald Trump without holding their nose. Once you can make that leap, to vote for an admitted female crotch-grabber, how short is the trip to willingly voting for a pedophile?

Teenage-girl-chasing predator Roy Moore has a legitimate chance to win a U.S. Senate seat. His defenders would call him an ‘alleged’ pedophile, and heinous allegations don’t seem to make that much difference in Alabama, if you have an ‘R’ after your name on the ballot.

Alabamans were polled on this, and a surprising number said one of the following: (1) Yes, there are a lot of women who said he came after them when he was in his 30’s and they were 16 or younger, but I don’t believe any of them, (2) Even if he did it, it was a long time ago and people say he is a great guy now, (3) Even if he is a pedophile, that is still preferable to a Democrat.

Congratulations Rush and FOX, your demonization of the left is complete. Nazi-lovers and pedophiles are preferable to Democrats and liberals.
There is a percentage of the ‘genuinely stupid’ in every state, but Alabama tends to live up to its reputation as the stupidest of the stupid.
Alabama Christians who voted for Trump, and now (ugh) Moore, must forfeit any claim to moral superiority in the face of supporting obvious evil.
Maybe the devil makes them do it.

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By Wink

This was all inevitable.

The guilty pleas of Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulas are the tip of the iceberg, and we all know who the Titanic is.
If a candidate surrounded himself with smart/honest people, rather than lackeys, he would hear, “Mr. Candidate, it is against American law to get campaign support from foreign entities, maybe especially Russia.”
If you surround yourself with dunces (see: Papadopoulas and Donald Jr.) or worse, dishonest people (see: Manafort), they may be more than a little willing to collude with a foreign government, especially when that government jams tens of millions of dollars in their pocket.
Honesty Test: When Russians come to you and offer dirt on your campaign opponent, do you (A) Report it to the FBI or (B) Say ‘Cool, when can we get together?’ Hint: Taking foreign support, Russian or otherwise, is verboten!
Even during the campaign we knew that the Donald had his lips firmly attached to V. Putin’s arsenal. His team removed exactly one plank from the GOP convention platform – the one that recommended penalties for Russia as punishment for their intervention in the Ukraine.
As the investigation progresses, Trump fans (and Trump) are going to lose their minds. Everything is a conspiracy! Why aren’t they investigating Hillary?
Trump and his fans are of equal intellect (though DT would tell you he is superior) but we need not fear his supporters, as they do not have the nuclear codes.
Trump, on the other hand… this gentleman is genuinely unstable, and has proven he will do anything or say anything to maintain power.
His first desperate act will almost certainly be to pardon Paul Manafort, and maybe others as it becomes necessary.
This will not be enough to stop the investigation, however. Robert Mueller has many irons in this fire.
When the investigation heats up, and it becomes obvious the pardons will not patch the iceberg holes, Trump’s panic will grow. The best we can hope is for him to resign. At worst he may well do what dictators worldwide have done throughout history, when their countrymen begin to question their fitness for office: Start a war to win support.
Even Nixon didn’t do that, but Trump is not as smart as Nixon. Ego-driven Trump cares only for his image. If he believes a war would make him look heroic, he would not care about the consequences of war. Even the prospect of dead Americans would not deter him.
The law of our land is ‘civilian rule over the military.’ Will our military leaders be able to say ‘no’ when their commander in chief says we must invade Bahrain, or Manila or Russia (just kidding!) to fight terrorists?

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By Wink

Hurricane Harvey is a disaster of epic proportions.
Our hearts break as we watch the scenes of devastation. We are touched when we see the heroic efforts of emergency workers and volunteers. We are burdened by the tragic loss of life and the catastrophe of hundreds of thousands of family homes severely damaged or totally lost to the endless waters…
I want to say we will never see this again, but that would be wrong.
Our natural combination of ignorance and hubris guarantees these events will happen again and again, and maybe worse.
Issue 1) Decision-makers intentionally aim to downplay or completely deny climate change. The choice to ignore science/scientists is almost entirely due to campaign contributor requests. The pull of donor money obviously outweighs the potential loss of life and other carnage caused by climate change.
Issue 2) Our own stupidity to allow building and re-building in hurricane target zones and on lands that will flood even in less-than-hurricane conditions.
It will take decades, and much more heartache, for us to get serious about both of these issues.
Will we respond after Hurricane Harvey, Part 2?
Or Hurricane Harvey Part 3?
Or Part 4…?

