Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ted Kennedy's Post

The NRA is issuing ultimatums to candidates. "Toe the line or else." They have turned into a terrorist organization. If the NRA is doing this in Wisconsin, then you KNOW that they're doing it all over the country!!

2-24-18 EDIT: In fact, the NRA is issuing this letter to candidates across the country! Find out who is running for office in your local or state elections, find out if they got a letter like this, and then help them to expose the NRA as terrorists through all the local media, including FB, et al.

Their email and phone # is included in the letter. Let's flood that SOB with calls and emails!!

Coard: George Washington's teeth not from wood but slaves

Ever since I began writing this Freedom's Journal column at the Tribune back in 2015, I always wrote about upcoming events. For example, I'd write that an anniversary date is approaching and then I'd discuss it in detail. But I never wrote about something after it had already passed — well, not until now. And now I'm writing about President's Day, which was a few days ago on February 19.
I'm actually writing about President George Washington — more specifically, his teeth. I mean my ancestors' teeth.
And I'm writing about their teeth in The Tribune because racist white folks went crazy trying to defend Washington when I posted some of this historically truthful information on my Facebook page on February 19.
In fact, they unwittingly played a key role in making my post go viral. I love when I make racists angry. And now I'm gonna make 'em even angrier because this newspaper reaches much more people than my Facebook page does. So here we go.
President's (not Presidents') Day is officially called George Washington's Birthday according to federal legislation. It was created in 1885 to honor the man who enslaved 316 Black human beings at his Mt. Vernon, VA plantation and who transported nine of them beginning in 1790 to America's first "White House," which was located right here in Philly at Sixth and Market.
By the way, there is not and never has been a "Presidents'" Day to honor both Washington and Lincoln or Washington and any other president. In 2001, there was a congressional attempt in the form of House Resolution 420 to combine Washington's February 22 birthday and Lincoln's February 12 birthday. But it died after failing to get past a subcommittee vote.
Let's get back to the enslaved Black folks. It wasn't just their entire bodies that Washington robbed them of; he also robbed many of them of their teeth. Yes- their teeth! In 1784, Washington had the teeth of enslaved Black adults "transplanted into" his mouth. And five years later, a dentist in Philadelphia made Washington's first set of total dentures (shown above) from teeth that were "yanked from the heads of his slaves."
If you don't believe me, read George Washington's Teeth: An Unconventional Guide to the Eighteenth Century, which is a meticulously researched book written by Dr. Robert Darnton, an award-winning author and professor. And if you don't believe him, read George Washington: An Imperfect God, His Slaves, and the Creation of America, which is a thoroughly documented book written by award-winning author and historian Henry Wiencek.
But if you still don't believe it and still think Washington wouldn't have done such a despicable thing and that such barbarism was beneath him, please continue reading.
From age 11, in 1743, until his death at 67 in 1799, Washington (and his wife Martha Washington) enslaved Africans and their descendants.
And he had a habit of being an unsanitary miser who, at Mt. Vernon, issued to his enslaved Blacks for use as their garments "dirty," "fouled," and "manure"-soaked wool from the stomach of sheep.
Similarly, many of those Black laborers had to resort to rummaging for "coarse burlap bags" to use as clothing because Washington refused to adequately clothe them. As Wiencek stated during a 2003 radio interview, Washington's "slaves were miserably clothed … (In fact, they) were so badly clothed that they were stealing the wheat sacks made of the cheapest, roughest burlap to repair their own clothes … Otherwise, (they) would go around in rags."
In providing so-called shelter, Washington's treatment of his fellow men and women was just as bad. Consistent with Wiencek's statement that Washington's enslaved Black workforce was "miserably housed … (in) a very harsh place" is the observation of Julian Niemcewicz, a Polish poet who resided at Mt. Vernon for two weeks in 1798 and who described the living conditions of many of the enslaved population:
"We entered some negroes' huts, for their habitations cannot be called houses. They are far more miserable than the poorest of the cottages of our peasants. The husband and his wife sleep on a miserable bed, the children on the floor. A very poor chimney, a little kitchen furniture amid this misery—a teakettle and cups. A boy about fifteen was lying on the floor with an attack of dreadful convulsions...."
If you want even more irrefutable evidence of Washington's outrageously inhumane treatment of enslaved Black men, women, and children, Google my 2005 article published in the scholarly Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. It is entitled "The 'Black Eye' on George Washington's 'White House.'"
And please remember next year on President's Day to display your proud American patriotism by showing your pearly whites and smiling. Or don't.

Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.

Doctor's Truth

Dr. Allan Greenberg, MD:

"As a retired physician, I can honestly say that unless you are in a serious accident, your best chance of living to a ripe old age is to avoid doctors and hospitals and learn nutrition, herbal medicine and other forms of natural medicine unless you are fortunate enough to have a naturopathic physician available. Almost all drugs are toxic and are designed only to treat symptoms and not to cure anyone. Vaccines are highly dangerous, have never been adequately studied or proven to be effective, and have a poor risk/reward ratio. Most surgery is unnecessary and most textbooks of medicine are inaccurate and deceptive. Almost every disease is said to be idiopathic (without known cause) or genetic – although this is untrue. In short, our main stream medical system is hopelessly inept and/or corrupt. The treatment of cancer and degenerative diseases is a national scandal. The sooner you learn this, the better off you will be."

If you believe the statement above without question then you deserve to be fooled. Any person who puts their trust in such a person who claims greater knowledge than you, like a doctor, because they have pretty framed documents on their office walls. We have all heard of the fakes who claim their ability to provide remedies and good health because they claim to have the knowledge they say they have from a so called great institution. We are a very trusting species. The less trustful person counts on that reality and always takes advantage. That is the reason for exercising the criminal thought born of incompetence, knowing it themselves and moving forward despite the knowledge and lust of greed. 

That is not to say the statement below can't be true because many people put their trust in a doctor first and never trust themselves, if anything, doubt themselves first and never try to learn and take the time to acquire the knowledge they need, to be a doctor,no; but instead be smart person from being we read. 

How many people do you know are Christian but never truly trust God. Why? Because they don't trust God, they trust anything without of it; in other words they have no faith. Many people don't even know the meaning of word, FAITH. They use it often but don't know the meaning. Though if you truly have faith in God and what God has put on this Earth to use for our benefit then you would use it over any doctor says. Not because God gives prescription but God created the universe and the inhabitants;us. 

It is all dependent on you. You are the one who will be taken advantage of, no one else. No you can't blame anyone else, you make the final decision.

" to a ripe old age is to avoid doctors and hospitals and learn nutrition, herbal medicine and other forms of natural medicine..." can't be proven or not proven. Medicine and the practice thereof is predicated on statistics. Thus you are a number that shows a result to prove a value in a spreadsheet that becomes a chart at a medical or a pharmaceutical conference.

Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.

Sorry, Democrats: Your NRA Is Spelled AIPAC

Bought is bought.

