Domestic Terrorism

The Urgency Of Gun Control Legislation To Stop “War Zone” Syndrome, And Save Multitude Of Lives, While Preserving Reasonable Gun Rights

The shock of the Las Vegas Massacre, following the Orlando Pulse Massacre, the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, and so many others, demands the attention of Congress, as the urgency of gun control legislation presents itself.

We must stop the “War Zone” Syndrome that has led to more deaths by domestic terrorists than on September 11, if one counts all the death since 2001.

No one is saying that the Second Amendment should be destroyed, although it is clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend for all citizens to have firearms, as the amendment discusses a “well regulated militia”, and not the concept of everyone carrying firearms, even those who are mentally ill or have had criminal convictions.

But to demand a return of the Brady Bill, named after Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary, James Brady, permanently disabled by the Assassination attempt against Reagan in 1981, but not renewed under George W. Bush in 2004, is not to ask too much.

To demand that background checks be done on gun purchasers; that loopholes that allow people to buy weapons online and at Walmarts and at gun shows without any search about their backgrounds be ended; that mentally disturbed people not be allowed to purchase weapons; and that the concept of allowing the expansion of gun silencers legislation, allowing gun owners to be able to fire at will without any sound being made for the potential victims to be aware of the sounds so they could duck or evade; or other reasonable measures, should be seen as sensible.

We have the highest gun violence rate of any Western civilized nation, comparing to Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and we must work to lower the death rate from suicide as well as violence against innocent civilians.

This should not be a partisan issue, as the Republicans, as well as the Democrats, need to see the issue of public safety as their major responsibility, and the National Rifle Association and its despicable leadership including Wayne La Pierre, who only are concerned with profits, must be defeated in their effect on our government policies.

All kinds of activities are licensed in our society, and guns need to be regulated in a responsible manner.

Trump Speech To Congress: More Sober And Balanced, But Still Full Of Lies, Mistruths, And Deceptions!

Donald Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress was more sober and balanced in tone, and avoided controversial rhetoric, but Donald Trump is still Donald Trump, and to believe that Trump is really going to change his lifetime pattern of behavior, is to believe in the tooth fairy!

His speech, no matter how well it seemed to come across in performance, sticking to a script of a person known for good acting on “The Apprentice”, it was full of lies, mistruths, and deceptions.

Trump said crime was at an all time high, when the opposite is reality, but he loves to stoke fear. Instead of defending civil rights and civil liberties his Justice Department under Jeff Sessions will promote law and order, which means, as under Richard Nixon, widespread abuse of power.

Trump said most of the terrorist attacks are from outside, when that is totally false, as it is by Americans who unleash violence, and now the Republicans want mentally ill people to have the right to firearms restored. We have a far greater danger from domestic terrorism than foreign terrorism, as we already have a vetting system that makes it hard for people of ill intention to enter the nation, but instead Trump promotes fear and trepidation to grab more power, as promoted by Stephen Miller and Stephen Bannon.

Trump exploited the family of the fallen SEAL Ryan Owens killed in Yemen, saluting the widow (a touching moment), but bragging about the longest applause ever, as if this is a TV show and that he was looking for ratings. Meanwhile , the Yemen raid was a disaster, so declared by intelligence agencies, and Trump is trying to avoid an investigation called for by the father of the fallen SEAL, who sees Trump as ordering something done in Yemen on a whim, without proper information, and deciding at dinner with Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner, and not in the Situation Room in the White House, where such decisions are made traditionally.

Trump told a group at the White House during the day that he had interest in immigration reform, rather than deporting millions, even though already undocumented immigrants have been deported or detained, including an immigrant who committed suicide once he was brought to the Mexican side of the border, and a woman detained who has breast cancer with no medical intervention available. When it came time to discuss what he had said earlier in the day, Trump avoided any discussion.

Trump used the term “radical Islamic terrorism” in his speech, despite the advice of National Security Adviser HR McMaster, and if this continues, McMaster, highly respected, might decide to leave, since Trump is ignoring his well regarded advice.

Trump distorted increased costs of ObamaCare, an average of 22 percent, not two to three times what the premiums were, so he lied, and gets away with it with many gullible people.

So Trump is depending on the moment, the audience, and the advisers around him in what he says,and is totally unhinged, totally manipulative and deceitful, totally uncaring about the effect that he has on others. No one knows what the “real” Donald Trump thinks, including himself.

So yes, the speech “sounded” better, but upon further investigation and thought, Donald Trump is still Donald Trump, a disgrace to the office he holds!

