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Monday, December 14, 2015

The NRA Is Getting Its Ass Kicked and Here's the Proof

Wayne LaPierre of the NRA. (photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA)
Wayne LaPierre of the NRA. (photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA)

By Cliff Schecter, The Daily Beast
29 November 15
 
Red states are saying no to new gun nut demands, and blue states are cracking down on reckless practices.

he National Rifle Association is getting its clocked cleaned.

I know, you need to see that again. So to repeat, and in layman terms: The NRA has been losing a lot lately.

The conventional wisdom is that even with an average of one school shooting per week since Sandy Hook, further common-sense gun regulation is a political non-starter, because of the NRA’s undue influence over our elected officials.

You’re likely familiar with this generic strain of blather, most recently regurgitated to pretend the NRA had a banner election night in Virginia this year.

Democrats, running proudly in support of gun safety, won one state senate race right in the NRA’s backyard. Democrats also picked up a state house seat and barely lost one state senate seat with a strong GOP lean.

For a more accurate view of just how much the NRA’s been losing the past few years, we needn’t look too far afield. The most sweeping gun-violence prevention laws in the country passed in 2014 via citizen ballot initiative, I-594, in Washington State. The initiative got 60 percent of the vote, in an off year when right-wing trolls put a poison pill measure on the ballot to fool people into voting against it—and failed.

In Oregon, the government did its job of protecting citizens over the infinitely expanding greed of Wayne LaPierre and his little band of merry, executive-suite misanthropes who run the NRA. They passed a background-check bill against the NRA’s wishes. Meanwhile, some North Carolina lawmakers who didn’t think enough of their constituents were being rendered dead were stopped in their tracks this past July when they tried to eliminate background checks on handgun purchases. The same thing happened in Colorado and Iowa.

Don’t take it from me, though. Listen to the NRA, whose former president called their own efforts in the states this year a “huge train wreck” in an internal memo. The gun nuts lost in 15 of 16 states where they tried to put guns on campus (no doubt to add bullet holes to the general atmosphere of co-ed merriment), including Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, Georgia, South Dakota, Tennessee, South Carolina and Wyoming—all deep red states.

In the one state where they succeeded (although with a watered-down version of their bill), Texas, there have been protests and a number of professors have quit. Also, ironically, they’ve managed to create a whole new grassroots, gun-safety force among students who plan to carry colorful dildos around campus in protest. You see, carrying dildos out in public is illegal in Texas, concealed weapons that can kill now is not. Tells you all you need to know about the gerontocratic, melanin-challenged, right-wing men who are the base of support for both laws and choosing “leaders” in GOP primaries.

Meanwhile, the NRA tried to eliminate any training or permit requirements for concealed carry in West Virginia, Missouri, Utah, and Montana. The results? No, no, no and no. Again, these are not blue states. The same exact scenario played out with the NRA’s efforts to force guns into K-12 schools, based on their made up claim that “gun free zones” attract those who want to do us harm—as if the mentally ill are conducting a multivariate data analysis while planning an murderous spree.

What has happened in the affirmative? In response to the terrible Isla Vista massacre in 2014, California enacted a “gun violence restraining order” to allow close family and law enforcement to temporarily confiscate firearms if someone proves to be a threat to themselves and others.

In Milwaukee, police officers Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch, both shot in the face in the line of duty, won a case against known provider of guns to anyone asking, Badger Guns, for $6 million:

The officers, Norberg and Kunisch, alleged Julius Burton obtained the gun in June 2009 through a “straw buy” at Badger Guns.

The officers say the shop personnel were negligent because it was obvious another man actually bought the gun for Burton, who was too young to legally make the purchase, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

In fact, upon perusing its history, it becomes hard to doubt that Badger Guns would’ve hesitated to sell guns to Ultron if he had ambled on in to fulfill his need for heavy weaponry. The case is being appealed, but it may create precedent. That would be a very big deal.