Updated Oct 05, 2017
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
Congressional Democrats really hate the National Rifle Association and its success in shutting down debate on gun policy through intimidation — from cutting off campaign contributions, to funding opponents, to launching primaries, to simply making legislators' lives miserable through harassment.
Leading gun control Democrats, like Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), rightly understand that, in his words, "we must break the grip of the NRA" if we are ever going to see Congressional action on guns.
Meanwhile Blumenthal, and most of his Democratic colleagues in both Houses, are in the grip of a foreign policy lobby as powerful as the NRA, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC. (Republicans, who come to their militant support for Israeli policies instinctively, don't warrant AIPAC arm-twisting but Democrats, invariably dovish on all foreign policy issues except Israel, certainly do.)
AIPAC uses the same tactics as the NRA to ensure that the United States never deviates from support for whatever policy the Israeli government is pushing at the moment. These days those policies are: undermining President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, suppressing efforts by Americans to use selective boycotts to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, and, as always, to prevent any pressure on Israel to advance peace with the Palestinians despite the fact that the United States provides more aid to Israel than to any other country.
Having worked in the House and Senate for 20 years, I saw all of AIPAC's tactics first hand. I also worked at AIPAC itself where, in the very office in which I sat, I watched my colleagues working hard and effectively to end the careers of politicians who deviated from the AIPAC line. (In the interests of honesty I should admit that I had no problems with AIPAC when I worked there. It was only years later, while working on Capitol Hill, that I came to understand that the policy of undeviating support for the Israeli government was not in American interests and that AIPAC sustained that support through rather scary intimidation).
But that is a whole story on its own. I want to focus on how some of the same Democrats who, rightly, are outraged that their Republican colleagues appear to be owned by the NRA act precisely the same way when it comes to the lobby that keeps them on a leash, AIPAC.
As I wrote here in HuffPostin July:
The latest evidence of that slavishness {to AIPAC] comes in the form of growing support among Democrats in both Houses for legislation sponsored by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and co-sponsored by Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, commonly known as BDS. Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.
According to the ACLU, the Cardin legislation would "bar U.S. persons from supporting boycotts against Israel, including its settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories (emphasis mine) conducted by international governmental organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union. It would also... include penalties for simply requesting information about such boycotts. Violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison....This bill would impose civil and criminal punishment on individuals solely because of their political beliefs about Israel and its policies."
Subscribe to the Politics email.
How will Trump's administration impact you?
That is pretty amazing. The Cardin bill would essentially blow a giant hole in the First Amendment. Americans would continue to be allowed to hold any belief they want, about pretty much anything, with the exception of Israel. Although I, myself, do not support the boycott Israel movement (BDS), I also know that it was the Montgomery Bus Boycott that launched the civil rights movement. It was international boycotts of South Africa that brought down apartheid. Americans even used boycotts to kill North Carolina's hateful "bathroom" law designed to punish transgender people. (Apparently, Cardin would permit Americans to boycott a U.S, state, just not the State of Israel.)
The Cardin bill is frightening and, if applied in any other context but the Israeli one, would be inconceivable. But all rules are suspended when it comes to the country about which former Vice President Joe Biden said "there must be no daylight, no daylight" between its policies and those of the United States. Yes, he actually said "no daylight" twice and, no, it is inconceivable that any American leader would say that about any other country, including Canada!
So, naturally, some Democrats — including Senators Schumer (NY), Cantwell (WA), Bennett (CO), Hassan (NH), and Wyden (OR)—and House members including Hoyer (MD), Kennedy (MA), Lieu (CA), Lowey (NY), Schiff (CA), Sinema (AZ)) — are supporting this unconstitutional legislation because AIPAC tells them to. (The full list of House and Senate co-sponsors appear here and here). Worst of all, in both houses, it is Democratic support that will enable the legislation to pass and become law.
But it's not all bad news. First, the number of Democratic co-sponsors for this AIPAC initiative is much lower than for past efforts when it has usually approached 100 percent. That is because the ever growing progressive base of the Democratic party (Sanders and Clinton supporters both) is finally challenging legislators who are progressive on everything but the Middle East.
In the case of the Cardin bill, one Democratic senator, Kristin Gillibrand (NY), took the unusual step of formally removing her name as co-sponsor after meeting with constituents including ACLU lawyers. And Sen. Cardin's fellow Maryland senator, Chris Van Hollen, in his first year in the Senate, took the unusual step of breaking with his senior colleague over the bill despite heavy AIPAC lobbying and because his progressive constituents did not allow AIPAC to monopolize the debate as it usually does. Maryland opponents of the Cardin bill have been showing up wherever Maryland legislators appear for months now, including at Cardin events.
In short, while the NRA's chokehold on Republicans seems tighter than ever, AIPAC's grip on Democrats is loosening as younger and more progressive activists flex their political muscles. This is all good. And bodes well for the future.
The job. however, is to make all Democrats understand that while we support their positions on other issues, Middle East policy is the real litmus test.
After all, most Democrats are not subject to unrelenting pressure from lobbies and donors who oppose their positions on equal rights, guns, climate change, choice, etc. And even if they did, they almost always come from states or districts where the progressive position dominates.
That is why, for them, the test case is the Middle East: supporting peace, sovereignty, and security for Israelis and Palestinians both, as well as supporting the Iranian nuclear deal which is opposed by Israel and its lobby but viewed as indispensable by every other nation on the planet.
Otherwise, they can just shut up about Republicans being owned by the NRA. Bought is bought.

Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.

David Norris's post

Manafort Left an Incriminating Paper Trail Because He Couldn’t Figure Out How to Convert PDFs to Word Files

Criminals Are Morons
Feb 23, 2018

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.
There are two types of people in this world: those who know how to convert PDFs into Word documents and those who are indicted for money laundering. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is the second kind of person.
Back in October, a grand jury indictment charged Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates with a variety of crimes, including conspiring "to defraud the United States." On Thursday, special counsel Robert Mueller filed a new indictment against the pair, substantially expanding the charges. As one former federal prosecutor told the Washington Post, Manafort and Gates' methods appear to have been "extensive and bold and greedy with a capital 'G,' but … not all that sophisticated."
One new detail from the indictment, however, points to just how unsophisticated Manafort seems to have been. Here's the relevant passage from the indictment. I've bolded the most important bits:
Manafort and Gates made numerous false and fraudulent representations to secure the loans. For example, Manafort provided the bank with doctored [profit and loss statements] for [Davis Manafort Inc.] for both 2015 and 2016, overstating its income by millions of dollars. The doctored 2015 DMI P&L submitted to Lender D was the same false statement previously submitted to Lender C, which overstated DMI's income by more than $4 million. The doctored 2016 DMI P&L was inflated by Manafort by more than $3.5 million. To create the false 2016 P&L, on or about October 21, 2016, Manafort emailed Gates a .pdf version of the real 2016 DMI P&L, which showed a loss of more than $600,000. Gates converted that .pdf into a "Word" document so that it could be edited, which Gates sent back to Manafort. Manafort altered that "Word" document by adding more than $3.5 million in income. He then sent this falsified P&L to Gates and asked that the "Word" document be converted back to a .pdf, which Gates did and returned to Manafort. Manafort then sent the falsified 2016 DMI P&L .pdf to Lender D.
So here's the essence of what went wrong for Manafort and Gates, according to Mueller's investigation: Manafort allegedly wanted to falsify his company's income, but he couldn't figure out how to edit the PDF. He therefore had Gates turn it into a Microsoft Word document for him, which led the two to bounce the documents back-and-forth over email. As attorney and blogger Susan Simpson notes on Twitter, Manafort's inability to complete a basic task on his own seems to have effectively "created an incriminating paper trail."

In Manafort's defense, converting documents to and from Word could be easier. Not having tried it for a while, I attempted to transform my Word draft of this blog post into a PDF. I confess that I did fumble a bit at first (it's been a while), but I eventually managed to get the job done. According to my stopwatch, the full ordeal took me 42 seconds. It involves a few steps, but there are plenty of accessible tutorials out there if you get lost.
Changing PDFs back to editable Word documents, meanwhile, does get a little more complicated. Try it in Adobe Acrobat (via the "Save as Other" command under "File" on a Mac) and you'll quickly be redirected to Adobe's website and presented with a handful of subscription packages that will allow you to transform your documents. For as little as $2 a month, Adobe will allow you to convert PDF files to Word, Excel, and rich text formats. If this feels extortionate, there are also plenty of services online that promise to let you do the same thing for free, but—and, to be clear, I'm no financial genius—even people who are allegedly misreporting millions of dollars in income can almost certainly afford the budget option. Indeed, it's probably a little safer, all things considered.
What have we learned from all this? If you're going to engage in some kind of complicated conspiracy, it's probably a good idea to bone up on some basic computer skills first.
Jacob Brogan

Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.