Donald Trump Declares War On Chicago, California, Sanctuary Cities, Undocumented Immigrants, And Common Decency, Empathy And Compassion!

Donald Trump, in just three weeks in office, has declared war on Chicago, California, Sanctuary Cities, Undocumented Immigrants, and common decency, empathy, and compassion.

He has acted as if he can send troops to Chicago to deal with the crime problem there, forgetting that the Mayor of Chicago and the Illinois Governor have ultimate authority over problems in Chicago. The only time when Presidents have sent in the National Guard over the desires of the state Governor was in the South during the Civil Rights Era, when the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, refused to promote safety for black students at Little Rock Central High School in 1957 (Dwight D. Eisenhower), and when the Governors of Mississippi (Ross Barnett) and of Alabama (George Wallace) refused to obey integration orders for the state universities in 1962 and 1963 (John F. Kennedy).

He has shown signs of trying to cut off funds to California and its university system, because of a confrontational demonstration against a hate mongering right wing extremist troublemaker at the University of California, Berkeley.

He has said he will cut off all funding to Sanctuary Cities across the nation that are out to protect undocumented immigrants, who now are being arrested and deported at record rates, breaking up families, and threatening DREAM kids with the possibility of being deported to a nation they have no memory of, since they came to this nation when very young, and had no choice in where they migrated to.

There is no debate that any felon, any criminal element–drug dealers, gangs, those who have committed major crimes–should and must be deported, but the simple act of people coming here for a better life, escaping persecution and violence in many nations, and those who overstay their visas, should not be included in the deportation.

And many do not understand or realize that millions of undocumented immigrants are making real contributions to our economy, and are not breaking the law, and are not criminal elements, and the breaking up of families and deportation of children is, in itself, a horrible criminal act by the US government.

How about cracking down on native born Americans who are felons, commit the vast number of terrorist acts in this country, and use their Christian faith as a justification for their bloodshed and violence?

Donald Trump and his administration lacks any sense of common decency, empathy or compassion.

Top 10 Political Stories Of 2015

As the year 2015 ends, we look back on the major political stories of this eventful year.

The ten major stories of the year are as follows:

The rise of Donald Trump, and the threat he represents to the Republican Party, the conservative movement, and to the American people in general. He is promoting a Fascist agenda, including nativism, racism, misogyny, and a belief spreading among white working class men that somehow he is the new Messiah, who will solve all of the problems brought about by the failings of the George W. Bush Administration.  These  include the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, which fueled terrorism; and the Great Recession of 2008, which is still reverberating among those less educated and more suspect to demagoguery. And also,those who refuse to accept Barack Obama as a legitimate President find Donald Trump appealing.

The surprise appeal of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is gaining support among the millennial generation, and men and women under 45, who are more educated than average Americans, and find his democratic Socialist ideas appealing.  There is no question that the younger generation is much more liberal than other Americans, and this bodes well for the Democratic Party, if Hillary Clinton continues her move to the left, pushed that way by Sanders’ agenda.

The final acceptance of gay marriage and the advancement of gay rights on all fronts, including the rights of transgender people, but with much discrimination still evident by those who resist change.

The disappearance of John Boehner and the rise of Paul Ryan to the Speakership of the House of Representatives, and the issue of whether Ryan can be any more effective in dealing with the Tea Party Movement, which helped to bring Boehner to the point of resignation.

The growing racial tensions in the nation, due to increased examples of police abuse toward African American men, and even women, along with Latinos, and the growing militarization of law enforcement, a dangerous trend.

The rise of more domestic terrorism, including in Charleston, San Bernandino and elsewhere, some of it inspired by ISIL (ISIS), but also by right wing Christian extremism.

Barack Obama’s changed foreign policy, including opening up to Cuban diplomatic relations; making a deal with Iran’s government on nuclear weapons; attempts to cooperate with other nations to deal with Islamic terrorism, meaning ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria; and trying to work with a hostile Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, who made life more difficult for Obama by openly consorting with Republicans over the President.

The growing impact of social issues on American politics, including not only gay rights and gay marriage, but also abortion, gun control, immigration reform, and climate change.  All of these controversies will impact politics in a dramatic fashion in 2016 and beyond.

The issue of individual rights to privacy, and the growing role of intelligence gathering and government snooping, including the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, and other government agencies, who feel that they must intrude and investigate all social media and phones and computers, to protect us.  This is seen by many critics as a violation of our civil liberties.

The evident deterioration of the effectiveness and competence of the Secret Service, in its role as protector of the President and his family; the Vice President; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and all Presidential candidates, as the Presidential Election year of 2016 awaits us.  The last thing we need is any incident that affects the health, safety, and lives of any of the candidates or the top leadership of government.  If such were to happen, it would undermine our whole political system and stability in massive ways!

