Marco Rubio on Gun Violence

Here is a letter from the Florida Senator Marco Rubio. It was sent in response to an email asking him about his stand on the easy availability on guns.  I cannot believe a sitting United States Senator could write such a long email on gun violence that does not have a commitment to try to solve this very serious problem.

He starts this email by declaring that “Our schools are woefully unprepared to prevent an attack before it occurs.”.  This is the basis for the rest of Rubio’s “say nothing” email.  All the bills he mentions, not one has a solid answer on curbing gun violence.  Why does he say that schools have to be prepared for an assault by a gun-toting individual?  He should be saying that the easy access to guns is part of the problem.  He has shown on many occasions that he will not take a stand that will cause friction to one of his largest donors, the NRA.  He wants his NRA campaign donations of about $1.50 for every student to keep coming.  Money talks, others walk.

Here is the letter.


From: “Senator Marco Rubio” <Do_Not_Reply@Rubio.senate.gov>

Date: April 14, 2018 at 9:54:45 AM EDT

Subject:Responding to your message

Dear Mr. …………….,

Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts regarding the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Understanding your views helps me better represent Florida in the United States Senate, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

As you know, on February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the lives of 14 students and 3 faculty members were senselessly taken. As a Floridian and father of 4, my heart breaks for the victims’ families, friends and loved ones.

The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was the result of multiple system failures, and requires a multi-faceted approach to prevent future mass shootings. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to create a more effective system to prevent gun violence.

Our schools are woefully unprepared to prevent an attack before it occurs. By the fall of 2016, both school officials and law enforcement knew the Parkland shooter posed a serious danger, yet nothing happened to stop him from buying a rifle. Currently, there are insufficient programs in place to report dangerous individuals, like the Parkland shooter, and to coordinate between law enforcement, school officials, and mental health experts. This is why I am an original cosponsor of the STOP School Violence Act (S. 2495), which was introduced on March 5, 2018. This bill will strengthen school security, provide training to identify threats, and create crisis intervention teams that coordinate law enforcement and school personnel to identify students who may pose a violent threat and intervene to stop them before they act. I am pleased the House of Representatives passed a similar bill (H.R. 4909) on March 14, 2018 by a vote 407-10. It passed the Senate as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 on March 23, 2018, which President Trump signed into law that same day.

On March 22, 2018, I introduced the ABCs in School Discipline Act (S. 2618) to help protect our schools by preventing federal funds from being used to establish school discipline policies that discourage reporting dangerous student behavior to law enforcement. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

In addition, I am a cosponsor of the School Safety and Mental Health Services Improvement Act (S. 2513), which enables schools to use federal funds to improve their physical security, and training of personnel to better identify and respond to school related violence. The bill would also prevent schools from adopting policies that discourage faculty from reporting violent or threatening behavior of students to law enforcement. S. 2513 was introduced on March 7, 2018 and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

There are other common sense measures that can prevent shootings in the future. The Fix NICS Act improves the background check system and ensures that individuals who should not be able to purchase or possess a firearm are not improperly passing background checks due to lack of information in the background check system. This helps ensure that firearms stay out of the hands of individuals with a history of violence or mental illness. I am also a cosponsor of this legislation. The bill was introduced on November 11, 2017, and passed the House on March 22, 2018, and the Senate on March 23, 2018 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (H.R. 1625), which President Trump signed into law that same day.

I am also a cosponsor of the NICS Denial Notification Act (S. 2492). This bill would reinforce the background check system by requiring the federal government to notify states when a prohibited person attempts to purchase a firearm but fails to pass a background check. This action would strengthen communication between federal and state law enforcement and increase prosecutions of these individuals. This bill was introduced on March 5, 2018, and has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. A House companion bill (H.R. 4471) was introduced on November 28, 2017 and has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. Another paragraph saying the same thing in a different way. Another do nothing bill.

Another unfortunate lesson that has been learned is the fact that we lack tools for law enforcement or families to take away guns from someone in their community they know is a danger to themselves or others. I am working to change this by incentivizing states to enact extreme violence protection orders, or sometimes referred to as “red flag laws.” Under my proposed law, the Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Prevention Act (S. 2607), introduced in the Senate on March 22, 2018, grants would go to states that enact policies that seek to empower families or law enforcement to prevent dangerous individuals from purchasing or possessing firearms, with due process protections. This is modeled after Florida’s recently enacted risk protection order law. Florida became the sixth state to enact such laws, with hopefully more to follow. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

The tragic day of February 14, 2018 will continue to bring us great sorrow. Like many of the parents, students and teachers that I have met with since that day, I am turning that sorrow into actions that can get accomplished. I am committed to working with my Senate colleagues to implement common sense measures that will prevent such a tragedy from happening again, without unnecessarily infringing on the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your United States Senator. I will keep your thoughts in mind as I consider these issues and continue working to ensure America remains a safe and prosperous nation.