Gothamist Lives, Thanks to a Boost From Public Radio

Months after billionaire Joe Ricketts closed Gothamist and its affiliates, a group of public radio stations are bringing them back.
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images
After billionaire Joe Ricketts announced the shuttering of local news organizations Gothamist and DNAInfo last fall, readers across the country mourned the loss of the beloved sites, and worried about the vulnerability of journalism in the digital age.
Now, a consortium of public radio stations, including WNYC in New York, WAMU in Washington DC, and KPCC in Southern California, has banded together to bring some of those sites back from the dead. The three stations are acquiring the assets of Gothamist and some of its associated sites, including LAist, DCist, and DNAInfo. The deal was spearheaded by Gothamist founders Jake Dobkin and Jen Chung, and is being funded by two anonymous donors who have contributed an undisclosed sum to acquire the brands. As part of the deal, the archives of both sites will remain online. Gothamist, led by Dobkin and Chung, will begin publishing new stories this spring.
Dobkin characterizes the acquisition as "the best possible outcome" following Gothamist's unceremonious closure, which infuriated much of the media industry. Ricketts' controversial decision to shut down the sites came months after DNAInfo acquired Gothamist, and just one week after the combined newsroom successfully unionized. As an added blow, Ricketts initially blocked access to the archives of both sites, replacing them with a letter announcing that he had turned off the lights.
"I think you can imagine how we felt," Dobkin says of the shutdown. "It was unexpected. We tried to do our best to improve the situation and bring something positive out of it, and we did."
Following a public outcry, those archives were restored, and will now be maintained by the public radio stations. In a statement regarding the sale Thursday, Ricketts said, "The most important thing for me was to make sure the assets went to a news organization that would honor our commitment to neighborhood storytelling."
'The hope is we can build something bigger and better by bringing these two things together.'
Jim Schachter, WNYC
If there's any bastion of neighborhood storytelling left in America, public radio stations would be it. While local newspapers and other media companies have largely failed to adjust to the difficult freemium economics of digital journalism, New York Public Radio, the non-profit owner of WNYC, has only grown, expanding to some $93 million in annual revenue in 2017 and more than 20 million listeners across its radio stations and podcasts.
That's why, when the news about Gothamist broke in the fall, WNYC executives thought they might be able to keep it alive. They soon began talks with Dobkin and Chung—who were already busy looking for possible donors—as well as fellow public radio stations across the country.
"The nonprofit WNYC business model has proved to be a growing and thriving thing while a lot of things have been going so deeply south," says Jim Schachter, head of the news division at WNYC. "The hope is we can build something bigger and better by bringing these two things together."
The details of the integration are still being ironed out. Initially, WNYC plans to run Gothamist as a parallel site, seeded with stories by Chung, members of the WNYC staff, and eventually, a mix of new hires and former Gothamist writers interested in getting the band back together. "We're going to be trying to rebuild the newsroom," Chung says. Because the size of the donation is still private, it's unclear just how large the budget for hiring is.
Out west, where the Los Angeles Times currently faces its own existential crisis under changing ownership, KPCC's team hopes LAist can preserve "a strong news ecosystem in Los Angeles," says Alex Schaffert, assistant vice president of digital strategy and innovation. "Our goal is to generate new content for the site, build on the archive of stories that we were fortunate to acquire, and integrate LAist into KPCC's portfolio of services."
And in Washington, DC, WAMU plans to hire a three-person staff and begin publishing new content to DCist by spring. "Regional journalism is an essential aspect of our mission as a public media station, and acquiring DCist means serving a bigger audience, across more platforms," says Andi McDaniel, chief content officer of WAMU. According to Dobkin, the group is currently scouting other local radio stations and news organizations that could acquire the assets for Gothamist's additional city sites, including Chicago and San Francisco. DNAInfo will live on in its archives only.
These sites will continue to face the same pressures that afflict all digital media brands in 2018. Those haven't gone away. It's also unclear how hard it will be to bring an audience back after a several-month hiatus. Schachter of WNYC says the team plans to proceed slowly and cautiously. "The history of media integration is one that requires you to enter into it with great humility," he says.
A nearly century-old radio station like WNYC swooping in to save a group of sites that helped write the rules of online journalism does contain a hint of irony. But when you consider these radio stations have managed to weather technological changes from the transistor to the television, the idea that they might be able to help younger newsrooms navigate the choppy waters of the digital revolution—while benefitting from their digital native audiences—doesn't sound so crazy after all.

Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.

