Monday, January 28, 2013

Collateral Damage

For the NRA, the slaughter of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, along with the 6 adults who tried to protect them, was collateral damage, just as is the 1318 reported gun deaths so far since Newtown. Imagine that; one thousand, three hundred and eighteen people shot to death in the 45 days since Newtown. Make no mistake, we are in a war, and what is collateral damage for the cabal of fanatics who have taken over the NRA, is for the rest of us, our dead and wounded.

There is no negotiating with the NRA; you can’t negotiate with ideologues. The NRA’s anecdotes, homilies, horror stories, and statistics are a smoke screen thrown up to disguise their true intent, which is to arm to the teeth in order to resist the tyrannical government that exists solely in their fevered brains.

The NRA has amassed a war chest to fund the army of lobbyists and lawyers that cajole and cow congressional representatives. They vote in a block to defeat candidates with the temerity to suggest compromise. And to defeat them, we must do the same.

Contribute your money and your voice and your vote to control guns and the collateral damage that claims our loved ones. Do it now!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mr. Klippert's Proposed Bill

State Representative Brad Klippert, Republican for Eastern Washington’s 8th District, has jumped on the ARM THE TEACHERS bandwagon promoted by the NRA. He plans to introduce a bill to allow teachers to carry weapons at school. What a keen idea. Teachers could then be evaluated on things like marksmanship, instead of subjective criteria, like student growth. Fast draw competitions could be useful (and fun) in weeding out teachers who show an unwillingness to shoot at life-like student popup targets.
Of course teachers would have to undergo NRA-sponsored gun training. We hope such training will include how to wrest the teacher’s gun from a student, who might see his teacher hesitate to plug him and take the opportunity to grab the gun away.

Here again, teachers have to be well informed about stand your ground laws, and know that if they feel threatened by a student, they have every right to shoot the student exhibiting the negative or problematic behavior. Drop the student exhibiting negative behavior patterns in his tracks, and you prevent that behavior from developing into something serious.

There are other advantages to gun training for teachers, besides feeling more confident in the classroom. Teachers could, for example, utilize their gun training to moonlight as armed guards at movie theaters -- mass shooting aren’t limited to schools after all. In this way, teachers could supplement their school salary (god knows it needs supplementing), and they could see movies free. Granted, they might see the same movie 2 or 3 or 14 times, but repetition equals retention, right?

The one fingernail across the blackboard in this scenario is its failure to fully consider the Second Amendment. If teachers are to be armed, it seems only fair that students be armed, as well. As the NRA is fond of reminding us, the Second Amendment reads, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Nowhere does it say that this right is limited to teachers.

In order to correct this oversight in Mr. Klippert’s bill, I propose to amend it to allow students, as well as teachers, to bring firearms to school. Let’s make it fair, folks! My amendment is called, “No student left unarmed!”

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year Wall Street!

The deal that President Obama signed into law January 3, 2013, will allow multinationals to defer paying US taxes on certain financial transactions undertaken outside the US. The companies, including Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, General Electric and JPMorgan Chase, are taxed by the US on that income only when it is brought back to the country. This will cost the US Treasury $9.4 billion in lost revenue in 2013 alone.

As Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) explained, “The active financing exception makes it easier for multinationals to expand overseas, making investments and creating jobs in foreign countries (rather than here in the US) by reducing the related tax costs.” CTJ added, “The active financing exception also plays a significant role in the ability of large U.S.-based financial institutions to pay low effective rates.”

Meanwhile, as Pat Garofalo points out, the fiscal cliff deal allowed a cut in the payroll tax to expire, raising taxes on every working American. The deal will reduce U.S. economic growth by about 1.3 percent this year.