 

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio

United States Senator

Each week I provide a weekly update on issues in Washington and ways in which my office can assist the people of Florida. Sign up here for updates on my legislative efforts, schedule of events throughout Florida, constituent services and much more.


This shows that he is putting into legislation the arguments used by the NRA to obscure the obvious. The only way you can stop gun violence is to restrict easy access to powerful semi automatic rifles and hand guns.  The proposed legislation also places the burden of identifying shooters on families and law enforcement. (The reality is; Families are the last to know.) Last time I checked, law enforcement did not employ psychics in a pre-crime unit.

What does Marco Rubio support? What does he believe in?  Who knows!

This senator is never in his office, never returns phone calls, never answers direct questions and sends out no commitment emails.  He is the master of opinion changes.

Do you really want to keep this person in the United States Senate?  Vote No to Rubio!

Paid Maternity Leave and Health Insurance

The table shows the value placed on mothers and families.  Every county on the list has universal healthcare of one kind or another and paid maternity leave, except the United States of America. The U.S.A. tells its nursing mothers, get pregnant at your own risk. The country really doesn’t care if you have medical insurance or need any money to live while you have a newborn.  Why?

Country Weeks of paid maternity leave
Iceland 105.6
Sweden 48
Norway 36
United Kingdom 35.1
Estonia 20
Lithuania 18
Portugal 17
Czech Republic 16.8
Austria 16
Latvia 16
Italy 16
Luxembourg 16
Netherlands 16
Spain 16
Germany 14
Finland 12.6
Belgium 12.3
Switzerland 11.2
Canada 9.35
United States 0

Source: Save the Children (pdf)

Education Today Is Not What it Use To Be.

I received this as an email from one of the supervisors at work. It was sent by an employee to their supervisor and coworkers following said employee’s resignation.

I have edited this email to remove any reference that would identify the author and place of business.

Subject: A positive Bid Farewell…(edit)..

Ensuing greater than six years of excitement to bestow this memorable stint, I bid a positive adieu.

Good Morning….(edit)…,

I am enchanted regretfully, to further my professional career … (edited). My Tenure as an …(edit)…will flux on (date edited) at 5:PM EST.

Executing parallel-bonded relationships deemed infectious, expelling a higher level of professionalism, pride, and commitment. This motivation increases independence and persistence through aiding in the advancement of my professional career. We strive to remain sociable and optimistic in our pursuits to comply and exceed expectations, while savagely harnessed to the pressures of life. We must remain innovative and enthusiastic; thickening our comprehension, until we are all established as intricate instruments of our selected crafts.

Remain diverse and engage in challenges, for each day presents another born opportunity.

Please accept this tribute for assisting in my quest of knowledge enhancement and professional career advancement. Rest humbly assured, l am immensely obliged.

“The day we stop working towards more, Is the day we all begin to receive less.”

Charlie Hebdo Cartoons and Traditional Media, A Hobson’s Choice?

The traditional news organizations that decided not the publish the cartoons must have reporters and other assets based in Muslim countries.  They must be trying to protect them from revenge attacks because of varying degrees of intolerance demonstrated in the past.  The intolerance seems to be bolstered by the “blue” laws on blasphemy, which are enforced using draconian measures in many of the countries. The decision not to publish could be interpreted as the organizations being held hostage by their unprotected, vulnerable assets being open to attack.

Protect free speech and the right to publish or protect assets in place and keep the ability to report the news, a Hobson’s choice.

A link to an article on this subject. https://gigaom.com/2015/01/08/online-outlets-showed-hebdo-images-but-offline-media-didnt-why/

Google, Privacy and Their Real Product

It is in Googles best interest to minimize an individual’s privacy. The objective of the company is to get enough information to serve you with ad-words tailored to your interests and demographic. This is allows the company to develop a method to segment a market to get the most bang out of an advertisers buck. For Google, the the product is not gmail, Android, Google Docs, Google Analytics or any other service they give away to sell for a nominal amount. The product Google produces is information about the people who use the various Google services.

What are you giving up when you use using Google services? The question was answered when they activated Google + and eventually making everyone use the service. To make Google + effective in gathering information on a typical Google user, Google started by banning pseudonyms and other methods of obscuring your identity. This was the method to ensure that they had real identities. When they tied search, mail, docs, YouTube, etc. to Google +, they now have a method to obtain an accurate picture of each user. By combing the pseudonyms once used for each Google service, Google now has a single user sign on tied to an identity of Google +.

