For an organization claiming it’s all about freedom, the kinds of regulations the National Rifle Association champions are all about restricting the rights of Americans who would want to love free of guns and the fear of gun violence.
One of the NRA’s most coveted custom-made laws, is the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986, which forbids creating a database of gun owners, similar to that for driver’s licenses. It should be noted that there is no Firearm Victims’ Protection Act, the National Rifle Association would oppose that at all costs.
These are just a few of the things the National Rifle Association has done for (to) us to make us all more free via firearm ownership:
- A 1986 law, the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act, explicitly forbids the government from creating a database of gun owners.
- The Tiahrt Amendment, named after Republican congressman Todd Tiahrt, requires the FBI to destroy background check data for firearms within 24 hours. Tiahrt won a National Rifle Association award for that one.
- In 1996 the National Rifle Association lobbied a Republican-controlled congress into stripping the CDC’s funding for gun violence research. The Dickey Amendment forbids the CDC to spend funds “to advocate or promote gun control.”
- In 2017 tRUMP signed a law revoking an Obama-era gun regulation making it more difficult for those with mental illnesses to acquire guns. Unlike most tRUMP’s usual bill-signing theatrics, the media wasn’t allowed to attend the signing to keep it quiet.
- Last December House republicans passed The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 that would force states with stricter gun laws, such as New York and California, to honor out-of-state permits from states with less restrictive requirements.
- Republicans are trying to pass the National Rifle Association-sponsored Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (the SHARE Act), which would loosen restrictions on silencers and deregulate sales of armor-piercing bullets.
The National Rifle Association doesn’t kill people. The National Rifle Association’s polices do. Only good people with consciences and common sense can stop the NRA’s trampling on the rights of Americans who want to live safer, gun-free lives.
Here are some groups fighting for sane gun laws in the face of an organization, the NRA, that takes money from America’s enemies, Russia, to undermine our way of life and our form of government.
Alexander Hamilton foresaw the rise of a tRUMP type conspiring with foreign governments like Russia to undermine democracy and freedom in the United States.
From the Federalist Papers publication 68 by Alexander Hamilton, known as Hamilton 68:
Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption.
These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the electors.
Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias. Their transient existence, and their detached situation, already taken notice of, afford a satisfactory prospect of their continuing so, to the conclusion of it. The business of corruption, when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men, requires time as well as means. Nor would it be found easy suddenly to embark them, dispersed as they would be over thirteen States, in any combinations founded upon motives, which though they could not properly be denominated corrupt, might yet be of a nature to mislead them from their duty.
Columbus Day is really only a big deal on the East Coast and parts of the Midwest where there are enough Italians to care. It’s not big here in the West.
However, if Columbus Day goes to the Dumpster of history and we’re going to have a new national holiday (Americans have pitifully few), I’m all for Native American Day as a mandatory federal holiday.
But what about Vespucci?
I’m talkin’ Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian raconteur and cartographer whose first name wound up as our nation’s name.
Vespucci discovered what Christopher Columbus insisted until his death was India were actually islands off the continental landmasses now known as South and North America.
Vespucci figured out South America was vastly larger than anyone thought, and was a separate continent, constituting a “New World,” as he wrote in a note to his boss Lorenzo de’ Medici.
Compared with Vespucci, Columbus is a pathetic delusional loser famous for making a brilliant mistake that provoked what amounted to a land rush.
Born to a prosperous Florentine family, educated by his Dominican friar uncle, Vespucci became a trusted employee of ruthless nobleman and financier Lorenzo de’ Medici. In March 1492, Vespucci travelled to the Medici bank branch in Cadiz, Spain, to clean up some dirty dealing.
Accomplishing that, Vespucci became during 1495-96 executor of the estate of an Italian merchant who had died in Seville, Spain. Vespucci fulfilled the deceased merchant’s contract with the Castilian crown providing 12 ships for West Indies expeditions. Vespucci provisioned other Indies expeditions, supplying beef for at least one of Columbus’ voyages.
Vespucci personally undertook several voyages between 1499 and 1504, exploring what is now the east coast of South America for both Spain and Portugal. His expedition are largely responsible for Portugal colonizing Brazil.
Crossing the equator on his second voyage, scientist Vespucci re-discovered and mapped stars Alpha and Beta Centauri; constellations Crux and the Southern Cross and the Coalsack Nebula. The ancient Greeks observered these celecstial bodies that were forgotten when the earth’s gradual tilting moved them below Euriope’s horizon.
If we’re going to honor some white guy who made colonization possible, it’s Vespucci we should be erecting statues to.
Hurricane Irma could be two-fer.
Both overpriced, partly tax-payer funded private tRUMP dump, Mar-A-Largo, and hurricane denier Rush Limbaugh’s home are located on opposite end of the same island in West Palm Beach, Florida. Both properties are now inside of mandatory Hurricane Irma evacuation zone ahead of the storm.
