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(An open letter to the New York Congressional Delegation:)
Sexual assaults in our military are running into the thousands and are way out of control! Victims usually are required to report all incidents to their military superiors. A very bad move ... very little justice will come out of this idea.
I urge you to introduce legislation requiring Congress to create a civilian review board with power to discipline any accused military sexual predator found guilty.
This matter should have prompt consideration on your part.
There is much talk both positive and negative relative to the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline. It is planned to pump crude tar sand oil from Canada across the U.S to Texas where it would be distilled and sold overseas. I happen to be in accord with the latter since in no way does the XL profit the American people, but rather exclusively the already bloated petroleum industry. For the public, what is left is a 3-foot diameter filth-filled funnel snaking its way south through their land waiting to burst. (see: Mayflower, Ariz. spill and multiply by 10). Those with a positive view have been conned into thinking that this filthy crude will some how help us to become oil independent by fulfilling our needs.
Nevertheless, a pipeline could be a positive thing and truly benefit “we the people.” Imagine if in lieu of the KXL Pipeline, we built an H2O pipeline delivering desalinated water to our decimated states that have suffered through devastating droughts. No more Grapes of Wrath. Building t
hat pipeline would create those jobs that the pro-KXLers claim we would not, lest the KXL is built. Additionally desalinization stations would have to be built creating additional jobs. There are already more than 21,000 world wide. The technology is there. In 1791 Thomas Jefferson did it (in small scale), cruise ships serve thousands, submarines, Saudi Arabia, Australia, even our embarrassing Guantanamo Bay. No more disputes concerning the shrinking Colorado River while lowering, however infinitesimally, the rising ocean. We could convert deserts to gardens a la Israel.
It’s a win-win situation and if we can get lobbyists with enough of the necessary bribing collateral, Congress will love it and make it the law of the land (or sea). One critical measure however must be considered. President Obama must disapprove of the plan or it would undoubtedly be filibustered and blocked. As a proven “people’s President,” I’m certain he would comply.
HR 1565 is new legislation in Congress to expand Brady background checks on gun sales. But despite the fact that nine in 10 Americans support expanded background checks, the gun lobby extremists are working overtime to kill the bill.
Strong, sensible gun laws preserve Second Amendment rights, prevent gun violence, and save lives.
While the Brady Law requires criminal background checks of gun sales at gun stores, these checks are not required at gun shows, online sales and other venues where unlicensed sellers operate.
Right now in most states, felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill can walk into a gun show, flea market or even log on to the internet and buy weapons from unlicensed sellers, no questions asked.
Congress should require a simple criminal background check on gun sales. The Brady Law has stopped over 2 million felons and domestic abusers from getting guns at gun stores. Now it’s time to finish the job.
Completing the necessary paperwork for background checks takes mere minutes, and more than 91 percent of these checks are completed instantaneously.
I strongly support the Second Amendment. However, this right also requires basic responsibility, and as a society we are responsible for keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people like criminals, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill.
In addition, there are exemptions from a check between family members, hunters and sportsmen who temporarily want to exchange firearms while hunting or participating in sports shooting activities.
I urge every reader to contact their representatives today and ask them to co-sponsor the bipartisan King-Thompson bill (H.R. 1565) to expand criminal background checks and save lives.
(NewsUSA) - With women generally outliving men, planning for long-term care becomes more urgent for them in their pre-retirement years. After all, while longevity definitely has its upside -- including more time to enjoy travel and family -- there's no denying its biggest potential downside: the increased risk of health problems that can make caring for oneself difficult.
(NewsUSA) - More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer's disease -- a number that's only going to rise as more adults age into their mid to late 60s. So, making strides to better understand the disease is a must.
The nation’s collegiate students are staring down the barrel of a doubling interest rate on academic loans on July 1, but two Queens lawmakers have sponsored legislation that could extend the reduced rate for another two years.
Interest rates on Stafford loans will double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent, as a reduction in rates signed in 2007 and extended last year is set to expire.
Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), who was arrested last month on accusations that he took part in a scheme to bribe Republican officials in order to get state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) onto the mayoral ballot as a Republican, announced Wednesday that he will not run for a second term.