Finally, as guns in the wrong hands pose such an existential threat to women suffering abuse at the hands of their husbands, six states, including Alabama and South Carolina, passed bills to make it harder for these abusers to gain access to firearms. Michigan even saw its Republican governor veto a bill to make it easier for abusers to get guns.

Next year it will be Nevada and Maine’s turns to pass universal background checks via ballot initiative. Like everywhere else, this reform is incredibly popular in those states. Washington State looks likely to once again take on the NRA directly, in banning the sale of ivory and other animal trophies. California has a ballot measure set to go in 2016 that would, among other things, make people report lost or stolen guns (I know, common sense if you’re not living in a fortified bunker with buckets of your own urine) and conduct background checks for ammunition purchases. It is the No. 1 priority of Gavin Newsom, the current lieutenant governor and likely gubernatorial candidate for 2018.

You see, the problem is that as all this is taking place, with cultural transformation already evident in People magazine’s now taking on this issue and sports teams’ wearing orange, in symbolic solidarity with gun-violence survivors, too many innocent people are still dying. And when it is local, or a massacre nationally, you will see it on your local or national news, sometimes on a loop. This makes it hard to accept that things are changing. But they are.
 

Comments

+32 # Billy Bob 2015-11-29 16:12
"In the one state where they succeeded (although with a watered-down version of their bill), Texas, there have been protests and a number of professors have quit. Also, ironically, they’ve managed to create a whole new grassroots, gun-safety force among students who plan to carry colorful dildos around campus in protest. You see, carrying dildos out in public is illegal in Texas, concealed weapons that can kill now is not."

------

Reminds me of a Molly Ivins story about the Texas legislature re-passing an anti-gay "Sodomy" law back in the '80s:

As the good ol' boy Republican legislators were LITERALLY giving each other high-fives, one Democratic state representative, told them to be careful. He said, "Don't realize? It's now illegal for a dick to touch an asshole in Texas".
+29 # RMDC 2015-11-29 17:04
BB -- it is quite apparent that this law did not stop any sort of dick from touching any sort of asshole in Texas. That is pretty much all they have down there. Don't forget that both Bush and Cheney came out of Texas to take over the centeral government in 2000. That was some serious dick and asshole work.
+25 # Billy Bob 2015-11-29 20:28
Yeah. I wonder why Texas feels the need to project its dicks and assholes on the rest of the nation. If Texas ("It's like a whole other country") wants to be a separate, 3rd world, country, fine. I just get sick of it hating America, then wanting to dictate to the rest of America what our policies need to be. We could be facing another Texas Republican as the final nominee soon (Cruz).

Just imagine how much the rest of the country would benefit if we just let loony Texans have their way, and allowed them to just secede! The Republican Party would be pretty much dead (even in the House of Representatives ), and we could begin actually undoing the damage from the past 50 years of Republican policies dominating our available choices.
+18 # NAVYVET 2015-11-29 23:43
In the 1840s Texas fought with the US Army against Mexico but never meant to be an "independent" country. That Lone Star bee ess was nothing but a coverup for the Virginians, Tennesseans & other Southrons who'd emigrated to Mexico in order to set up another slave state, a conspiracy to solidify the balance of power in favor of the white supremacist slavers. Oh, sure, some of the foot soldier followers believed they could make a go as a "free" nation, but the leaders knew, and manipulated. But at the same time California, under the leadership of Abolitionist Thomas Starr King, a Unitarian minister, brought in California as a free state--not without a hard fight! The Unitarian Universalist theological school at the U of California is named Starr King school in his honor.
+2 # RMDC 2015-11-30 06:11
BB -- I'm all for a dissolution of the US 50 state system. As things now stand, we are rulled by two incompetent and corrupt regimes -- one at the state level and one at the federal level. I think any state or regional combination of states should be free to exit the Union, just in the way the USSR devolved into many separate states. There could be a commonwealth of states or there does not need to be.

I'm pretty sure California where I'm from would be totaly happy to be free of the tyranny of the east coast and Washington, DC. Same with Washintton and Oregon. The south would not be happy because it mainly lives off of the tax subsidies sent there by the central regime in Washington.

