23 December 2015




SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS I VT is the Democratic presidential candidate who is not in political debt to them, is not controlled by them, is not funded by them, and is FEARED by them. Check out Bernie's plans and proposals to make corporate America pay their fair share of taxes and end corporate welfare at BERNIE 2016.....
Read Sen. Bernie Sanders report that tells the tale of the greedy and corrupt 1%, of their bonuses, lobbying, political contributions, environmental destruction, military contracts and protecting their piles of cash.  The only people that suffer for it is the 99%!:

22 December 2015

Sandra Bland deserves justice 22DEZ15

TEXAS again shows the nation it is next to impossible for a person of color to get justice in that state. Now that a mostly white jury (no racism there, right?) has refused to indict ANYONE with Waller County law enforcement and corrections in the death of Sandra Bland, UltraViolet has joined other civil and human rights organizations in a petition drive to the Department of Justice demanding they start an investigation into her death while in police and corrections custody. Over 500,000 have already signed, please click the link to add your name.....

BREAKING: A mostly white grand jury in Texas just failed to indict anyone in Sandra Bland's death, and has allowed all Waller County sheriff officials and jail employees to escape accountability.1
It's what Bland's family and supporters feared--and it's exactly why we need the Department of Justice to step in NOW to investigate. Despite months of grassroots pressure, the Department of Justice has done NOTHING.
Over 500,000 people have signed the petition demanding the DOJ step in and launch a federal investigation--can you add your name? 
The grand jury is reconvening in January to decide whether to indict Trooper Brian Encinia, the cop who wrongfully arrested Bland. But it's clear that we can't trust Waller County officials to investigate themselves. The DOJ has the ability to probe the entire police department and determine if the death of Sandra Bland is a symptom of a larger issue with police violence in Waller County. If the DOJ remains silent, we can't expect that the Waller County police will ever be held accountable--that's why we need as many people as possible taking a stand for justice.
Add your name.
-Nita and Shaunna
P.S. Here's the original email we sent about the case:

Sandra Bland was driving from Illinois to Texas to start a new job at her alma mater. By all accounts she was thrilled at the opportunity. 
But that opportunity is gone, after a routine traffic stop Friday in Waller County, TX led to her death in a jail cell Monday morning.2
And the local sheriff--who was fired in a different city for racist and violent conduct--claims Sandra killed herself. 3 But Sandra's family and friends say that's not possible. They are demanding answers but getting little help from local authorities. If left up to a racist sheriff, you can bet justice for Sandra and her family will be delayed--possibly forever. 
That's why we need the Department of Justice to step in and investigate Sandra's death. Can you sign the petition?
Tell Attorney General Loretta Lynch: Waller County Police must be held accountable. Launch a federal investigation into the death of Sandra Bland. 
Sign the petition
In the video, you can hear Sandra screaming, "You slammed my head into the ground. Do you not even care about that?"3 She was just about to start a new job in student outreach at her alma mater Prairie View A&M University. Her family and friends say she was excited about her new job, and describe her as "strong," "outspoken," and "passionate." She was also a proud advocate against police violence and brutality. Her death is tragic.5
Black women and men are 4.2 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than anyone else.6 From Natasha McKenna, Alexia Christian, and Sheneque Proctor, to Yvvette Smith and Rekia Boyd, the deaths of Black women at the hands of police--with no accountability--needs to be stopped.
The police department is claiming she took her own life by hanging herself--but there were no shoestrings or blankets in her cell she could have used.7 And they're refusing to release any video footage from that night. The police aren't going to police themselves--that's why we need the Department of Justice to launch a full investigation of Sandra's death.
Sandra Bland deserves justice, and as we've seen with cases like those of Renisha McBride and Marissa Alexander, justice often comes only after we all raise our voices loudly.8 When people demanded an investigation of Ferguson police, the Department of Justice found undeniable patterns of racism and violence, and they were held accountable.9 Together, with our friends at ColorofChange, we can make sure Waller County police are held accountable, and stem the tide of police violence against Black women.
Will you add your name?
Thanks for speaking out.
--Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Gabriela, Holly, Kaili, Kathy, Onyi, Susan, Clarise, Anathea, Audine, Ryan, and Shannon, the UltraViolet team
1. Prosecutor: No indictment in Sandra Bland jail death, Associated Press, December 21, 2015
2. Sandra Bland Drove to Texas to Start a New Job, so How Did She End Up Dead In Jail?, The Root, July 16, 2015
3. Texas Sheriff involved in the death of Sandra Bland fired from previous post for racism, Daily Kos, July 16, 2015
4. Sandra Bland Drove to Texas to Start a New Job, so How Did She End Up Dead In Jail?, The Root, July 16, 2015
5. Family wary after Naperville woman's death in Texas jail; grand jury to inquire, Chicago Tribune, July 16, 2015
6. Here's the Data That Shows Cops Kill Black People at a Higher Rate Than White People, MotherJones, September 10, 2014
7. What Happened to Sandra Bland, a Black Woman Who Died in Jail Monday?, Gawker, July 16, 2015
8. Renisha McBride's family: 'You can rest now, justice is served',, August 7, 2014
Marissa Alexander Released From Prison, The Root, January 28, 2015
9. Ferguson's Conspiracy Against Black Citizens,The Atlantic, March 5, 2015

