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Is Anybody Listening? 2018-03-04

| March 05, 2018
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Pictured above: A Seat at the Table

This Week in Albuquerque

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This Is Us

Should we be putting our Democracy on the Endangered Species List? There seems to be such a colossal disconnect between what we as individuals want and value and what our elected representatives deliver and protect. Keep in mind, we pay these people to do their jobs. That job is to represent the will of the people. 

February 20, 2018 - Hamden, CT

Sixty-six percent of Americans want stricter gun control laws — the highest level recorded by Quinnipiac University since it started polling the issue after Sandy Hook.

Support for tougher gun laws in the poll released Tuesday has jumped almost 20 points since December 2015. It also found a ban on assault weapons was backed by 67 percent of those surveyed.

The new poll also found that 50 percent of gun owners support tougher legislation, and backing for universal background checks was at 97 percent of all those surveyed, with the same amount of support among gun owners.

Eighty-three percent of those surveyed favored a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,249 voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.

Poll Falls on Deaf Ears in FL CAPITOL

February, 20, 2018 - Tallahassee

Perhaps no piece of news illustrates how out of touch  the Florida political system is than what just went down in Tallahassee. Just six days after the Parkland shooting, the Florida House of Representatives voted down a measure to ban purchases of assault rifles and large-capacity magazines statewide.

The GOP single-handedly defeated the measure as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who'd just survived the slaughter watched in the gallery. 

March 3, 2018 - Tallahassee

An amendment that would have banned assault weapons attached to a wider bill also failed  Saturday in a largely party-line vote. The Florida Senate vote was 20-17 against the assault weapon ban, with two Republicans joining all of the senate’s 15 Democrats in support of the proposal. This was followed by their determination that pornography, however, posed a public health risk to FL teenagers....

MISC

  • Trump suggests arming teachers as a solutionn to increase school safety. For the record, police, educators and public safety experts think this is exactly the wrong solution.
  • A Republican congresswoman from upstate New York (and who is up for re-election) was attributed the following quote over the weekend  It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats. When asked what statistics she was specifically referring to, Congresswoman Tenney issued the following statement: “I am fed up with the media and liberals attempting to politicize tragedies and demonize law-abiding gun owners and conservative Americans every time there is a horrible tragedy.” 
    • Dear Rep. Tenney: Are you paying attention?? it's not about demonizing the media and liberals, it's about representing your Republican constituents: 

      Nine in 10 Republicans support background checks for all gun buyers. The same share supports preventing the mentally ill from purchasing guns.

      Majorities of Republican voters also support banning gun modifications that can make semiautomatic guns more like automatic ones; barring gun purchases by people on terrorist no-fly lists; banning assault-style weapons; and creating a federal database to track gun sales. 

      Again, that's what Republican voters want. Those preferences have been ill-served by NRA-funded Republican politicians, however.

      Republican lawmakers killed universal background check bills considered after Sandy Hook and San Bernardino. They voted against reinstating the assault weapons ban five years ago, and not a single Republican is co-sponsoring the same proposal now in the Senate. Last year, Republicans voted to roll back an Obama-era rule that would have made it harder for people with mental illness to buy a gun.

      The  Republican House has already passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would force states that prefer stricter gun-control measures to cede their ability to enforce them, states' rights be damned.  (Chicago Tribune, "Dysfunctional Washington refuses to work out its differences to solve problems that matter to Americans")

  • As of Monday morning,the Florida Legislature  was considering a bill to fund 10 educators per FL school. "They would volunteer to undergo 134-hour training, for which they would receive a $500 stipend (note to diary:$3.73/hr)" , and that, ladies and gentlemen, would put another 37,000 guns on the street. 
  • March 24th, 1:00, Albuquerque Civic Plaza: MARCH FOR OUR LIVES

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Unresponsive government is not the private reserve of the Sunshine State. -  the Quinnipiac poll was a national poll. The American public has been on the side of gun control since before Sandy Hook. Why have we made no progress? Gun lobbyists and the NRA own far too many of our politicians and that needs to change.Hold your representatives accountable. If you also believe in public education, better outcomes for children, ending child poverty, affordable housing, a living wage, protecting public lands, environmental justice, equal rights - use your vote as your voice.

And, until this repudiation of the will of the people ceases, you'd be well advised to quote Hamlet, not Honest Abe - because politics today isn't much difference than in Shakespeare's day -  a dirty business, rife with chicanery, lies and corruption.

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WHAT IS AN “INCLUSION RIDER”? 

HINT: with it, the world onscreen would look like the world in which we live.

March 4, 2018 - HOLLYWOOD

Last night's Academy Awards illustrated that choices have consequences, and that perhaps there is hope. Think how decisively the #MeToo movement pulled conversation from the conceptual to the concrete. (And yes, in its wake, there have been political casualties as well.) But if the Fall of the House of Weinstein is any indication, when you add Frances Mcdormand's  INCLUSION RIDER call to action to #MeToo  and #Times Up, the outcome is likely to be not just pay equity, diversity and inclusion, but better films. We all benefit.

Take heart, #nevermore and be patient. To the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, we consider you real life action heros and we will stand with you on March 24th. Keep banging your drums, until you cannot be ignored. You will be heard and we will all benefit. 

MISC

  • Read about a local gender equality initiative, #pledge-it, in the new online NM  political journal, BRAVA - click here

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Sometimes Happiness is...

4 Billboards Outside Palm Springs

 

 

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   Julian Says, "Have fun this week!"

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