Kissinger-Defender McCain Calls Code PINK ‘Low-life Scum’

Nel's New Day

“I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place…” That was part of Sen. John McCain’s apology to Henry Kissinger, 90, after Code PINK protesters interrupted a Senate hearing with their demands that Kissinger be arrested for war crimes. While serving as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State between 1969 and 1977, Kissinger served as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State, Kissinger “designed and implemented policies which led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, the overthrow of democratically-elected governments, and the invasion and occupation of sovereign countries,” according to a group of historians. In defense of Kissinger, the 78-year-old senator who is currently considering running for another six-year term in 2016, labeled the protesters as “low-life scum.”

Early in his term as National Security Officer, Kissinger authorized the secret bombing of Laos and Cambodia in 1969…

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States with Weak Gun Laws and Higher Gun Ownership Lead Nation in Gun Deaths, New Data for 2013 Confirms (1/29/2015)

States with Weak Gun Laws and Higher Gun Ownership Lead Nation in Gun Deaths, New Data for 2013 Confirms (1/29/2015).

Alaska, Louisiana Have Highest Gun Death Rates in the Nation; Hawaii, Massachusetts Have Lowest

Washington, DC — Newly available data for 2013 reveals that states with weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership have the highest overall gun death rates in the nation, according to a Violence Policy Center (VPC) analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Meanwhile, states with the lowest overall gun death rates have lower rates of gun ownership and some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation. However, even in these states the human toll of gun violence is far above the gun death rate in other industrialized nations.

The VPC analysis refers to overall gun death rates in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. A table of the states with the five highest gun death rates and the five lowest gun death rates is below. For a list of gun death rates in all 50 states, see http://www.vpc.org/fadeathchart15.htm.

States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates

States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates

Rank

State

Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate per 100,000 Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate per 100,000
1 Alaska 60.6 percent 19.59 50 Hawaii 9.7 percent 2.71
2 Louisiana 45.6 percent 19.15 49 Massachusetts 12.8 percent 3.18
3 Alabama 57.2 percent 17.79 48 New York 18.1 percent 4.39
4 Mississippi 54.3 percent 17.55 47 Connecticut 16.2 percent 4.48
5 Wyoming 62.8 percent 17.51 46 Rhode Island 13.3 percent 5.33

The five states with the highest per capita gun death rates in 2013 were Alaska, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Wyoming. Each of these states has extremely lax gun violence prevention laws as well as a higher rate of gun ownership. The state with the lowest gun death rate in the nation was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Each of these states has strong gun violence prevention laws and a lower rate of gun ownership.

“Reducing exposure to firearms and having stronger gun laws saves lives,” says VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Each year, the data consistently show that states with strong gun violence prevention laws and low rates of gun ownership have the lowest gun death rates in the nation. The highest gun death rates are in states with weak gun violence prevention laws and easy access to guns.”

“This report should be a wake-up call to state legislators,” says Cathie Whittenburg, communications director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. “There is no higher priority for elected officials than enacting laws that keep families safe from death and injury.”

The nationwide gun death rate was 10.64 per 100,000. The total number of Americans killed by gunfire rose to 33,636 in 2013 from 33,563 in 2012.

America’s gun death rates — both nationwide and in the states — dwarf those of other industrialized nations. In 2011, the gun death rate in the United Kingdom was 0.23 per 100,000 and in Australia the gun death rate was 0.86 per 100,000. (Data for these countries is available at GunPolicy.org, hosted by the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney in Australia).

State gun death rates are calculated by dividing the number of gun deaths by the total state population and multiplying the result by 100,000 to obtain the rate per 100,000, which is the standard and accepted method for comparing fatal levels of gun violence.

The VPC defined states with “weak” gun violence prevention laws as those that add little or nothing to federal law and have permissive laws governing the open or concealed carrying of firearms in public. States with “strong” gun violence prevention laws were defined as those that add significant state regulation that is absent from federal law, such as restricting access to particularly hazardous and deadly types of firearms (for example, assault weapons), setting minimum safety standards for firearms and/or requiring a permit to purchase a firearm, and restricting the open and concealed carrying of firearms in public.