If there were no 50 state union, the central regime would not be able to make wars all over the world. It would not be able to create economic monsters like the TPP, WTO, NAFTA, and etc. The American people would cease to be a scourge on the world beause they would not have the psychopathy of the central regime. Washington has become a center for all of the social dysfunctionalis m that the crazies of Wall Street and investment bankers exhibit. These people have taken over government agencies in Washington. The Pentagon is run by weapons makers. The CIA is run by bankers, The NSA is run by private corporations. Just shut down the central regime and most of this goes away.

Most empires devolve sooner or later. I'd be happy to see Texas take the lead and pull out of the union.
+2 # bmiluski 2015-11-30 11:57
Yes RMDC....Califor nia could stand up against an invasion from the likes of Russia, or China which would consider California a nice rich "country" in which to establish a foot hold. Think they wouldn't dare do it? Then think Georgia, the Crimea, Tibet, etc.
+3 # Texas Aggie 2015-11-30 07:44
I wonder why Texas feels the need to project its dicks and assholes on the rest of the nation. - Billy Bob

Well, I often say to people from Washington who question what we send up there: You should see what we’ve got back home. - Molly Ivins

I give you Gov. Dipstick, Lt. Gov. Patrick, and a merry band of total idiots in the famous lege. You would think that with their idiot in Austin, there would be normal people left in the villages, but no. There are the mayors like the air headed twit who is mayor of Irving, TX. - Texas Aggie

And Sen. Screws-loose is Canadian, not Texan, as the Shrub was from Maine, not Texas.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Stop the spread of hate and division

Is this America?

We grieve the many lives that have been lost or painfully transformed in recent weeks through extreme acts of violence. And we are appalled by the surge of divisive rhetoric that sows the seeds of more violence to come. A dangerous tide of hatred, violence, and suspicion is rising in America -- whether aimed at Arab and Muslim Americans, women and the places we seek health care, Black people, immigrants and refugees, or people just going about their daily lives. This tide is made more dangerous by easy access to guns.

When has hate ever led to progress? Is this really what we want America to be?

We Are Better Than This.


We call upon our politicians, leaders and the media to stop the spread of hate and division. And we pledge to stand with any community that is targeted by hateful rhetoric and violence.


moveon.org full page ad in ny times

LETTER: 'Evans, Connell violating public trust'

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
December 10, 2015

In my opinion, Payson Mayor Kenny Evans and Councilwoman Sue Connell are actively participating in ongoing egregious violations of the Town of Payson Code of Ethical Behavior for Town Officials Policy. Their participation as voting members of the MHAFoundation (A University project funding source) is in direct conflict with their Town elected duty to protect and support the interests of the citizen taxpayers of Payson.

Their board memberships and allegiance to the University and Charter School planning boards (MHAF & Rim Country Educational Alliance) violate the public trust. The interests and needs of the University/Charter School, and related private spin off private developments will come before them for a vote in their Official Town Government positions. Item’s such as new or expanded roads, public safety services, water delivery, zoning, construction permitting, are just a few issues that will impact Town resources and finances.

There is no public decision making authority in the current approval process for this project. Citizens must rely on our elected officials to act in the interest of the people of Payson, and to be fully transparent. Mayor Evans and Councilwoman Connell must follow the Towns ethical code policy and must recuse themselves from voting on any Town issue related to the Multi University/Charter School developments that may come before them. This should help calm any public perception of official government impropriety that currently exists in our community.

Donald Evans

Friday, December 11, 2015

With winter storms arriving, drivers should prepare for rain, snow, dust

ADOT   

ADOT on YouTube  
Hazardous driving conditions always a threat when weather turns bad



PHOENIX ‒ Winter’s worst is still ahead as the El Niño weather pattern promises above-normal precipitation, but with storm systems heading into Arizona starting this weekend, travelers should prepare for rain, snow, strong winds and the potential for blowing dust.

As of Friday morning, the National Weather Service was calling for locally strong winds reaching up to 55 mph across eastern Arizona, followed by colder temperatures and scattered rain and snow continuing into Saturday. Between 2 and 5 inches of snow was expected in the White Mountains, eastern Mogollon Rim and northern Gila County, with higher totals possible.