21 December 2015

Islamophobia Explodes in Virginia County 18 ينفجر الإسلاموفوبيا في أوغوستا إقليم، فيرجينيا 18 ديسمبر 2015

 المملكة العربية السعودية هي المستعبدين من قبل المرتدين الذين عوجوا الإيمان يحب DAESH
The teacher who chose the shahada in Arabic script as an “art” lesson knew exactly what they were doing. He or she put out the bait and the people of Augusta County took it. Both are stupid, ignorant beyond belief, and wasted a lot of government time and money and a day of school for the kids. The teacher should be suspended until he or she has learned to keep their head out of their ass.  Really, the shahada? An every day expression in Arabic script wouldn’t be artsy-fartsy enough? And the people of Augusta County? They have to want to be less ignorant, but don’t look for any attitude change any time soon, it is southern Virginia you know…..
And by the by, if a stunt like this was tried in saudi arabia, Afghanistan, any daesh controlled territory (just to name a few extremist Islamic countries / areas) where students were told to write in western script

John 14:6New International Version (NIV)

"6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.", that teacher would probably be dead by now. No wonder true Muslims are risking death to get to Western Europe and the U.S. and Canada and not to the “bastions” of Islam on the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. From +Daily Kos .....

All schools shut down in Augusta County, Virginia, over Islam homework

(CNN)After a teacher at a Virginia school handed out a standard homework assignment on Islam, such an angry backlash flooded in that it prompted officials to close every single school in the county as a safety precaution.
"While there has been no specific threat of harm to students, schools and school offices will be closed Friday, December 18, 2015," Augusta County Schools said. Extracurricular activities were shut down Thursday afternoon.
Too many people in this country have simply gone over the cliff with “Islamophobia”.
It is ironic to see this posted at CNN, one of the main ‘news” outlets that when not breathlessly reporting this story, is breathlessly exacerbating racism and hatred and distrust of Islam and Muslims.
So because a teacher was simply teaching about Islam this one particularly STUPID county goes freakin BERSERK over even the fact-based, non-hysterical discussion of one tiny part of the real world.
Well, they were to draw something that was in Arabic:
"Here is the shahada, the Islamic statement of faith, written in Arabic. In the space below, try copying it by hand. This should give you an idea of the artistic complexity of calligraphy."
The illustrative classical Arabic phrase was the basic statement in Islam. It translated to: "There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah."
And all the idiots of the village erupted into bitter displays of Islamophobic stupidity and the schools were closed down and fights broke out on facebook and twitter.
Yes, some people were more than stupid enough to see this as some attempt to convert them to Islam right in their own homes.
The Sheriff’s department felt a need to secure the schools because of the uproar.
I am stunned no shots were fired.
This country has become so stupid and it is exactly this sentiment and sub-demographic the GOP are massaging and encouraging in particular.
This IS their base and their base listens to them and they GOP presidential contenders encourage this.
Islamophobia is patently unAmerican.
To not end on a depressing note — not every American is like this though:
المعلم الذي اختار الشهادة باللغة العربية كما يعرف ب "الفن" الدرس بالضبط ما كانوا يفعلون. انه أو انها وضعت من الطعم وأخذ الناس من أوغوستا إقليم ذلك. كلاهما غبي، جاهل تفوق الخيال، ويضيع الكثير من الوقت والمال والحكومة يوم من المدرسة للأطفال. ينبغي وقف المعلم حتى اذا كان قد علم للحفاظ على رؤوسهم من الحمار. حقا، والشهادة؟ أن تعبير كل يوم في الكتابة العربية لا تكون ارتسي-fartsy بما فيه الكفاية؟ وشعب أوغوستا إقليم؟ لديهم تريد أن تكون أقل جاهل، ولكن لا نبحث عن أي موقف تغيير في أي وقت قريب، فمن جنوب ولاية فرجينيا تعلمون ... ..المرتدين، شبه الجزيرة العربية، أوغوستا إقليم ولاية فرجينيا، daesh وايران والخوف من الإسلام، اللاجئين المسلمين والتحيز، والمدارس العامة، والعنصرية، السعودية جزيره العرب، الشهادة، الجهل طوعي،
وقبل من قبل، إذا حوكم حيلة من هذا القبيل في السعودية جزيره العرب، أفغانستان، أي إقليم daesh للرقابة (على سبيل المثال لا قليل من المتطرفين من البلدان / المناطق الإسلامية) حيث قال الطلاب أن يكتبوا في النص الغربييوحنا 14: 6New الدولية النسخة (NIV)"أجاب 6 يسوع:" أنا هو الطريق والحق والحياة. ليس أحد يأتي إلى الآب إلا بي. "، من شأنه أن المعلم ربما يكون قد مات الآن. لا عجب مسلمين حقيقيين يخاطرون الموت للوصول إلى أوروبا الغربية والولايات المتحدة وكندا وليس إلى "معاقل" الإسلام في شبه الجزيرة العربية وإيران. من + ديلي كوس .....
جميع المدارس أغلقت في أوغوستا إقليم، فيرجينيا، على الإسلام المنزلية