Google services on Android track your location, sending the information back to Google. Combine this with Google scanning your email, documents on Google drive, YouTube posts and search queries for key words, you will see that they get a complete picture of where you go, what your interests are, income and other demographic information. Their apps on Android, IOS and the Chrome browser are reporting to Google HQ. The product is information, information about you! Privacy really screws this business model.

By redefining privacy, Google is doing its best to keep its business’s model off the politicians radar. They have not fully succeeded in Europe, but they seem to be getting some traction here. Most of the press does not pursue this angle about Google. An exception was when New York Time did a story in February 2014 on Google +, “The Plus in Google Plus? It’s Mostly for Google”. The tech press give the impression that Google can do no wrong.

Then there is Google’s chief internet evangelist, Vint Cerf, who is credited as one of the founders of the internet. He has been reported as saying; the industrial revolution and the growth of urban concentrations, created a sense of privacy, but that that privacy may actually be an anomaly. He went on to say; “In a town of 3,000 people there is no privacy. Everybody knows what everybody is doing,”. This is one of the most disingenuous statements concerning privacy. In a small town it may be true that everyone knows what everyone is doing, but they also know who is doing the asking and will also find out why they are asking. This is the check on outsiders trying to find out about an individual because the questioner becomes a subject of interest. Also, all information before, during and post the industrial revolution was on paper kept in the originating town or city. To do research before the Information Age and the ubiquity of databases on computers running the World Wide Web, you had to travel to the town or city that originated the documents. You also had to talk to people to get a sense of the person you were researching. This involved a lot of work and the work needed to assemble information on an individual afforded privacy. This obstacle to destroying privacy was not breached until all documents and vital statistics were stored electronically in easily accessible databases. This coupled with the rise of the World Wide Web connecting the databases removed the work it took to compile a profile of an individual.

The primary architect of developing the ability to catalogue and search the web efficiently was Google. To fund search, Google used user information gleaned from search activity to sell advertisements. The information gathered has evolved over time to what we have today. It is now not limited to Google. There is Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, all internet service providers, governments, etc. The end result is a complete depreciation of privacy, with large internet companies trying to convince their users that they need not be concerned about privacy because nothing was private to begin with.

The Morality of Dishonesty

I received this story in an email and in a perverse way the joke reveals some useful observations. The only changes were a few edits. The observations in italics are from the originator or a subsequent editor, whoever they may be.

Enjoy, this is amusing.

A few years ago robbers entered a bank in a small town. One of them shouted: “Don’t move! The money belongs to the bank. Your lives belong to you.”
Immediately, all the people in the bank lay on the floor quietly, without panic.

This is an example of how the correct wording of a sentence can make everyone change their view of the world.

One woman lay on the floor in a provocative manner. The robber approached her saying, “Ma’am, this is a robbery not a rape. Please behave accordingly.”

This is an example of how to behave professionally, and focus on the goal.

When the robbers were running from the bank, the youngest robber (who had a college degree) said to the oldest robber (who had barely finished elementary school): “Hey, maybe we should count how much we stole.”

The older man replied: “Don’t be stupid. It’s a lot of money so let’s wait for the news on TV to find out how much money was taken from the bank.”

This is an example of how life experience is more important than a degree.

After the robbery, the manager of the bank said to his accountant: “Let’s call the cops and tell them how much has been stolen.”

“Wait,” said the Accountant, “before we do that, let’s add the $800,000 we took for ourselves a few months ago and just say that it was stolen as part of today’s robbery.”

This is an example of taking advantage of an opportunity.

The following day it was reported in the news that the bank lost $3 million in the robbery. The robbers counted the money and found only $1 million, so they started to grumble.

“We risked our lives for $1 million, while the bank’s management embezzled $2 million and blamed the loss on the robbery? Maybe its better to learn how to work the system, instead of being a simple robber.”

This is an example of how knowledge can be more useful than power.

Moral: Give a person a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a person a bank, and he can rob everyone.

NRA’s Daft Stand on Shootings

After the tragic school shooting in Connecticut, the NRA kept quiet for a few days. Then NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre asked the following questions in public.

“But what if the gunman, Adam Lanza, had been confronted by a trained security guard?
“Will you at least admit it’s possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared?”
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,”

When this is taken to its logical conclusion, good guys with guns would have to be assigned to every place where there could be a mass shooting. How many armed good guys would be needed?

What fantasy world are they living in!