On Monday the unhinged radio host told the world the the hurricane that has forced him to flee was nothing more than a liberal hoax. Really. Yeah, really.
Mar-A-Largo and Rush’s version of Neverland are conveniently located just 6.9 miles apart, directly connected by S. Ocean Blvd.
One writer for the Palm Beach Post opined that the has-been host be required to stay through the storm giving a live broadcast.
Although the storm track as of Thursday evening shows the main body of the storm missing the Palm Beach area, the hurricane’s eastern side will pass directly through and it’s likely winds will exceed 120 mph and the storm surge will reach 11 ft.
That could be trouble for Rush’s $35 million Neverland Florida compound and private club Mar-A-Largo.
In 2012 this is how Rush’s love nest was described by a real estate website:
1495 North Ocean Drive is in one of Palm Beach’s most exclusive locales. The estate is situated on 2.2 acres with its own private beach. The compound is a contemporized West Indies construction maze of a huge main house with a minimum of 12 different roof lines to break up the huge mass, and 3 or 4 guest houses and a guard station.The architecture is very well executed, so Rush apparently hired a top-of-the-line Florida architect, and the landscaping appears to be the work of Kerland. The 4 guest homes, other than serving to disarm bombs, are for his constant flow of conservative guests, including the likes of Matt Drudge and Ann Coulter. Limbaugh has a fleet of black & white Maybach 57S, each running at nearly $500,000 each! (see photo of them parked by the guest house compound). The entry to the main house has a majestic fountain in front. People I know who have visited the home describe it as a gold-gilded mansion. The grounds also feature a large swimming pool and putting green.
It’s likely that Rushie won’t be broadcasting from his normal local for a few days. His alleged program normally originates from Limbaugh’s studios near his home, where he’s lived since 1996. Hurricane Irma is about to make that less convenient. WJNO, Limbaugh’s affiliate in Palm Beach County, serves as the de facto flagship station.
I’m sure both tRUMP and Salmon Rushie will beg for federal assistance.
Art has often been drafted into service for war.
A century ago today, April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, entering World War I.
The U.S. mobilized more than 4 million soldiers for the war, which had already been underway for nearly 3 years. About 110,000 U.S. soldiers were killed, including 43,000 from influenza.
World War I created a massive federal government expansion to support the war effort and manage a significant increase in the size of the U.S. Armed Forces.
That’s where military recruiting posters come in. Before radio and TV, most advertising was strictly visual.
Many of the posters are now iconic pieces of American art and history and were so well received, some were revived for WWII.
Many of the artists who created these posters were as interesting as their work.
Charles Buckles Falls, also known as C.B. Falls (December 10, 1874 –
April 15, 1960) was from Ft. Wayne, In., but left as quickly as he could. Falls moved to Chicago, beginning his career as an architect’s assistant and a sketch artist for the Chicago Tribune. Falls moved to New York City around 1900.
Known for his skill as a letter-illustrator, Falls often used large, “eccentric” black letters, and is also known for his woodblock prints. Falls incorporated brighter colors of blue, green, orange, and yellow, to contrast his black-inked woodcuts, unlike most woodblock artists of his time
A man of many talents, he designed fabrics, furniture, and even trade bindings. He was also involved in helping design scenery and costumes for the American Society of Illustrators, the Palace Theatre and Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York.
In 1914, Falls wrote, directed, and starred in a play, “Perfectly Happy,” that was produced at the Berkeley Theatre.
After the 1930s his illustration style fell out of favor, but he continued top produce work.
The aptly named James Montgomery Flagg (June 18, 1877 – May 27, 1960) worked in media ranging from fine art painting to cartooning, but is best remembered for his political posters
Flagg’s most famous work was a 1917 U.S, Army recruiting poster.
Inspired directly by a British recruitment poster showing Lord Kitchener in a similar pose, Flagg’s poster showed Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer with the caption “I Want YOU for U.S. Army”.
More than four million copies of the poster on were printed during World War I. It was revived for World War II.
At his peak, Flagg was reported to have been the highest paid magazine illustrator in America.
Flagg painted portraits influenced by John Singer Sargent’s style. Flagg’s sitters included Mark Twain and Ethel Barrymore. His portrait of boxer Jack Dempsey now hangs in the Great Hall of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C..
Howard Chandler Christy (January 10, 1872 – March 3, 1952), famous for the “Christy Girl” – a successor to the “Gibson Girl” – was a popular Jazz Age portrait painter. From the 1920s until the 1940s, Christy’s likenesses of congressmen, senators, industrialists, movies stars, and socialites were well known.
He painted Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, presidents Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, and Truman. Other famous portraits include William Randolph Hearst, the Prince of Wales (Edward the VIII), Eddie Rickenbacker, Benito Mussolini, Prince Umberto, and Amelia Earhart.
Christy first attracted attention with his realistic illustrations and several articles as a combat artist during the Spanish–American War published in Scribner’s, Harper’s, and Leslie’s Weekly magazines, and in Collier’s Weekly.