(CNN) بعد مدرسا في مدرسة فرجينيا وزعوا ديرنج قياسي على الإسلام، غمرت المياه مثل رد فعل غاضب لأنه دفع المسؤولين إلى إغلاق كل مدرسة واحدة في مقاطعة كإجراء احترازي.

"، وبينما لم يكن هناك أي تهديد محدد من ضرر على الطلاب والمدارس ومكاتب المدرسة ستغلق الجمعة 18 ديسمبر، 2015"، وقال أوغوستا إقليم المدارس. وأغلقت الأنشطة اللامنهجية أسفل بعد ظهر اليوم.

شئ لا يصدق. "أوغوستا إقليم المدارس مغلقة بسبب الخط تعيين رد فعل"
- pourmecoffee (pourmecoffee) 18 ديسمبر 2015

وفيما يلي البيان الكامل من #Augusta مقاطعة المدارس العامة على لماذا إلغاء الأنشطة المدرسية.
- NBC29 (@ NBC29) 17 ديسمبر 2015الكثير من الناس في هذا البلد قد ذهب ببساطة على حافة الهاوية مع "الإسلاموفوبيا".ومن المفارقات أن نرى هذا في موقع CNN، واحدة من وسائل الأخبار الرئيسية "أنه عندما لا الإبلاغ بتلهف هذه القصة، وتفاقم بتلهف العنصرية والكراهية وعدم الثقة في الإسلام والمسلمين.ذلك لأن المعلم كان مجرد تدريس الإسلام هذه المقاطعة غبي بشكل خاص واحد يذهب فرياكين هائج أكثر حتى المستندة إلى الواقع، مناقشة غير هستيرية من جزء واحد صغير من العالم الحقيقي.حسنا، كانت لرسم شيء ما كان في العربية:

"هنا هو الشهادة، وبيان الإسلامي من الإيمان، وكتب في اللغة العربية. في المكان المخصص أدناه، حاول نسخها باليد. وينبغي لهذه تعطيك فكرة عن تعقيد الفني للخط."

كانت توضيحية الكلاسيكية العبارة العربية البيان الأساسي في الإسلام. ترجمته إلى: "لا إله إلا الله، وأن محمدا رسول الله".واندلعت جميع البلهاء من القرية إلى يعرض مريرة من الغباء كراهية الإسلام وأقفلت المدارس أبوابها واندلعت معارك في الفيسبوك وتويتر.نعم، كان بعض الناس أكثر من غبي بما يكفي لرؤية هذا كما يحاول البعض تحويلها إلى الإسلام الحق في منازلهم.ورأى قسم من شريف حاجة لتأمين المدارس بسبب الضجة.أنا مذهول ولم يطلق الرصاص.وقد أصبح هذا البلد الغباء وأنه هو بالضبط هذا الشعور ودون الديموغرافي الحزب الجمهوري وتلفيق ومشجعة على وجه الخصوص.هذا هو قاعدتهم وقاعدتهم يستمع إليهم والمرشحين للرئاسة هم الحزب الجمهوري يشجع هذا.الخوف من الإسلام هو unAmerican واضح.للا تنتهي بنبرة كئيبة - وليس كل أميركي هو من هذا القبيل على الرغم من:

أنا حزين أن المدارس أوغوستا إقليم شعرت بالحاجة لإغلاق اليوم. الناس فظيعة في بعض الأحيان. #sad
- نورم Deplume (@ NormDeplume720) 18 ديسمبر 2015

إذا كان طفلك لا يزال هشا لدرجة أنه يمكن تلقينهم مع عينة من الكتابة اليدوية العربية، وكنت قد فشلت كوالد. مقاطعة أوغستا

     - السيد WalrusQ (MrWalrusQ) 18 ديسمبر 2015

05 December 2015


I stand with Planned ParenthoodPLANNED PARENTHOOD is healthcare for any American who needs it. If they can't provide the service at their clinic they will help the patient get the care they need. They are more pro-life than most politicians today, Please donate if you can, and also click the link to sign the petition to the Dept of Justice to investigate the attacks on Planned Parenthood clinics domestic terrorism. I did both,  click the links below. From the Bold Progressives / PCCC and +Ultraviolet Info 


Join the National Day of Action Against Extremism and Violence on Saturday, December 5th.