A second, colder storm system was forecast to pass through next week, creating the potential for 1 to 4 inches of snow in higher elevations.

With public safety its top priority during winter storms, the Arizona Department of Transportation deploys resources quickly before, during and after to keep highways safe for travelers, limit highway closures and clear snow and ice as soon as possible. ADOT’s 200 snowplows are serviced and ready, and 450 snowplow operators are trained and on alert.

Because of Arizona’s diverse climate, travelers can drive from sunny and moderate conditions in the low desert to ice and snow in the mountains in just a couple of hours. They should leave prepared to drive in snowy and icy conditions.

With that in mind, ADOT offers these tips:

  • Slow down, be patient and drive safely. Plan for extra travel time. Use extra caution if snowplows are on the road.
  • Wear warm clothing.
  • Be aware that ice forms on bridges first and is hard to see.
  • When driving behind a snowplow, stay back at least four car lengths. If you think you’re traveling too close to a plow, you probably are.
  • Never pass a snowplow that’s clearing snow and ice off the road.
  • Make sure your tank is at least three-quarters full.
  • Notify someone of your route, destination and expected arrival time.
  • Pack an emergency preparedness kit that includes blankets, extra clothes, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a shovel, sand for traction, a fully charged cellphone and hazard warning lights or reflectors.
  • Brake slowly to avoid panic braking or jerking the steering wheel.
  • Increase the distance between you and traffic ahead.
  • Carry plenty of food and water, as well as any medications you need.
  • Carry tire chains and snow cables, or use snow tires.
For more information on driving in wintry conditions, please visit azdot.gov/KnowSnow.

Before heading out, drivers can call 5-1-1 or visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Center at az511.gov, which features real-time images along highways that provide a glimpse of weather conditions in various regions. ADOT’s Twitter feed (@ArizonaDOT) is another great resource.

No, Donald Trump. We're Not Barring Muslims From Entering the Country.

Hillary Clinton. (photo: Reuters)
Hillary Clinton. (photo: Reuters)

By Hillary Clinton, Reader Supported News
10 December 15

 And a message to Muslims.

onald Trump has made a name for himself in this election by trafficking in prejudice and paranoia. Now he says he wants to stop all Muslims from entering the United States. It’s a shameful idea. It’s also dangerous. At a time when America should be doing everything we can to fight radical jihadists, Mr. Trump is supplying them with new propaganda. He’s playing right into their hands.

Now some Republican candidates are saying that Donald Trump’s latest comments have gone too far. But the truth is, many GOP candidates have also said extreme things about Muslims. Their language may be more veiled than Mr. Trump’s, but their ideas aren’t so different.

Ben Carson says that a Muslim shouldn’t be president. Marco Rubio compares Muslims to members of the Nazi Party and refuses to rule out monitoring and closing of mosques. Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have suggested that we implement a religious test for Syrian refugees—one that only Christians would pass. Chris Christie says not even 3-year-old Syrian orphans should be let in. And they insist on using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism”—in fact, they criticize anyone who says anything else—even though it drives the exact narrative the jihadists want to advance: that we’re at war with an entire religion.

When you take a step back and see what the Republican field as a whole says about Muslims—not just one or two candidates for President, but nearly all of them—it’s hard to take seriously their attempts to distance themselves from Mr. Trump. He’s just articulating the logical conclusion of what the rest of them have been saying. As Mr. Trump said in an interview this morning, “They condemn practically everything I say, and then they always come to my side.”


That should concern all of us. This kind of rhetoric sets us back in the fight against radical jihadists—a fight we absolutely have to win, against a brutal, nihilistic enemy who twists Islam to justify mass murder. These jihadists cannot be contained; they have to be defeated. And the vast majority of Muslims here and abroad are on our side in this fight. Many are helping prevent radicalization, including here at home. So why would anyone suggest that they’re the enemy? How does that help us? Radical jihadists are telling people that the United States hates Muslims—and there’s Donald Trump on TV screaming about how he’s going to keep all Muslims out. He’s strengthening the terrorists’ argument.

