Republicans Oppose Iran Nuclear Bomb Stoppage for Profit: Halting the spread of nuclear weapons should be our country’s highest foreign policy priority. Apparently, the Republican Party thinks big oil money is more important. With the first opportunity in decades to stop Iran from acquiring true weapons of mass destruction, Republican Party has vowed to kill it. Before reading the text, House Speaker John Boehner and a GOP chorus rose up in totally vehemenent opposition. Hysterically referring to Obama as Neville Chamberlain and the Iranian president as Adolph Hitler, Republicans say they oppose the agreement for two reasons. First, because it will not succeed. Second, because it will succeed. The “won’t-succeed” say Iran will cheat. But the pact is the tightest, most enforceable nuclear agreement ever; Intrusive inspections, “Snapback” provisions, and Automatic sanctions––same as Reagan 1987 treaty with the Soviet Union for nuclear missile reduction. “Trust, but Verify.” But even with the agreement, Republicans still claim Iran will win. Lifting economic sanctions, says Boehner, “will embolden Iran, stabilize and legitimatize its regime, spread more violence and instability to the region, and put Iran on a path to build a bomb in the future. Israel and Pakistan receive billions in military aid while they built nuclear weapons yet they refuse to sign the international non-proliferation agreement. Pakistan’s corrupt and unstable government is a far greater danger for allowing nuclear weapon technology to dribble out into the world. The Republicans say they can made a better deal, haven’t for decades, and offer nothing new. The real reason Republicans are against any deal with Iran is ending the embargo would allow Iran oil to compete on the market place. With Iran oil, corporations who buy Republican votes would loose billions in oil revenues. Iran maybe the bad guy, but Republicans have let the safety of the world be governed by profit. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.
GOP’s anti public education agenda: Kansas, a prime example of Republican’s gerrymandering state voting districts to exclude Democrats, is restructuring its education system to eliminate teacher licensing requirements. Misleadingly proposed as an opportunity for specialists among certified generalists, the change opens the door to unqualified people to teach, manage classrooms and schools, and indoctrinate children in specific religious restrictions. Instead of education for all American children, this backward GOP effort is part of the anti-science, anti-secular, and anti-critical thinking agenda of the Kansas GOP. Having already gutted the Kansas education system of its top priorities, the GOP legislature is scheming to make further unconstitutional changes by restructuring many smaller school districts until they can no longer follow statewide requirements. Gov. Brownback’s disdain for public education is seeping into the public via GOP legislative drives to impose school vouchers and replace tax payer oversight with private education “options.” Competency is no longer to be judged by the general public, but dictated by and restricted to political requirements. Cut off the opposition vote by restructuring voting districts, load the legislature politically, restrict funding and pensions, and what you get is a conservative minority dictating backwardness to the majority.
Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA
Humbug Trump: PT Barnum would have called Trump a “humbug;” someone that puts on a sparkling appearance to attract public attention. Humbug Trump is the illusion of substance. No self-made man, Trump was born to wealth. No savvy deal-maker, Trump relied on government tax manipulation for major successes. No drive and persistence, Trump defrauded the public with bankruptcy four times to reap his riches. Trump deludes people into believing his wealth makes him non-beholding, but family connections have always opened doors that his pretentious insults close to those who do not do his bidding. Trump has no realistic solutions but offers double talk, pompous rhetoric, and never a straight answer. Barnum would have called Trump’s followers, “bumpkins, the proverbial sucker born every minute,” who love a parade and find it fun to listen to someone who lashes out with simple invectives to resolve complex issues. Trump personifies a cool dude who doesn’t give a damn, all the while hiding the fact that he is the owner who pays low wages like all the wealthy. The question for most responsible Republicans is how anyone with an ounce of decency can find it refreshing to support a clown saying stupid, hurtful things? Trump can say what he wants because no one expects a clown to be held to any standards. It takes an ignoramus to think his remarks are rude only to deviants. The problem the Republican Party has is when Trump turns his invective on fellow candidates. These are the self same Republicans who can’t complain about Trump because they are two sides of the same culture. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.