Statement from Planned Parenthood:
To those who go to unimaginable extremes to close our doors:
We deplore your violence.
We reject your threats.
We fight your legislation to limit reproductive rights and health care in every corner of our country.
We believe your actions and words hurt women -- whether by making it impossible to seek health care or by creating a climate of disrespect and hostility that fosters extremist violence.
The Washington Post and NBC News reported that the domestic terrorist who shot and killed people at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood ranted about "no more baby parts" as he was apprehended.
Planned Parenthood's statement continues:
We demand an end to the incendiary rhetoric from anti-abortion activists and lawmakers that demonizes Planned Parenthood doctors and patients. The smear campaign and false accusations that motivated the attack in Colorado Springs must stop.
We aren't going anywhere. Planned Parenthood has been here for nearly 100 years, and we will keep being here as long as women, men, and young people need health care with dignity.
To those who go to shocking extremes to close our doors, know this:
These doors stay open.
Thanks for being a bold progressive.
-- Kayla Wingbermuehle, PCCC Organizing Team
Want to support the Warren wing? Senator Elizabeth Warren says, "When PCCC members donate millions in small-dollar donations and make millions of phone calls for progressive candidates, leaders in Washington, they take notice." Chip in $3 here

Domestic Terrorism is Terrorism. 

In the wake of another attack on Planned Parenthood--the sixth terrorist attack on a clinic in four months--the Department of Justice is still M.I.A.1 So we're going big with this hard-hitting new ad featuring UltraViolet members to get the Attorney General's attention.
Watch this video on Facebook, then share it with your friends.
Not on Facebook? You can watch and share here.


Published on Dec 3, 2015
Tell the Department of Justice to investigate domestic terror attacks at Planned Parenthood. Patient safety MUST be protected. Call (202) 353-1555
More than 300,000 people have signed petitions demanding an investigation, and earlier this week we delivered the signatures to the DOJ along with our allies at CREDO, NARAL, and Courage Campaign.
But we can't stop there. We have to keep up the pressure, and that's where you come in. This new ad is designed to push the DOJ to action before things get even worse. We need to make sure it's seen far and wide. Please share this widely with your friends and family.

1. Calls Grow to Define Clinic Attacks as Domestic Terrorism, New York Times, December 2, 2015

There was ANOTHER violent attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic.
The latest attack was in Claremont, New Hampshire, where someone broke into a Planned Parenthood health center and used a hatchet to destroy equipment and exam rooms, and break water and sewer lines, flooding the entire center.2
This is the fifth terrorist attack on Planned Parenthood since July--and the mainstream media have mostly ignored them.Local officials are investigating--but these are acts of domestic terrorism and require the resources of the Department of Justice. One week ago, the Justice Department actually created a Domestic Terrorism division for cases exactly like this.4 That's why we're joining our friends at NARAL Pro-Choice America to demand the Justice Department open a domestic terrorism investigation. Will you sign the petition?
Two weeks ago, someone vandalized the Claremont Planned Parenthood health center--spray-painting it with hate speech.5 Then, Wednesday night, this second attack occurred, which forced the clinic to close temporarily. It's the only Planned Parenthood clinic in this rural area, and the clinic's closure is cutting off access to countless women in need of health services. This comes after four arsons at clinics across the U.S., one in California, Washington, Illinois, and Louisiana.6 The violent attacks against Planned Parenthood must be stopped before another clinic is forced to shut its doors.
Anti-abortion violence has a long history in this country, and it turns deadly. In fact, the co-founder of the organization that released the doctored anti-abortion Planned Parenthood videos is linked to violent militants like Operation Rescue, the group associated with the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.7
The good news is that the Department of Justice can choose to combat these attacks. The attacks on Planned Parenthood health centers are acts of terrorism, and if the Justice Department takes action, it can deter future attacks. If we all stand up together with our friends at NARAL, we can make sure the Justice Department listens.
Add your name.
Thanks for standing up.
--Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Holly, Kaili, Kathy, Onyi, Susan, Clarise, Anathea, Audine, Ryan, Shannon, Vanessa, Megan, Kaytee, and Libby, the UltraViolet team