 

Attacks On Mosques Reminiscent Of Attacks On Synagogues And Black Churches: All Are Domestic Terrorism!

Donald Trump’s controversial proposal to ban all Muslim immigration to the United States has unleashed a crime wave against mosques, and attacks on Muslim Americans in the past week, with occurrences taking place every day all over the country, and by one count, 19 such events in the first week after his utterances!

The promotion of Islamophobia is no different than the the anti Semitism which has led to attacks on Jewish synagogues, and the racism which has led to attacks on African American churches, going back to the Civil Rights era.

All of this is domestic terrorism, and Trump is inciting this violence, and should be held accountable for such incitement!

A small sliver of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world are engaged in jihad and terrorism, just as a small percentage of other faiths have engaged in bloodshed and violence historically and today.

Has anyone noticed how most terrorism in America is by white Christian men, not by Muslims?  Has anyone noticed that there are Jewish terrorists who kill Palestinians who are not terrorists but live in Israel alongside Israelis?  Has anyone noticed that there are Hindus who commit violence against the minority Muslims in India?

Religious extremism has always existed, and will always exist, and of course, it is something to work against with all possible efforts!

But to label the vast, overwhelming majority of Muslims as terrorists only helps the despicable group that controls portions of Syria and Iraq, ISIL (ISIS), to gain supporters.

So the anti Muslim violence and propaganda that Donald Trump and other Islamophobes are promoting is actually the best recruitment tool for this horrific group to gain more supporters and present a long term threat to America and the Western world!

Secret Service In Crisis Which Threatens Safety Of President, Vice President, And Presidential Candidates!

New revelations make clear that the Secret Service is in crisis, and that President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and the multitude of Presidential candidates cannot feel relaxed that they are safe.

With the mounting gun violence, increase in domestic terrorism, and the rapidly increased threat from Al Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) being evident, we need a strong, disciplined, well trained, and competent Secret Service.

But many blunders have occurred, including the recent White House Jumper Joseph Caput0; the sex scandals of Secret Service agents overseas; the misbehavior of some agents including dangerous driving and too much drinking when due to go on duty in a short time frame; and the evident cronyism in the power structure of the Secret Service.

In the 114 years that the Secret Service has protected the President, there has never been awareness or knowledge of so many shortcomings and inadequacies in this most important agency.

The fear is that if the Secret Service does not improve its record very rapidly, which is unlikely, that we could witness a tragedy which would undermine national confidence and unity, similar to the John F. Kennedy or Robert F. Kennedy assassination, or the Ronald Reagan serious wounding from an assassination attempt!

Hysteria And Panic Take Over Republicans: Their Loss Of Understanding The Symbolism Of The Statue Of Liberty!

The Republican Party is acting at its most mean spirited nature ever right now—wishing to bar all refugees from Syria, even 5 year old children and mothers, who are victims of one of the most horrible civil wars in modern history!

31 State Governors, almost all Republican, are trying to prevent any migration of refugees to their states, but that is illegal, as no one can prevent any migrant coming to the nation from settling wherever they choose, and to cut off all migration from Syria and the Middle East is outrageous bigotry, as many are saying only Christians and no Muslims should be allowed into the nation.

At the same time that we have thousands of gun deaths from domestic sources annually, now we are seeing hysteria and panic, and the belief that somehow, some terrorists will be admitted, when every day, we have domestic terrorists killing Americans, and nothing is done about that!

Of course, full vetting must be done of all migrants and refugees, but to shut the door completely is to deny the purposes of the Statue of Liberty and the so called “American Dream” that we keep on propagandizing.

Republicans and conservatives are forgetting that our land is founded on the basis of refugees and migrants escaping for a better life, and none of us who are not native American or African American would be here if not for an open mind over the generations toward people of all backgrounds escaping persecution and deprivation!

Barack Obama is right that we must not give up our principles, and must not repeat the horrible anti immigrant mentality that led to discrimination in past times against refugees and migrants of all racial and religious backgrounds, and caused the deaths of many, particularly in the time of pre World War II in Europe when Jews were denied admission and ended up dying in the Holocaust!

Happy 239th Birthday, America! Lots Of Work To Do For A Better And “More Perfect Union”!

It is hard to believe that we have reached the 239th birthday of the United States, as the author can well remember the bicentennial in 1976, when Gerald Ford was President.