He’s also taking aim at our values. Our country was founded by people fleeing religious persecution. The notion that here, people are free to practice their faith, whatever it is, is one of America’s most cherished principles. Maybe Mr. Trump should re-read President Washington’s 1790 letter to the Jewish community of Newport, Rhode Island, reassuring them that, in the brand-new nation of the United States, their religious liberty would always be protected. He wrote, “The Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” In other words, you can be you, and still be with us.

That’s something I’ll bet a lot of Muslim Americans need to hear right now. Imagine hearing political leaders threaten to register and track you, implying that your religion is violent, that you’re violent, that you’re the enemy. Nearly 3 million Americans are Muslims. They’re our family, our friends, our neighbors, and co-workers. They serve in the military, save lives as doctors and nurses, and serve our communities as police officers, firefighters, teachers, and civic leaders. They’re patriots—proud Americans, just like the rest of us. They deserve better than this.

So today, I want to send a different message.

To Muslim Americans: What you’re hearing from Trump and other Republicans is absolutely, unequivocally wrong. It’s inconsistent with our values as a nation—a nation which you are helping to build. This is your country, too. I’m proud to be your fellow American. And many, many other Americans feel the same way.

Now is the time for all of us—especially Republican leaders—to stand up to hateful, dangerous words and deeds.

Just a few days ago, two young women wearing headscarves were trying to have breakfast at a café near the University of Texas at Austin when another diner started shouting racist things at them. The girls left in tears—in part because of the ugly words, but also because no one else in that crowded café came to their defense.

As they left, one of the girls asked the room, “Who cares about us?” Somebody called out, “Nobody.” “We left,” they said, “because it was true.”

But it’s not true. And we have to make sure Muslim Americans know that. It’s how we stay true to our values as Americans. And it’s how we show the world who we really are—a strong, proud, united country that still knows, after all these years, that all men and women are created equal.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Even ExxonMobil Says Climate Change Is Real. So Why Won't the GOP?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (photo: Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (photo: Getty Images)

By Fred Hiatt, The Washington Post
08 December 15
readersupportednews.org
 
o understand how dangerously extreme the Republican Party has become on climate change, compare its stance to that of ExxonMobil.

No one would confuse the oil and gas giant with the Sierra Club. But if you visit Exxon’s website , you will find that the company believes climate change is real, that governments should take action to combat it and that the most sensible action would be a revenue-neutral tax on carbon — in other words, a tax on oil, gas and coal, with the proceeds returned to taxpayers for them to spend as they choose.

With no government action, Exxon experts told us during a visit to The Post last week, average temperatures are likely to rise by a catastrophic (my word, not theirs) 5 degrees Celsius, with rises of 6, 7 or even more quite possible.

“A properly designed carbon tax can be predictable, transparent, and comparatively simple to understand and implement,” Exxon says in a position paper titled “Engaging on climate change.” 

None of this is radical. Officials negotiating a climate agreement right now in Paris would take it as self-evident. Republican leaders in the 1980s and 1990s would have raised no objection.

But to today’s Republicans, ExxonMobil’s moderate, self-evident views are akin to heresy. Donald Trump, the leading GOP presidential candidate, says, “I don’t believe in climate change.” Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) says, “Climate change is not science, it’s religion.” Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) at the moment seems to acknowledge that climate change might be real but opposes any action to deal with it.

Well, you may say, Trump revels in his stupidities, and most of the presidential candidates are appealing to the rightmost wing of their primary electorate at the moment. What about the grownups in the party, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.)?

Glad you asked. 

In an op-ed for The Post published as President Obama traveled to Paris for the opening of the climate talks, McConnell slammed Obama’s policy for harming the middle class without measurably affecting climate change.

Does that mean, I asked the majority leader’s press secretary, that he believes climate change is real, and are there policies he would favor to mitigate the risk?