Who is Ryan Zinke? Former Navy SEAL Commander & U.S. Interior Secretary | NowThis - Born to be a Criminal

A List of the Companies Cutting Ties With the N.R.A.


Promotional material for the National Rifle Association at the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Md., on Thursday. Credit Pete Marovich for The New York Times
Eight days after a gunman with an AR-15 rifle killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla., a major bank cut ties with the National Rifle Association.
The bank, the First National Bank of Omaha, was among the first businesses of at least a dozen to scrap special rates or discounts to the five million people the N.R.A. says it has as members.
Supporters and detractors of the N.R.A. have butted heads over the issue on social media, calling on partner companies to either stay put or step away, essentially leaving them with no neutral ground.
Of those companies that did cut ties, many said they did it in response to consumer complaints.
In a statement on Saturday, the N.R.A. said the companies, "in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice," were trying to punish its law-abiding members who had nothing to do with the Parkland shooting.
The statement added: "In time, these brands will be replaced by others who recognize that patriotism and determined commitment to Constitutional freedoms are characteristics of a marketplace they very much want to serve."

Kevin C. Langin, a spokesman for the First National Bank of Omaha, said in a statement on Thursday that customer feedback had prompted a review of its contract with the N.R.A. "As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the N.R.A. Visa Card," the statement said.

Travel and Transport

On Saturday, Delta Air Lines said on Twitter that it was ending its contract with the association for discounted rates through the airline's group travel program. "We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website," the company said.
United Airlines tweeted a similar message two hours later.
Two moving van companies wrote on Twitter on Friday they were severing ties with the N.R.A. Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines, which share a parent company, Sirva, each said it "no longer has an affiliate relationship with the NRA effective immediately," and had asked to be removed from its website.

Our columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin and his Times colleagues help you make sense of major business and policy headlines — and the power-brokers who shape them.
You agree to receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times's products and services.

Rental Cars

A spokesman for Avis Budget Group, which owns the car-rental companies Avis and Budget, said on Friday a discount partnership with the N.R.A. would end by March 26.
Hertz said Friday that it was ending its rental car discount program for N.R.A. members.
On Thursday, the car rental companies Alamo, Enterprise and National, which share the parent company Enterprise Holdings, tweeted they would end their discount for N.R.A. members beginning March 26.


MetLife said in a tweet on Friday it was ending a discount program for N.R.A. members.
Also on Friday, a spokesman for the insurance company Chubb told Reuters it would no longer have a partnership with the N.R.A. on an insurance program called the "NRA Carry Guard." The spokesman said Chubb had given notice of this change three months ago.

Technology, Information and Security

TrueCar, an automobile pricing and information website, said on Friday it was "ending its car buying service relationship" with the N.R.A. at the end of this month.
The home security company SimpliSafe once offered two months of free monitoring for N.R.A. members but the company said in an email on Saturday that it had "discontinued our existing relationship with the NRA."
The cybersecurity company Symantec announced on Twitter on Friday that it had ended a discount program with the N.R.A.

Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.

May 1, 1969: Fred Rogers testifies before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications

Archie Bunker's Editorial on Gun Control - Arm Everybody



Innovative Teen Invents Device to Stop Mass Shooters in Their Tracks—Without the Police State

It takes a smart kid in a shop class without a gun to stop a gun, not an idiot with a gun. The adult term for more growth as used by industrialists is really greed.

Instead of bans or legislation which has proven to be entirely ineffective at preventing school shootings, a high school entrepreneur has invented a device that will save lives without violence.