Right-wing ‘American terrorists more dangerous than Muslim extremists: Despite anxiety over Al Qaeda and ISIS, right-wing terrorists have averaged 337 attacks per year since 9/11, killing a total of 254 Americans, compared to six foreign attacks out of 20 foreign plots accounting for a total of 50 deaths. Two days before the mass shooting at Emanuel AME church, the NY Times wrote; right-wing terrorism is currently a greater threat within the US than attacks by radicalized Islamists. As usual, right-wing talk shows played down the threat, blamed the victims or the deranged, and continued to radicalize the right-wing public to further violence. A major city official said, “militias, neo-Nazis and sovereign citizens” are the biggest emerging extremist threat but law enforcement does not have a good grip on home grown terrorists. The fact that American extremists have been killing Americans in large numbers on a regular basis for decades does not seem to register on the general public. Until the word Muslim was attached to terrorism, Americans with guns massacring blacks never made front page headlines. The list of right-wing terror incidents has been growing since the 1960s, but conservatively owned mainstream media prefers panic and fear-mongering reserved for brown or black perpetrators. On one single day last year a man identified with a sovereign citizen movement claimed to not recognize the authority of federal or local government and attacked Ga. Forsyth County courthouse firing an assault rifle at police officers and trying to cover his approach with tear gas and smoke grenades. In Nevada, anti-government militants reportedly shot two police officers and placed a “Don’t tread on me” flag on their bodies. An anti-government extremist in Pennsylvania shot two state troopers, killing one of them, before leading authorities on a 48-day manhunt. A right-wing militant in Texas declared a “revolution” and was arrested attempting to an armored car to buy weapons and explosives and attack law enforcement. That same day, nationwide media covered shark attacks with only local mention of “criminal acts.” Half the nation, which votes Republican, doesn’t talk about home grown radicals who make up their hard core constituency, and the other half, voting Democrat in denial doesn’t seem to seem to acknowledge the American terrorism going on right under their very own noses. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.
More guns no defense for self-defense: The FBI says: “Guns are rarely used for self-defense in US.” According to the FBI, “personal firearms are rarely used for self-defense in the US. Americans are far more likely to hurt themselves or others when handling lethal weapons. 259 ‘justifiable homicides’ in 2012 involved a private citizen, compared to 8,342 criminal homicides committed with a gun. In addition, ‘tens of thousands’ suicides and unintentional shootings were committed with a gun. Therefore, the National Rifle Association mantra “guns are necessary for self-defense” is nonsense and nothing but pimp talk for 300 million firearms owned by Americans. The NRA website says firearms were successfully used in self-defense–against an intruder crawling through a doggie door, or a “rabid fox,” but provides no documentary proof that guns save lives. In fact, it’s striking that in the world’s most gun-toting, most gun-violent nation that so few guns are actually used in self-defense. But, gun propagandists don’t care about preventing crime and public danger. If common sense is not enough, the FBI is telling you guns are a danger to your family and children.
In addition the CDC says strong state gun control laws reduce gun violence deaths. Those states with the lowest overall gun death rates have lower rates of gun ownership and the strongest state gun violence prevention laws. Five states with highest per capita gun deaths rates are Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming and Montana. Each has extremely lax state gun violence prevention laws and higher rate of gun ownership. States with the lowest gun deaths are Rhode Island, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. Each has strong gun state violence prevention laws and lower gun ownership. “The weaker the state’s gun violence prevention laws and the easier the access to guns results in the highest gun death rates far above the national average. Weak gun control is endangering the safety of families and communities.” Weak gun violence protection laws are defined as adding little to existing federal laws, permissive laws governing the open or concealed carrying of firearms in public, and minimum safety standards for firearms and/or requirements for gun purchases and permits. The rate of gun violence deaths in Louisiana is 18.91 compared to 3.14 in Rhode Island. Nationwide U.S. gun violence is unacceptably high at 10.38 per 100K and far exceeds the gun death rate of Western industrialized nations. Great Britain is 0.23 per 100K and Australia 0.86. diogenes of california
Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.