The spokesman answered: “While the Leader has spoken often on energy and the President’s policies, I don’t believe he’ll have anything new today. And as to the President’s policies, the President says he’s for ‘all of the above.’ He got that line from us. But as to his climate proposal and the Paris proposals, I think he’s spoken clearly on that in his op-ed. I hope that helps.”

I tried once more: “So as to whether he believes climate change is real, or would favor any policies to mitigate it, I should just say, declined to answer?”

I didn’t hear back.

A genuine conservative, as Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state George P. Shultz has written, would acknowledge uncertainties in climate science but look for rational, market-based policies to lessen the risk without slowing economic growth. A revenue-neutral carbon tax, as in a bill Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) has introduced, fits the description precisely.

What then explains the know-nothingism of today’s Republicans? Some of them see scientists as part of a left-wing cabal; many of them doubt government’s ability to do anything, let alone something as big as redirecting the economy’s energy use.

Almost all of them, along with quite a few Democrats, would rather not tell voters that energy prices need to rise for the sake of the environment.

Their donors in the oil and gas industry encourage their prejudices. Three years ago, Grover Norquist, the Republicans’ anti-tax enforcer, said that a carbon tax wouldn’t violate his no-tax-increase pledge if the proceeds were returned by lowering the income tax, though he made clear he didn’t like the idea.

The next morning, the lobbying arm of the oil and gas industry swung into action. “Grover, just butch it up and oppose this lousy idea directly,” the American Energy Alliance said. “This word-smithing is giving us all headaches.”

For most of us, the reaction to this would have been: Butch it up? But Norquist got the message and within hours issued a clarification: Only a constitutional amendment banning the income tax could justify a carbon tax.

So the industry deserves its share of blame, and that includes ExxonMobil, which hardly trumpets its views on the advantages of a carbon tax. (Its most alarming slide, on the 5-degree temperature rise, can’t be found on its public site.)

But blaming it all on Big Oil lets the politicians off too easily. Yes, McConnell represents a coal state, and, yes, he wants to preserve his Senate majority. If those considerations are more important to him than saving the planet, let him say so to our children and grandchildren. Let’s not blame the oil companies for the pusillanimity of people who are supposed to lead. 

Comments

+6 # Texas Aggie 2015-12-08 11:43
One of the signs that climate change is real and happening as we speak is the number of extreme weather events that are occurring. For instance several record hurricanes and typhoons, record droughts, record heat waves, and record rains. But the most glaring event that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that climate change is occurring is that Fred Hiatt and EXXON both agree that it's happening which is a very strong indication that Hell has finally frozen over.
 
-1 # Krackonis 2015-12-08 23:48
It could be that the sun is going into a heightened state of activity, but let us not look at the other planets at the same time for proof lets steal money from stupid people... *facepalm*
 
0 # Dust 2015-12-08 12:07
Just to stir the hornet's nest...

I've heard some people express the opinion that an increase of 2 - 3 degrees mean planetary temperature is laughable, and evidence that all of this is much ado about nothing. (They are usually unclear whether that means they accept the evidence that human beings affect climate..)

Regardless - the mean planetary temperature during the last ice age was about 5 degrees C cooler than the present.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Trump and GOP: This Is Who They Are



Terrance Heath

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Are Mayor Kenny Evans, Councilor Su Connell violating Town of Payson's ethics policies?


  LETTER TO THE EDITOR  

A formal investigation under the Ethical Behavior for Town Officials  policy would determine if there are conflicts involved with the RCEA, RCEF, and MHAF. There may actually be multiple violations. The Town of Payson "Code of Ethical Behavior...." states explicitly, the following requirements:

"When a conflict of interest arises, the Town official involved must immediately refrain from participating in any manner in the Town's decision-making processes on the matter as a Town official, including voting on the matter or attending meetings with, having written or verbal communications with, or offering advice to, any Town official, Town employee, contractor, agent, or officially appointed member of a Town board, commission, committee, task force, or agency ... In addition, within three business days of the conflict arising, the Town official must declare the specific nature of the interest on the public record by updating his or her Personal Interest Disclosure Form in the Town Clerk's office."