"The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence." -Mahatma Gandhi

As government continues to propose new legislation, gun bans, more cops, teachers with guns, and stoking divide in general in response to school shootings, they've continued to fail to stop them and, as a result, more innocent lives have been lost. The reason the state is so ineffective at providing solutions to problems of violence is that their language is violence. When your only tool is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail.
The state lacks creativity because every idea they come up with—that passes the facade of the democratic process—will be mandated with the barrel of a gun. The idea can even be immoral, violent, and abhorrent. However, because it is law, those who oppose it will be extorted, kidnapped, locked in a cage, or killed. If you doubt this claim, simply look at marijuana possession. 
Nearly every aspect of government functions as a result of the monopoly they hold on violence. On the contrary, however, free enterprise solutions—ones that are adopted because they work and people like them—need no violence because they have value.
A perfect example of a free enterprise solution to a horrific problem is the JustinKase. An innovative high school kid from Wisconsin saw the problem with school shootings—years ago—and the wheels in his head began spinning. So, instead of trying to lobby the government to ban something, he came up with a solution.
Justin Rivard invented a simple yet powerful device that he calls the JustinKase. It is essentially a product made of steel that latches to a door frame and prevents the door from opening.
"Unlike other products, JustinKase does not allow a door to open even a crack which means students & staff can remain safe while emergency personnel race to the scene," creator Rivard, a student at Somerset High School in Wisconsin, explains on his website.
"I call this the JustinKase," Justin says of his invention. "You don't want to use it, but just in case you need it, it'll be there."
As KARE reports:
Made of steel plates and connecting rods, Justin's device slips beneath a classroom door and latches to the door's jam. With his device in place, Justin has yet to find a person who can push a classroom door open, including linemen from his high school football team.
"You can lock a door with a lock, it can get shot out," Justin says. "You can lock a door with this, it can't get shot out. You can't get around it."
Justin had his first sale at his own high school that purchased 50 of them—one for every classroom.
"We started with the high school, then went to the middle school, then the elementary school," says Shannon Donnelly, Somerset's principal, according to KARE.
Justin is currently awaiting approval on his patent and this young entrepreneur has already delivered 54 of his devices to the Grantsburg School District and 40 more are on their way.
At only $95 each, the price is far less than a police officer, and, as the case of Scot Peterson in Parkland, Florida illustrates, far more effective at saving lives.
Ingenuity, creativity, and imagination are far more effective tools than regulations and displays of force which makes it no wonder that the US education system sets out to stomp them out early on. Luckily, it appears that Justin kept some of his.
According to KARE, Justin says he used to wonder how he would leave an impact at his school. Not anymore.

Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Second Amendment was ratified to preserve slavery

The hate for Obama has a part in this...