1. Searching for Answers and Comfort After Killings at Planned Parenthood, New York Times, November 29, 2015
2. Planned Parenthood office in Claremont heavily damaged by intruder, WMUR9 ABC, October 22, 2015
3. LA Times And WA Spokesman-Review's Coverage of Planned Parenthood Arsons Shines Compared to National Print and Cable News, Media Matters for America, October 9, 2015
4. Department of Justice Creates New Post to Combat Domestic Terrorism, Politicususa, October 16, 2015
5. Planned Parenthood office in Claremont heavily damaged by intruder, WMUR9 ABC, October 22, 2015
6. Four Arsons In 74 Days At Planned Parenthood Clinics, Southern Poverty Law Center, October 2, 2015
7. Co-Founder Behind Planned Parenthood Video Has Close Ties to Abortion Clinic Violence, RH Reality Check, July 17, 2015

Ex GOP lawmaker says Republicans are not rational, not conservative and have 12-year-old thinking & It's Time to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans with Mickey Edwards 3DEZ15
Here is another republican who is fed up with his party's decision not to participate in  governing our nation as the loyal opposition, but instead to serve the 1%, wall street, the bank-financial cabal and the military-industrial complex. Former representative Mikey Edwards (R OK) joins Mike Lofgren in condemning republican /tea-bagger obstructionism in our local, state and federal government. The current slate of 2016 republican presidential candidates don't offer any change in this attitude, in fact it seems to have become the main party position. If the republicans win the presidency in 2016 Americans will experience increased curtailment of our constitutional civil liberties and civil rights, more government intrusion in our personal lives, increased economic inequality ans insecurity and the further degradation of our environment, national infrastructure, education, and the social safety net. While it may seem an extreme statement to some, if one really looks at the rhetoric of the republican leadership and the republican presidential candidates it seems their goal is to impose the same kind of repressive government the people of russia, saudi arabia, iran and the prc as well as most of the Third World now suffer under. They are determined to make America a theocratic plutocracy. God help us! From +Daily Kos followed by a video of Mr Edwards discussing American politics from UTCV / University of California Television. The political revolution we need is being offered by Sen Bernie Sanders I VT, go to his campaign website for more information and FEEL THE BURN.....


In a segment of the Bill Moyers Show, Moyers interviews former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards. The honesty is refreshing.

Moyers describes Edwards as a believer of compromise and bipartisanship, but Edwards has fears about the current Republicans and feels the Party has lost the conservative principles. He talks about how Republicans today follow party leaders, follow campaign contributors, and often sign pledges to block a bill even before even seeing it. He says when he was in Congress he would vote based on three things:
1. Listening seriously to constituents (maybe not always agreeing, but listening)
2. Thinking about and learning about issues, getting as much information as possible
3. Following the Constitution
Edwards says lawmakers making a pledge to do anything but that—is undercutting the whole purpose of being part of the government.
Republicans boast they have never raised taxes—in over 20 years. Moyers calls it “disquieting” and brings up the fact that during those years Republicans led us into two wars without asking us or telling us how we'd pay for it, they paid vast expenditures to fight terrorism, and gave big tax breaks to the top earning and richest Americans. Edwards says the above decisions are certainly not conservatism, and they are not “rational.” He points out it's childish to think we can spend without paying. But U.S. lawmakers are signing all or nothing pledges on issues like immigration and taxes rather than asking if they serve the people and the Constitution. He says money plays way too big of a part in our political system today, from both sides, and there's no control over it.
"I would get rid of political action committee money, political party money, labor union money, and corporate money … I would go down to small amounts that are instantly reported, and all transparent. I think we have to do that because it is the money pouring in — what comes out at the end is not representative of what the American people want. You know, the system gets skewed by these 'super influences…'"
Edwards also talks about how money is intimidating candidates and thus:
"… We've created an incentive system that gets you knocked off in your primaries, unless you are willing to be intransigent and to say, 'I will never compromise.'"
He later adds:
“Well, the fact is, the idea that, ‘No, I’m not ever going to do this, no matter the circumstances, no matter if we’re at war or whatever ...’— it’s a 12-year-old kind of thinking.”
Also in the interview, the former lawmaker says he feels a big part of today’s political problem is that Americans are not getting as involved before voting as they should, and they are exposed to extreme positions. The American people now tend to talk only to people who think the way they do and are not open to a civil conversation with people on a different side.
"And we have Mitch McConnell the Republcan leader in the Senate who says, 'What my goal is, is to make Barack Obama a one-term president.' They're supposed to be leaders not party hacks."
Moyers asks, "So we have created a political system the rewards in intransitives?"
"We created a system that says, 'We reward incivility. We reward refusing to compromise. We punish people who compromise and are civil and get along with the people on the other side of the isle. So why are we surprised that's all we get? In everything in life, you get what you reward." Edwards ads, "We need to do a better job of teaching civics. We need to do a better job of teaching critical thinking."
Here is the video from the show:

Mickey Edwards on How Conservatives Have Lost Their Way

Published on Jan 3, 2013
Bill is joined by former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards, a founding father of modern conservative politics who now fears the movement has abandoned its principles. Edwards explains why both political parties require radical change, and shares his perspective on Grover Norquist and anti-tax pledges. "It's not conservatism, not rational, not adult," Edwards tells Bill. " It's a 12-year-old's kind of thinking."