State gun ownership rates were obtained from the September 2005 Pediatrics article “Prevalence of Household Firearms and Firearm-Storage Practices in the 50 States and the District of Columbia: Findings From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002,” which is the most recent comprehensive published data available on state gun ownership.

What They Said Last Weekend: GOP Presidential Wannabes

Nel's New Day

The 2016 election circus started in Iowa last weekend at the Iowa Freedom Summit as conservative possible presidential candidates gave the crowd a feeding frenzy of far-right rhetoric. In some mysterious way, the state with under one percent of the nation’s population and composed of over 90 percent whites gets more press than any other place in the nation.

To satisfy the crowd, all candidates put hope on the future of the United States by returning to a past with small government and big business with the country’s military power forcing countries to do the bidding of the U.S. Solutions to problems are sealing the borders (at least the southern one), eliminating the Affordable Care Act, closing government agencies, cutting taxes and regulations small business, erasing unions, privatizing schools, and protecting Christian liberty and traditional marriage.

Scott Walker: Declared the winner and possible toy of the enormously wealthy Koch brothers…

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What To Make Of A Woman Apologizing For Herself

Erin Matson

I have died a little, several times, hearing a smart woman apologize for sharing her opinion. Throw me six feet under so long as you’ll send a hot vampire who cares about feminism.

It’s not just “I’m sorry, but,” at the beginning of a sentence. These apologies also show up mid-conversation stream as “I’m rambling, and I’m not making any sense” even though no one has said so. They often masquerade as hierarchal concerns, such as “I’m just an intern, but,” or “I’m new here, but,” or “I’m young, but.”

I do and have done all these things, too, so don’t think I’m judging you if you relate as a speaker. The fact is that our culture clearly communicates that women will be better liked and more likely to get ahead if we downplay our abilities but have confidence in ourselves. That’s contradictory by design, because in this framework no one can win. You’re supposed…

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Fix the Supreme Court’s Constitution

Nel's New Day

Conservative justices serving on the Supreme Court try to make people believe that every ruling that they make follows the U.S. Constitution literally—just as fundamentalist Christian leaders swear that every word out of their mouths came from their bible. Both conservative elements are wrong, however, and retired Justice John Paul Stevens has written a book suggesting how the constitution can be brought back into its original text. Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution presents these recommendations with an explanation of the problem and the history to the issues.

Following is a summary of these amendments, thanks to a posting on Daily Kos.

The “Anti-Commandeering” Rule: A 1997 5-4 ruling bans Congress from ordering state officials to carry out federal duties because two county sheriffs didn’t want to carry out Brady Act-mandated background checks for firearm sales. Now people prone to violence, such as the Virginia Tech mass…

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Universal Background Checks Necessary for Gun Safety

Nel's New Day

The local Ceasefire Oregon chapter organized a gun buy-back earlier this month. Despite naysayers from the gun non-legislation people, it was deemed a success with 138 weapons unwanted and possibly dangerous weapons turned into the police chief in my small coastal town. Fox network saw the video about the event and asked to do a story with the focus on people who said that they would gather outside the event and buy guns.

Publicity about the event brought the trollers who objected to background checks for private gun sales. The Central Coast Ceasefire Oregon Steering Committee responded to one of these complaints with stated concerns in italics:

Bob, thank you for your thoughtful response to the NOW BLOG.

Comment 1: How about starting to find common ground by not using insulting terms like “the gun lobby” to describe people who don’t support the agenda of even more restrictive laws? We aren’t a monolithic…

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Don’t Force the Actions of a Few to Represent All

Nel's New Day

Aftershocks of the recent 17 killings in France starting at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris have reverberated throughout the world. People are still claiming that cartoonists should realize that they could be killed if they displeased someone, sending the similar message that women are raped because of what they wear and how they behave. Conservative Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said that Carbonnier might still be alive if he had not been “so narcissistic.”

The media has escalated the fury toward Muslims through its extensive messaging about the tragedy. Hours before the tragedy, a car bomb killed almost 50 people in the Yemni capital, Sanaa, as men lined up to enroll at the police academy. There may have been ties between the two disasters, but only one of them was highlighted. Yemen almost silently suffers through the Western media while millions of people in the U.S. blame all…

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