His poster “Gee I wish I were a Man, I’d Join the Navy,” 1917, was one of his most famous works. In 1940, he painted the Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, which is installed in House wing of the US capitol.
Chicago artist Richard Fayerweather Babcock (June 4, 1887 – Feb. 25, 1954) was one of the lesser known of the WWI poster artists.
After moving from his birthplace, Iowa, to Chicago, Babcock studied at the Art Institute and Munich, Germany.Babcock found success in providing illustrations for the Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book Encyclopedia encyclopedias. we also on the faculty of the American Academy of Art. An avid musician, he was a member of a chamber music ensemble.
Babcock apparently had no fear of using phallic symbols in his recruiting posters.
1. Russia evidence heats up, exceeding Watergate-levels of and controversy malfeasance. Putin decides tRUMP is toast.
3. tRUMP resigns. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
4. Pence immediately pardons tRUMP. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
5. Together with an unelected VP with a year to go before the midterms, Pence leads the GOPers on their path to enriching themselves while screwing the country. A great deal of damage is done but limited by the fact the GOP is in turmoil. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything the GOP is doing is just great. * Extra bonus screw job that could happen at this point: A Constitutional crisis is caused by the GOPers and Koch Brothers get to redo the Constitution their way, taking away number of rights and even repealing the emancipation proclamation. (Yes, they really watn to do that.)
6. Mid-term elections. Once again all the cheating stops are pulled out. Amazingly, the Dems make few gains despite the fact most of GOP is still in turmoil. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
7. The economy crashes. For the next two years the USA is in steep and rapid decline as one international and domestic crisis after another, mostly fall out from tRUMP and the demand of the Freedom Caucus. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
8. Desperate, GOPers make sure to start a war we can’t finish or pay for due to pledges to never raise taxes. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
9. The economy goes into a downward spiral and begins to approach Great Recession/Depression levels. tRUMP supporters still say they love him and everything is someone else’s fault.
10. Unable to shut up, tRUMP starts more and more tweeting about Russia. He mysteriously passes away in his sleep, his body cremated before an autopsy takes place. tRUMP supporters have tremendous outpouring of sympathy for the fallen patriot tRUMP and demand that all public buildings be renamed after him.
11. 2020: Not only not great, but bankrupt America is internationally isolated. Now financially at the level of a 3rd world nation and international status as a pariah, Putie has what he wanted.
12. It doesn’t matter which party is elected next because the nation never recovers. America will never be great again, thanks to the GOPers and tRUMP.
Paul Manafort and his family are in the process of becoming their own crime wave. When it comes to tRUMP and his associates, the criminals and criminal connections just don’t stop coming.
The Los Angeles Times reports Jeffrey Yohai, a real estate developer who is the son-in-law of Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, took father and son actors Dustin and Jacob Hoffman for $3 million in a real estate scam involving a Hollywood Hill property located on the famous Blue Jay Way.
Yohai is also facing a lawsuit in New York from an investor alleging that he operated a Ponzi scheme, according to the Times. Yohai, 35, said in a filing that the allegations are fabrications.
Enter father-in-law Manafort.
From The Times:
Manafort, his wife Kathleen and daughter Jessica — who is married to Yohai — invested $4.7 million in the developer’s L.A.-area projects, according to bankruptcy filings. The biggest of those investments was a $2.7-million loan made by Manafort last year to the now-bankrupt company that owns a property on Stradella Road in Bel-Air, documents show.
Manafort reportedly recently stopped a foreclosure of his Brooklyn, N.Y., townhouse (he lists his address as New Briton, Conn.) after a bank headed by a former Trump advisor gave him $16 million in loans.
Manafort is reportedly under active criminal and counterintelligence investigation by multiple federal agencies for issues related to the Trump campaign as well as financial transactions. One would think that lobbying for dictators Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu Sese Seko, and guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi, would pay better.
Yohai’s apparent real estate scams reach beyond the Hollywood Hills and at least one New York ventures went south due to shady dealings, according to published reports.
Guy Aroch, a Manhattan-based fashion photographer, has claimed in a lawsuit that he invested $2.9 million in two of Yohai’s residential real estate projects, including a condominium.
Aroch says he never saw a dime.
Instead, Yohai allegedly “used most or all” of Aroch’s investment for “personal travel; lavish purchases; and/or speculative ventures outside the investment mandates,” according to a lawsuit filed by Aroch. The lawsuit also alleges that in October Yohai defaulted on a promissory note defaulted.
Yohai is using a classic tRUMPian defense. This is all being done to embarrass his father-in-law because of his association with tRUMP. Of course, Manafort’s working for that Ukrainian dictator who had peaceful demonstrators killed would, have nothing to with it. Oh and Manafort neglected to report his Ukraine work when he tried to get a government job. Ooops.
Nice try, Yohai.
How the heck the Hoffmans, who apparently tried hard to shield their investment from public view, got involved with this guy remains unclear.