Edwards chaired the Republican Policy Committee, was a founding trustee of the conservative Heritage Foundation, and served as National Chairman of the American Conservative Union.

​We're glad to see that the “best” of Bill Moyers is still being published on his site. The much-loved journalist retired in January 2015, after 44 years of writing and broadcasting.

Mickey Edwards was a Republican member of Congress from Oklahoma from 1977 to 1992, serving as a member of the House Republican Leadership and as a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees. After leaving the Congress, he taught for 11 years at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was the John Quincy Adams Lecturer in Legislative Practice, and for five years as a lecturer at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Maryland Law School and at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute and a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School.

It's Time to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans with Mickey Edwards

Published on Feb 7, 2013
(Visit: Former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma Mickey Edwards argues that American government has become dysfunctional because we've created a political system that rewards intransigence and incivility and punishes cooperation and compromise. We've allowed political parties to manipulate our elections and even our governing systems for their own partisan advantage. He says to fix the problem and get government working again, we have to change the political system itself. Series: "Walter H. Capps Center Series" [2/2013] [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 24417]


04 December 2015

What If Getting a Gun Were as Hard as Getting an Abortion? 4DEC15

THIS will never pass in Missouri where the legislature would like to impose "christian sharia" laws on the residents of the state (but not applicable to state legislators), but I would love to see it passed in a progressive state or D.C. and see the reaction of the repiglicans and tea-baggers. It actually is a valid question to be considered and discussed. From +Mother Jones .....
| Fri Dec. 4, 2015 1:03 PM EST
After multiple shootings across the country in the past week, including a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people, a Missouri state lawmaker decided to take a provocative approach toward gun control. State Rep. Stacey Newman, a Democrat, prefiled a bill this week for the next legislative session that, if passed, would subject potential gun buyers to the same rigmarole of restrictions—a 72-hour waiting period, an explanatory video, a doctor meeting, a facility tour, reviews of photographs, and more—that are already imposed on or have been proposed for Missouri women seeking abortions.
From the bill, HB 1397:
Prior to any firearm purchase in this state, a prospective firearm purchaser shall, at least seventy-two hours prior to the initial request to purchase a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer located at least one hundred twenty miles from such purchaser’s legal residence, confer and discuss with a licensed physician the indicators and contraindicators and risk factors, including any physical, psychological, or situational factors, that may arise with the proposed firearm purchase. Such physician shall then evaluate the prospective firearm purchaser for such indicators and contraindicators and risk factors and determine if such firearm purchase would increase such purchaser’s risk of experiencing an adverse physical, emotional, or other health reaction.
The bill also requires gun purchasers to watch a 30-minute video about firearm injuries, to tour an emergency trauma center at an urban hospital on a weekend night, when rates of gun-shot victims are high, and to meet with two families who have experienced gun violence and two local faith leaders who have officiated a funeral recently for a child killed by gun violence.
This symbolic bill is reminiscent of the trend that cropped up several years ago, when legislators across the country filed tongue-in-cheek measures proposing restrictions on vasectomies corresponding to state abortion restrictions. None of those measures passed, and Newman's bill is also virtually guaranteed to fail in Missouri's Republican-controlled legislature. Newman's intent is to highlight the high hurdles to getting an abortion in Missouri relative to the lack of accountability required for buying a gun.
"If we truly insist that Missouri cares about 'all life', then we must take immediate steps to address our major cities rising rates of gun violence,'" Newman told St. Louis magazine. "Popular proposals among voters, including universal background checks and restricting weapons from abuser and convicted felons, are consistently ignored each session. Since restrictive policies regarding a constitutionally protected medical procedure are the GOP’s legislative priority each year, it makes sense that their same restrictions apply to those who may commit gun violence."