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by Wink

Every day it is something else. One more thing.
It is not just that he is stupid, although he has taken ‘executive-office stupid’ to unimaginable levels.
It is not the incessant, daily lies that he has perpetrated since he announced his candidacy.
It is not his casual racism.
It is not just his indebtedness to Russia, which began years ago.
It is not his weird infatuation with Putin which, most certainly, relates to the indebtedness.
It is not his ongoing violation of the Constitutional Emoluments Clause (look it up).
Obstruction of justice? Uhhhh…
The combined fat-headed ignorance/arrogance he shares with Kim Jong Un could annihilate millions. That seems to bother some people.
X-number of his family and friends also have close ties to Russia? To the point where Russia aided in taking down Hillary?

His deepest fans, even admitting to any and all of the above, will never forsake him. He is their God, and God, as we all know, has many flaws…
It matters not. The drips continue.
It is not the gods that will take him down. It is his own arrogance, and the diligence of honest / honorable investigators.
Bless them…

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by Wink

When he is trashing-talking, and he has trash-talked everybody, Donald Trump wants to be a D!@&. He is good at it, and proud of that skill.
He likes to think he is charming, and doesn’t necessarily want to be a D!@& all the time. He just is.

This is largely due to his magnificent stupidity, his desire to prove he is always right, his lust to prove he is smart, way smarter than you, and to convince you that he is crazy-sexy too!

Lying is D!@&-ish. ‘The Donald’ can’t breathe two sentences without one of them being an outright lie.

He famously said he could shoot someone in Times Square and people would still vote for him. Only a D!@& would even think of that.

Trump spent years questioning Barack Obama’s birthplace, saying he ‘had people looking into it’ who had discovered amazing things! – D!@&.

Of all people, you, a fat ugly man, spent a lifetime of calling women pigs, commenting on their unattractiveness and obsessing about their ‘blood.’ – Total Total D!@&.

Hiding your tax records from the American public, records you promised to show ‘after audit.’ – D!@&.

The Mayor of London tries to keep citizens calm In the midst of several atrocities. Trump sent multiple cheap shot insult tweets aimed at the mayor, including referring to the mayor as ‘pathetic.’ – D!@&.

His desire to win and maintain power by convincing just enough Americans that the biggest two problems on the planet are Mexicans and Muslims. – D!@&.

The long string of cheap-shot tweets by Trump, insulting Vladimir Putin. HA-HA! Just KIDDING!! His lips are surgically attached to Putin’s rear-end. – D!@&.

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By Kasson

This has been a busy week in the life of the President. Probably the biggest week in my lifetime, with several major bombshells coming out every day. But lurking in the background has been an undoing of a major protection of the Internet.

During the Obama administration the Internet was classified as a Title II service, which makes them similar to a public utility. They provide you service and you have complete access to any website you want. And that access cannot be blocked or impeded beyond the general Internet speed that you pay for. Basically Comcast cannot choose to slow down Netflix or YouTube to a crawl and speed up their own competing service. Today the FCC ended that classification.

Think of Internet service in this way as similar to the electric company. They charge you for the electricity you use and other service fees. But they cannot dictate how you use that electricity. They cannot say “you must buy Joe Blow’s Air Conditioner, because we will not power any other brand of air conditioner. Or maybe they will allow it, but they won’t provide enough electricity to power it on the hottest of summer days.

The reasons these protections are needed is Internet providers are near monopolies everywhere they exist. There are seldom more than one or two options to provide fast Internet service in any given area. You have no choice, so if Company A decides to have terrible business practices there is no alternative you can choose from.

If the Internet Service Providers (Comcast, Time Warner/Spectrum, Verizon get their way, which they just passed a major hurdle in doing so, the Internet will slowly become a much different place. We are already seeing data caps for service in which you are already paying for a set speed. Ultimately the goal is to sell the Internet like cable TV. You buy a package and you can view those websites like channels, or you can pay for the “unlimited plan” which gives you access to the whole Internet Before that, they will likely use the new rules to limit speeds for competing websites. Time Warner who owns CNN may limit speeds or access to view Fox News.

If you think that seems outlandish, it’s not. This was already starting to pop up before the Obama administration outlawed it. Netflix was being throttled, their speed was being restricted so that you couldn’t watch HD by several major ISPs Some of these ISPs were even demanding payments from Netflix to unthrottle their access to their customers.

I won’t even go into the billions of dollars that the US government paid these companies to build out a fiber network in the 1990’s that, they then took the money and refused to build out the network.

Similar to the law passed earlier this year which allowed ISPs to sell your digital information. No one supports these changes except the ISPs themselves, who donate many millions of dollars to political candidates. Not the citizens, not the websites and content makers, only the ISPs. The ISPs with some of the lowest consumer approval rankings of any corporations, because they have no reason to keep the customer happy. They have a monopoly.

The war is not over, and this particular battle has just begun, but without a strong commitment to net neutrality, financial interests will ultimately prevail and the citizen will lose.

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