Image from the American anti-slavery almanac, 1836, Flickr Commons

The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference – see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote.  Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too.
In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the "slave patrols," and they were regulated by the states.
In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state.  The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.
As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of California Law Review in 1998, "The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search 'all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition' and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds."
It's the answer to the question raised by the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained when he asks, "Why don't they just rise up and kill the whites?"  If the movie were real, it would have been a purely rhetorical question, because every southerner of the era knew the simple answer: Well regulated militias kept the slaves in chains.
Sally E. Haden, in her book Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas, notes that, "Although eligibility for the Militia seemed all-encompassing, not every middle-aged white male Virginian or Carolinian became a slave patroller." There were exemptions so "men in critical professions" like judges, legislators and students could stay at their work.  Generally, though, she documents how most southern men between ages 18 and 45 – including physicians and ministers – had to serve on slave patrol in the militia at one time or another in their lives.
And slave rebellions were keeping the slave patrols busy.
By the time the Constitution was ratified, hundreds of substantial slave uprisings had occurred across the South.  Blacks outnumbered whites in large areas, and the state militias were used to both prevent and to put down slave uprisings.  As Dr. Bogus points out, slavery can only exist in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.
If the anti-slavery folks in the North had figured out a way to disband – or even move out of the state – those southern militias, the police state of the South would collapse.  And, similarly, if the North were to invite into military service the slaves of the South, then they could be emancipated, which would collapse the institution of slavery, and the southern economic and social systems, altogether.
These two possibilities worried southerners like James Monroe, George Mason (who owned over 300 slaves) and the southern Christian evangelical, Patrick Henry (who opposed slavery on principle, but also opposed freeing slaves).
Their main concern was that Article 1, Section 8 of the newly-proposed Constitution, which gave the federal government the power to raise and supervise a militia, could also allow that federal militia to subsume their state militias and change them from slavery-enforcing institutions into something that could even, one day, free the slaves.
This was not an imagined threat.  Famously, 12 years earlier, during the lead-up to the Revolutionary War, Lord Dunsmore offered freedom to slaves who could escape and join his forces.  "Liberty to Slaves" was stitched onto their jacket pocket flaps.  During the War, British General Henry Clinton extended the practice in 1779.  And numerous freed slaves served in General Washington's army.
Thus, southern legislators and plantation owners lived not just in fear of their own slaves rebelling, but also in fear that their slaves could be emancipated through military service.
At the ratifying convention in Virginia in 1788, Henry laid it out:
"Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8 of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. . . .
"By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defence is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neither . . . this power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory."
George Mason expressed a similar fear:
"The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practised in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretences, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution] . . . "
Henry then bluntly laid it out:
"If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress . . . . Congress, and Congress only [under this new Constitution], can call forth the militia."
And why was that such a concern for Patrick Henry?
"In this state," he said, "there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free."
Patrick Henry was also convinced that the power over the various state militias given the federal government in the new Constitution could be used to strip the slave states of their slave-patrol militias.  He knew the majority attitude in the North opposed slavery, and he worried they'd use the Constitution to free the South's slaves (a process then called "Manumission").
The abolitionists would, he was certain, use that power (and, ironically, this is pretty much what Abraham Lincoln ended up doing):
"[T]hey will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission," said Henry.  "And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?
"This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it."
He added: "This is a local matter, and I can see no propriety in subjecting it to Congress."
James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution" and a slaveholder himself, basically called Patrick Henry paranoid.
"I was struck with surprise," Madison said, "when I heard him express himself alarmed with respect to the emancipation of slaves. . . . There is no power to warrant it, in that paper [the Constitution]. If there be, I know it not."
But the southern fears wouldn't go away.
Patrick Henry even argued that southerner's "property" (slaves) would be lost under the new Constitution, and the resulting slave uprising would be less than peaceful or tranquil:
"In this situation," Henry said to Madison, "I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone."
So Madison, who had (at Jefferson's insistence) already begun to prepare proposed amendments to the Constitution, changed his first draft of one that addressed the militia issue to make sure it was unambiguous that the southern states could maintain their slave patrol militias.
His first draft for what became the Second Amendment had said: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country [emphasis mine]: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person."
But Henry, Mason and others wanted southern states to preserve their slave-patrol militias independent of the federal government.  So Madison changed the word "country" to the word "state," and redrafted the Second Amendment into today's form:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State [emphasis mine], the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Little did Madison realize that one day in the future weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as "persons" by a Supreme Court some have called dysfunctional, would use his slave patrol militia amendment to protect their "right" to manufacture and sell assault weapons used to murder schoolchildren.
Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.


I imagine that one day after I've died, someone will find where I've disappeared to, find my secret, not a deliberate secret, not one I planned keeping to myself but then I didn't write for the pleasure of others but for myself... it's something I did for myself since before I was ten because I enjoyed it, telling stories, developing the story, the people, the history to myself because as I found out as I aged my work was good, my work made me learn and discover, someone would find it all and read it...then perhaps discover its garbage, they would grow cold in the old cabin and light the fire to warm themselves...

That is what I have always been...
The first time as a child I wrote and I never imagined selling it.
Never have I tried to publish...for money.
It would be like selling myself.
I never imagined selling my work but I do present it complete or incomplete.
I never have I tried to show my work or wondered of another's interest in my work.
I write for me to read what I write.
While there is so much to read for sale but for years stories have become commodities of another's thoughts. A way to sell.
I have never written for money; I have never written to sell. I tell my stories to tell myself stories because I rarely find amazing writing to read in the fiction market.
Evernote helps you remember everything and get organized effortlessly. Download Evernote.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My sister, Irene...RIP

I recall Irene guiding me through a snowstorm to our school in Brooklyn...
I recall Irene taking me to my first day of high school...
I remember my brothers John, Joe and I racing to help when she was hurt in an argument with her first husband...
So much more in between...
She was my sister, she was often there for me and the family...
I recall when we had the photo above taken on her girlfriend trip to San was the last time I would see her in person...October 2nd 2015

I will miss you so much...Irene.