AND:
"During a public meetingwhen an agenda item in which a Town official has a conflict of interest comes up for consideration, the Town official shall state publicly that he or she has a conflict, state the nature of the conflict, recuse himself or herself, and leave the room while the matter is being discussed and acted upon by others on the public body."  (RCEA is a public regulated board)

That same policy also states in the opening paragraph:
"Honesty, integrity, fairness, and transparency of action are the hallmarks of public service in Payson. Use of one's position or office for personal gain or inappropriate influence will not be tolerated."

Strict compliance with the Town's policy will avoid formal complaints for ethics violations and will promote open and honest government and improve citizen confidence.

Questions to answered:
Has Mayor Kenny Evans violated the Ethical Behavior for Town Officials Payson policy by appointing a current serving Town Council member (Sue Connell), to the RCEA Board. Is that not a conflict of interest?

Has Mayor Evans violated the Ethical Behavior for Town Officials  Payson policy by appointing the Mayor of Star Valley (a separate incorporated Town) and another Star Valley Town resident, to the RCEA Board? Is it ethical for these two non-Payson residents to make decisions and vote on Payson University plans, infrastructure needs, financial priorities, and increased public services, that will directly affect the citizens and taxpayers of the Town of Payson. What about our other surrounding/border communities such as Mesa Del, Round Valley, Gisela, Oxbow Estates, Pine and Strawberry etc. Why do they not have any representation on these Mayoral appointed boards that will decide Payson's future and development?
The transparency of the Mayor, his appointed board member operations and decisions, do not inspire citizen confidence. We have been told that the multi University project is a Public/Private partnership. It appears the public half is missing entirely.

Donald Evans
Payson







Monday, December 7, 2015

ISIS and GOP in bed together

Ted Cruz fires up a crowd in a Johnston, Iowa gun shop. (photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Ted Cruz fires up a crowd in a Johnston, Iowa gun shop. (photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News
06 December 15
 
n perfect alignment with the objectives of U.S. Republican presidential candidates, ISIS has struck twice recently with the only weapon it has, cowardly murder.

On cue U.S. Republican presidential candidates are literally tripping over one another to get to the microphone to scream “war” as quickly, loudly and self-promotionally as they can. Each one trying harder than the next to convince whoever will listen that they will be the next true, “war president.”

The problem is that there is no one to have a war with, and there really never has been. We are chasing individuals not armies. They move from place to place, nation to nation, civilian population to civilian population without any serious power or strength. Hoping against hope that they can provoke the foolish Americans and West into another ill fated foray into Islamic lands. Why? Recruitment.

ISIS is not an army. They lack the means to really go to war with anyone. They can attack local defenseless populations, and obviously shoot unarmed civilians, but they have no real military capacity. The only chance they have is to draw the U.S. into yet another one-sided war effort.

Should the U.S. once again occupy the Iraqi-Syrian region, then and only then does ISIS have any chance of marshaling the kind of popular support they need to gain any real traction. Right now they’re limited to murdering civilians. However that will all change if the U.S. can be drawn back into Iraq. Then ISIS can gain immense strength.

You can’t go to war with a guy or the wife of a guy who can simply walk into an American gun store, quite legally purchase as many guns as they like and just start shooting people for publicity. You can’t go to war with that, and the GOP presidential candidates calling for war are well aware of it. Yes they are lying.

The biggest lie of all is that ISIS is responsible for gun related violence in the U.S. While they would obviously like to be, they account for just a tiny fraction of the gun violence in America.

On the day of the San Bernardino shootings there were two mass shootings, and those were the 354th and 355th of the year, according to The Washington Post. Sorry to disappoint those crying for a war against Islam, but the vast majority of those who kill with a gun in the U.S. are angry white men. Like Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Marco Rubio. “White terrorism” in America is a bigger problem by orders of magnitude than ISIS-inspired terrorism.