Republicans openly “anti-elderly party:” Republican presidential candidates are pushing cuts to Social Security and an end to Medicare: Gov. Scott Walker wants benefit reforms applied to anybody born later than 1967. (Reform = cuts) Sen. Ted Cruz: “Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme,” wants increased retirement age, benefit cuts and privatization. Mario Rubio: Raise the retirement age, impose cuts; young must accept Social Security; our Medicare is will be less than our parent’s.” Jeb Bush: Push the retirement age back to 69. Chris Christie wants a minimum retirement age of 64, reduced Social Security benefits for seniors making more than $80K/yr, and eliminate them for over $200K. • Eliminating Social Security benefits would barely affect millionaires’ let alone billionaires’ income. GOP reform is a slight-of-hand reform––meant to distract from better alternatives––which asks the wealthy to pay the same percentage as everyone in payroll taxes, but the wealthy earn most money off dividends not payroll. The Republican House has repeatedly passed budgets that cut Medicare, replacing losses with vouchers for private insurance that impose a severe financial hardship on the average enrollee. • GOP’s benefit reform is being used to detract from a simpler and fairer approach where all interests would profit: Wall Street would have more retirement income to manage (costly fee), and health insurers would receive a flood of new customers. Benefit reductions cost retirees dearly, at a time when they can least afford it. Half of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings and older households without retirement savings have few other resources, such as a defined benefit plan or non-retirement savings, to draw on in retirement. • Congress could resolve Social Security long term solvency simply by lifting the current cap on the payroll tax which funds Social Security, which now exempts all annual income above $118,500––including that of millionaires and billionaires. Congress could also resolve healthcare costs by reducing the perverse profit motive incentives allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with Big Pharma. Instead, Republicans ignore the best solutions, spinning cuts or lifting the retirement age as a lesser evil and creating more crises for the elderly. • The retirement crisis comes from decades of wealth shifting from the middle class to the wealthy. Wage stagnation has Americans living from paycheck to paycheck, unable to save. Large employers have cut back on traditional pension plans. Social Security provides most of the income for about half of households age 65 and older. Social Security compares poorly to similar programs in most developed countries, but Republicans want to protect high earners and help corporations at the expense of ordinary retired people. That’s the GOP anti-elderly, pro-wealth agenda of today’s Republican Party.
Republicans against infrastructure spending: Republican party is dominated by Southern states. Heavy infrastructure costs) are located in the Northeast. Republicans refuse to spend on states that don’t vote Republican. Federal disaster relief is uniformly passed to all states, but only 70 House Republicans voted for federal emergency hurricane Sandy. Republican political policy regarding funding is to “Starve the Beast.” Republican power comes not from investing in the country, but seizing any vulnerability to “drown the government in a bathtub.” Republicans refuse to raise revenue and hold hostage all “unfavored” spending. Billions of unmet infrastructure spending represents a massive, annual golden opportunity to extort draconian cuts to social, regulatory, non-defense spending. Republicans reject deficit-financing even at low interest rates or private-public infrastructure bank. Republican power comes from privatizing infrastructure and monetizing public assets. Republican mega-bank/private equity patrons deeply want public resources turned into privately profit centers. Private Activity Bonds allow local governments to privatize public assets offering private equity investors tax-free investment profits on their investment. Tax-free means taxpayer subsidized with no public benefit. Republicans refuse infrastructure spending in order to kill labor and environmental laws on that restrict construction projects. Republicans care less about commuter deaths due to bridge collapse than not paying prevailing wages on public contracts. Republican Senator’s like Mike Lee want the public to believe unions crowd out low-skilled workers, create windfall labor profits, and waste taxpayer dollars, when in reality it is non-union contractors paying below living wages that crowd out American workers, reap record-making corporate profits and bleed the taxpayer with unnecessary costs. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.