Hannah Levintova

Reporter/Associate Editor
Hannah Levintova reports and edits in Mother Jones' DC bureau. For more of her stories, click here. Follow her on Twitter or send her an email at hlevintova[at]motherjones[dot]com. RSS |

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Bernie Sanders is right: Saudi Arabia is more focused on the conflict in Yemen than fighting ISIS 24NOV15

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I am tired of American taxpayer money being spent on defending the nation that sent us 18 of the 19 9/11 terrorist. I am tired of our federal governments kow-towing to the evil of the saudi kingdom, exporter of wahhabi terrorist, major supplier of money and military supplies to terrorist,  major funder of daesh, violator of all human rights of its own citizens. The "kingdom" is ruled by greedy, murderous, apostates of Islam who in actuality aren't much different than daesh. If the rich Gulf nations don't step up their involvement in the fight against daesh then the U.S. should concentrate on defending Turkey and Israel and Jordan and leave the fight against daesh to the rest of the Muslim world. The corruption of the ruling governments, the greed of the ruling clans, the brutal oppression of the human rights of their own people are reasons enough for the American people to demand the U.S. government give the Persian Gulf despots notice that if they are threatened by daesh they are going to have to take over the leadership of the fight against them.  No more American blood should be spilled to defend Middle Eastern dictatorships, no more American taxpayer dollars should be wasted on fighting for nations when their own people won't. AND American military action in Syria and Iraq is illegal and must be authorized by congress. This from +PolitiFact and for more on Sen Sanders campaign go to BERNIE 2016.....

"Instead of fighting ISIS, (the Saudis) have focused more on a campaign to oust Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen."
Bernie Sanders on Thursday, November 19th, 2015 in a speech at Georgetown University

Bernie Sanders is right: Saudi Arabia is more focused on the conflict in Yemen than fighting ISIS

Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, hold up their weapons to protest against Saudi-led airstrikes, as they chant slogans during a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, on March 26, 2015. (AP Photo)
Bernie Sanders delivered his long-awaited speech on democratic socialism last week, also outlining his plan for fighting ISIS.
Sanders called for a broad international coalition but stressed that Muslim nations must shoulder the fight, which he called "a struggle for the soul of Islam." So far, he said, wealthy and powerful countries in the region like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates have done very little.
"Saudi Arabia, turns out, has the third-largest defense budget in the world," Sanders said on Nov. 19. "Yet instead of fighting ISIS they have focused more on a campaign to oust Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen."
Sanders is correct that Saudi Arabia’s military budget is the third largest in the world. But is he also right that the Saudis aren’t prioritizing ISIS? In a word, yes.
A striking scaleback
The Saudi embassy in Washington did not return our requests for comment. But the Sanders campaign forwarded us a New York Times article that says, "Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have shifted most of their aircraft to their fight against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen."
In 2014, the Houthis — a longstanding Shiite separatist group in northern Yemen, a country with a Sunni majority — rebelled against the Yemeni government and seized the presidential palace. After months of tense peace brokered by the United Nations, the Houthis took over the government and placed the president under house arrest in early 2015.
Saudi Arabia, which has a Sunni majority and is ruled by a Sunni monarch, led a 10-state Arab coalition and launched airstrikes against the Houthis on March 26. It pledged to use 100 warplanes and 150,000 soldiers. In a month, the Saudis conducted 2,415 sorties (a deployment of an aircraft), releasing at least 1,000 air-to-ground weapons.
Meanwhile, as part of the U.S.-led coalition of 60 countries, Saudi Arabia has also been involved with the international effort against ISIS since September 2014. Since then, it has deployed just four F-15 fighter jets and an unspecified number of Typhoon combat jets against ISIS. (Saudi state media trumpeted the participation, releasing photos of pilots who flew in the strikes and highlighting that the son of King Salman was among them.)
Experts said Saudi Arabia doesn’t publicize the exact number of airstrikes it has carried out, but the data shows that the amount of non-U.S. airstrikes overall has been scaled back since the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen began in late March. Conversely, the United States has beefed up its strikes.
Here’s a chart from, a project tracking the international air war against ISIS, that demonstrates this point:
Data compiled by shows that from Dec. 1, 2014, to Nov. 16, 2015, Arab allies conducted just 143 of the 2,827 airstrikes in Syria, 90 of which occurred before April 3 (intervention in Yemen began March 26). For comparison, Saudi Arabia sometimes conducted as many as 125 strikes a day against the Houthis, according to the BBC.
"Bottom line, Bernie Sanders is right. All the evidence points to it," said Chris Woods, an investigative journalist who leads the Airwars project. "Clearly, we saw with the Saudis a capability unleashed in Yemen that we never saw in Syria."
"The volume of Saudi military forces deployed to combat the Houthis puts the Saudi deployment against ISIS to shame," said David Weinberg, an expert on the Gulf monarchies at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy.
Weinberg looked at tallies from the Defense Department which are consistent with data. He also noted a decline in the number of non-U.S. airstrikes in Syria and "a pitiful lack of participation by America’s Arab allies in what was supposedly unveiled as a joint U.S-Arab effort when it was launched last fall."
According to the New York Times article cited by the Sanders campaign, the Saudis flew their last strikes in Syria in September, Jordan in August, and the UAE in March.
Conflicting crises
Riyadh has its reasons for prioritizing the Houthis over ISIS. Among them: Yemen’s proximity, Iran’s gains in the region, sectarianism and, simply put, practicality.
"Yemen is the soft underbelly of the kingdom, and Iranian presence there through its support of Houthis is viewed as an existential threat to the kingdom," said David Ottaway, the Middle East specialist at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
"In the end, Syria doesn’t border Saudi Arabia like Yemen does," said Lori Plotkin Boghardt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "And more fundamentally, the Saudis view Assad as the root of the ISIS problem and have argued from the beginning that Assad has to be defeated first in order to defeat ISIS."
Saudi Arabia is also somewhat relying on the United States to take on ISIS, added Weinberg of the Defense of Democracies. It’s also politically easier for the Sunni kingdom to mobilize public opinion there against radical Shiites like the Houthis rather than radical Sunni terrorists like ISIS, he said.
The United States, for its part, supports the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen (the Houthis’ slogan is "Death to America, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews, Victory to Islam"), despite concerns over civilian casualties and possible war crimes. What’s more, Boghardt pointed out, "the irony and the danger" is that the conflict in Yemen has given al-Qaida and ISIS room to operate there.
As for ISIS, there’s no question that the Saudis are aware of the threat it poses. The terrorist group has repeatedly targeted the kingdom, bombing mosques and detonating car bombs. Beyond military engagement, the Saudis have foiled terrorist plots and arrested hundreds of ISIS supporters. But experts say the kingdom could be doing a lot more.
"Saudi Arabia really should be doing more to militarily combat the twin scourges of ISIS and al-Qaida," Weinberg said. "Bernie Sanders is right that we should expect more from our Saudi allies in the fight against terror in Syria as well as beyond."
Our ruling
Sanders said, "Instead of fighting ISIS, (the Saudis) have focused more on a campaign to oust Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen."
This is an accurate assessment. The Saudis have prioritized the conflict in Yemen over the fight against ISIS, as evidenced by the amount of resources it has committed to both crises.
We rate Sanders’ claim True.