Yes, guns can be obtained in the U.S., but ISIS followers apparently had no difficulty obtaining the guns used in the Paris attacks either. Hand-held guns are, and always will be, fairly easy to get ahold of. No GOP-American War on Terror and/or ISIS will change that.

“War” with individuals who cannot even be identified does not, cannot make anyone in the U.S. safer.

What is most revolting about the GOP candidates is their shameless self-interest in calling for a war they know perfectly well will fail. They want power. To hell with whoever pays the price.

The first invasion of Iraq was pure insanity. We are paying the price for that fool’s errand dearly now. Repeating that mistake would be catastrophic.


Marc Ash was formerly the founder and Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.
   
Comments
 
+10 # jwb110 2015-12-06 23:15
Does anyone else on here think that Ted Cruz looks like a Basset Hound? He looks like a cartoon dog!
 
+6 # heiko12 2015-12-06 23:22
Quoting jwb110:
Does anyone else on here think that Ted Cruz looks like a Basset Hound? He looks like a cartoon dog!
PLEASE don't tell him - he might find a way to use that effectively in his campaign ads!
 
+11 # RnR 2015-12-07 06:18
Don't insult dogs. Cruz is a repulsive sob.
 
+7 # Shorey13 2015-12-06 23:59
In today's San Francisco Chronicle, Joh Diaz, the editor of the editorial page, use the word "Fascism" several times in an editorial about Trump. As I have said elsewhere here, Trump is working from Hitler's instruction manual. And, don't expect the GOP to join the criticism, because they have been conducting a Reactionary Revolution for a long time now.

But, "Liberals" need to wake up and realize that writing about this is a form of political public masturbation: it feels good, but no babies are made......
 
+6 # RICHARDKANEpa 2015-12-07 00:29
Quoting Shorey13:
In today's San Francisco Chronicle, Joh Diaz, the editor of the editorial page, use the word "Fascism" several times in an editorial about Trump. As I have said elsewhere here, Trump is working from Hitler's instruction manual.
Hitler believed what he said.Germans were superior and naturally in charge, but Jewish do-gooders in the way. If he saw Israel today he might reconsider.

Trump a skilled con-artist conning us out of our Democracy
 
 
+4 # RICHARDKANEpa 2015-12-07 00:21
The title of this article is perfect to the tee
 
 
+1 # Robbee 2015-12-07 10:44
salute! - # ronjazz 2015-12-07 09:02 "... we are always safer under a Democrat than under the bloodthirsty, greedy, selfish Party of Hate ..."

- why is that? well, it's simply because dems are more interested in restoring the american dream for the many, not in retaining it exclusively for the few! - and major wars waste alot of production capacity that would otherwise raise living standards for us 99%

bernie and obama have come down squarely in favor of, almost exclusively, muslim boots on syraq ground - to try to make a point that may seem related, but is not directly, some here talk about hill not taking a nuclear option off the table in iran - with which we have a treaty hill supports! - so she's just talking warheads down off their cliff for the next 15 years - that is, practical political correctness bernie probably shares - they both pander to aipac, go figure!

my point is wait until the conventions - then you will get a clear choice between a zomblcan warhead, who wants to invade syraq, no matter the cost in lives and disabilities, and think about it later, and a dem, be it bernie or hill, who will debate showing dramatically less interest in us invading syraq

this is shaping up as a giant issue for 2016 - with all the zomblican warmongering, it appears we american public may just get a good look at a clear difference between parties - and i like our odds of persuading a majority of voters - go bernie!
 
 
0 # mmcmanus 2015-12-07 11:30
President Obama should offer Cruz, Trump, Rubio, Fiorina et al commissions as officers in some branch of the millitary, and tell them their first posting will be in Iraq, to lead the "war" against ISIS. Of course, none will accept, but if one does he/she can lead as many redneck right wing nuts who will sign up with them to fight ISIS. Their first task will be to tell us just where the ISIS "army" is located. The Air Force will then fly this army of war lovers to that location, and drop them off, where they can shoot their guns as much as they want. My guess is that a single two passenger Cessna is the only plane that will be necessary. Bullies with guns talk big, but are cowards at heart.