We have come a long way as a nation, but we still have a lot of work to do, including, in no special order:

Working to overcome racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia, too widespread in our great nation

Improving our economy so that there are real opportunities for the “American Dream”, and the revival of the middle class, but also concern and action for the poor among us

Dealing with the reality of environmental threats to our planet, and not allowing the deniers of climate change to destroy our future

Coming to grips with foreign threats, particularly, but not only, Islamic terrorism, but realizing the great dangers from domestic terrorism that have caused more deaths and incidents than any other cause of harm to Americans

Working against the promotion of mythology through religion, undermining the truths of science and history

These are the unfinished work that faces America in its future, and the movement toward “a more perfect union”!

The Growing Threat Of Right Wing Domestic Terrorism To President Obama And Presidential Candidates

The horrifying Charleston, South Carolina Massacre reminds us of the growing tide of racism and hatred that has emerged in the six and a half years of Barack Obama’s Presidency.

Barack Obama has faced more death threats than any President since Abraham Lincoln, and the mounting threats have taxed the Secret Service, which is responsible for his safety, that of his family members, and protection of the White House and its grounds from “Fence Jumpers”, who have become more bold in recent years, including Omar Gonzalez, who scaled the fence last September and entered the White House and almost made it to the stairs for the private quarters of the President and his family.

But it is also the hate groups which have multiplied in recent years, and have an effect on unstable, mentally ill people, mostly young men, many of them rightfully called domestic terrorists. The threat of foreign religious and political extremism also hangs heavy over the responsibility of the Secret Service to protect the President, the Vice President, other top government officials in the line of succession, and Presidential candidates.

There is a growing sense of foreboding and fear that the President, who has 19 more months from today until he leaves office, is in great danger, with any slip up by the Secret Service one too many.

Right wing domestic terrorism against Americans who are subjected to hate because of their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or identity, or political persuasion is a danger not only to regular citizens, but also to Presidential candidates in the political season we are now entering.

Hillary Clinton, already protected as the wife of a former President, is under Secret Service protection, and Bernie Sanders, being a Socialist, also faces dangers not faced by right wing candidates on the Republican side, although Jeb Bush, brother and son of former Presidents, is also a target.

And Donald Trump, with his provocative mouth attacking Obama, Clinton, Bush and others, is a perfect foil for right wing lunatics to plan to attempt assassination plots against our President and others seeking the Presidency.

The reality of death threats against President Obama is covered in Chapter 16 of my forthcoming book, entitled; “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama,” available August 15 from Rowman Littlefield Publishers, and can be purchased at a 30 percent discount using the code available on this blog. It is well worth a read!

Cliven Bundy And Republican Move Toward Anarchism And Domestic Terrorism Support!

Cliven Bundy is a rancher in Nevada who has had his cattle grazing on federal land for years, and has refused to pay about $1 million in taxes to the Bureau of Land Management.

Bundy has gathered a group of gun toting haters of the federal government and its authority to control use of federal lands, and they have declared that they do not accept the authority of the federal government. In a confrontation a week ago, the Bureau of Land Management decided to back away as weapons were brandished, signs were aplenty, and women and children were being gathered as a front line of defense against action by the federal government to enforce federal law and authority.

This is an absolutely horrifying situation, and there is fear that violence will ensue when the time comes that the US government determines it will follow through on assertion of federal authority, and the collection of federal taxes due by this lawbreaker, Cliven Bundy.

If the US government does not enforce the law against Cliven Bundy, it will be seen as weak, indecisive, and having been intimidated by a hoodlum who has taken the law into his own hands, and has brought out right wing lunatics to back him up, and yet is cowardly enough to put women and children in the front line of defense! It will convince other ranchers who have obeyed the law and paid their taxes to wonder why they should continue to do so, if Cliven Bundy can bully the government and get away with it!

What is even more troubling than this is that Republicans, including Nevada Senator Dean Heller, usually a fairly moderate person, is backing Cliven Bundy, as is Texas gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott, the present Texas Attorney General. And reckless right wing Fox News Channel talk show host Sean Hannity has been egging on Cliven Bundy, endorsing his illegal activities and his attack on the US government!

Hannity is inciting violence and riots, is conducting himself as outside the obeying of federal law, and should be condemned for that advocacy, if bloodshed breaks out. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is absolutely correct in calling what is going on as “Domestic Terrorism.”

The Republican Party is starting to move toward endorsement of anarchism, domestic terrorism, law breaking, and if there is a confrontation, which seems inevitable at some point, the Republican Party had better back away from the image that is developing, as if they are seen as endorsing Cliven Bundy over the federal government, that will be the final nail in the coffin of the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, and even Reagan.

Abraham Lincoln is turning over in his grave right now!