About this statement:

Published: Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 at 5:51 p.m.
Researched by: Linda Qiu
Edited by: Angie Drobnic Holan
Subjects: Foreign Policy, Terrorism

Sources:, "Senator Bernie Sanders on Democratic Socialism in the United States," Nov. 19, 2015
Email interview with Warren Gunnels, policy director for Bernie Sanders, Nov. 23, 2015
Interview with Chris Woods,, Nov. 24, 2015
Email interview with David Weinberg, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, Nov. 23, 2015
Email interview with Lori Plotkin Boghardt, fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Nov. 24, 2015
Email interview with David Ottaway, Middle East specialist at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Nov. 23, 2015
Email interview with Gregory Gause, professor of international affairs at Texas A&M University, Nov. 23, 2015
Email interview with Bruce Riedel, senior fellow at the BRookings Institute, Nov. 23, 2015
PolitiFact, "Bernie Sanders: 'Saudi Arabia has the third-largest military budget in the entire world,’" Aug. 30, 2015
New York Times, "As U.S. Escalates Air War on ISIS, Allies Slip Away," Feb. 18, 2015
Al Jazeera, "Houthis take over Yemen presidential palace," Jan. 21, 2015
CNN, "Saudi Arabia launches airstrikes in Yemen," March 26, 2015
BBC, "Mixed success for Saudi military operation in Yemen," May 12, 2015
Reuters, "Saudi Arabia confirms role in strikes against Islamic State in Syria," Sept. 23, 2014
Defense News, "Saudi Typhoons Use Paveway IV Bombs on ISIS," Feb. 25, 2015
The National, "Saudi prince flew jet in Syria ISIL attacks," Sept. 25, 2014
Defense Department, "Strikes in Iraq and Syria," accessed Nov. 24, 2015
The Economist, "The long arm," Jan. 24, 2015
Council on Foreign Relations, "The Sunni-Shia Divide," accessed Nov. 24, 2015
The Guardian, "Jihadis likely winners of Saudi Arabia's futile war on Yemen's Houthi rebels," July 7, 2015
Al Arabiya, "Timeline: Al-Qaeda and ISIS attacks in Saudi Arabia," Aug. 6, 2015
BBC, "Yemen crisis: Who is fighting whom?" March 26, 2015
Al-Monitor, In the battle against IS, where is the Arab coalition?, Nov. 12, 2015
Vocativ, Allies Are Abandoning the U.S.-Led Air War Against ISIS In Syria, Oct. 21, 2015