Halloran, who was first elected in 2009, was arrested April 2, along with Smith and Vince Tabone, former vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party, for an alleged plot to solicit bribes to acquire a Wilson Pakula for Smith, a Democrat, in order for him to get a place on the GOP primary ballot for mayor. He was indicted late last month.
Shot in Southeast Queens, “Let’s Get Bizzee” is a feature film that is said to truly inspire youngsters to make a change and be a part of the political process, according to director Carl Clay.
Clay’s re-released film will be featured on May 10 at the Black Spectrum Theatre followed by a panel discussion hosted by state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton) on “Attack on Black Leaders: Corruption or Conspiracy?” at the event.
(NewsUSA) - Despite the prevalence of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions among athletes and service members, the road to diagnosis and prevention is an unpaved one riddled with obstacles.
The U.S. Senate’s rejection of expanded background checks for gun buyers was an act of cowardice and a catalyst for carnage. Those 46 senators who voted against it gave a green light to the next Adam Lanza, James Holmes and Jared Loughner. They’re NRA lapdogs. The gun lobby won a battle, but not the war. More can be done by political leaders and journalists to defeat mass murder enablers. Here are 2 approaches that should be followed ASAP.
1. Gun control advocates in Congress, starting with Sen. Chuck Schumer, must pressure the Treasury and Justice departments to challenge the NRA’s tax-exempt status. How can an outfit that spends $100 million on lobbying and pays its CEO — the gun lobby’s Lindsay Lohan — nearly $1 million a year, qualify as a nonprofit social welfare organization? The NRA is a pimp for the firearms industry, thriving on tax-free donations from gun makers who sell their perilous products to anyone. We pay for that. Taxpayers should not foot the bill for 32,000 gun deaths a year.
2. Journalists should follow the money, just like Woodward and Bernstein did in the Watergate scandal 40 years ago. They can track every blood money bribe the NRA paid individual legislators, and how these representatives voted on gun control measures. Focus must be placed on the five rogue Senate democrats who abandoned their party and defied the will of 90 percent of U.S. voters. How much did each traitor get to buy their vote? Reporters can obtain this data under the Freedom of Information Act. We’re entitled to know the current price for selling your soul to the gun lobby and acting as a cheerleader for child killers.
NRA RIP ASAP
Republicans successfully derailed the passage of gun legislation last week in the last moments when passage looked likely. The 54 votes in favor, fell short of the 60 needed to break yet another filibuster. Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said it would have passed if the NRA didn’t score it. The NRA score scared enough senators to oppose it, rather than risk reprisals from pro-gunners come election time. Most headlines called these folks “cowards.”
Let’s be clear, this was not good legislation anyway. It was full of holes and, if passed, would have been meaningless. For example, gun show sellers could just walk outside the gun show building and sell guns in the parking lot. Family members and friends could sell guns to each other without any background checks.
Make no mistake about it, this is a partisan fight. 90 percent of the Democrats voted for the bill; 90 percent of the Republicans voted against it. However, a few courageous Republicans did break ranks.
Universal background checks, a ban on military weapons in civilian hands, large capacity magazine bullet clips, and keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable have nothing to do with the second amendment. Guns have changed since colonial times, and so should the laws. Back then, militias were needed to suppress British loyalists, to keep the slave population in control, and to fight off marauding Indians. Able-bodied men were conscripted when needed. Today, we have a standing army, the National Guard, and well-established police forces all across the country. Militias are a thing of the past.
How is it that Republicans can bow to the NRA membership of 4 million, while they put budgets on the table that will gut Social Security and Medicare whose benefits help over 35 million AARP seniors? Let’s start a Senior Score system and use that come election time.
Social activist and filmmaker Michael Moore, says we should show the pictures of the massacres if we want effective gun laws. Showing pictures of the horror of war was enough to turn the tide of the Vietnam War and get us out. We didn’t see the horror of the Afghanistan or Iraq wars because the Bush Administration censored it. Maybe it’s time for billboards showing massacres such as that at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Maybe that’s the catalyst we need to move Congress to act.
Last Thursday morning, while standing in front of LeFrak City where 21 shots were fired at Theo Greene about a year ago, Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) announced an increased reward for information about his murder.
The total was upped $2,000 to $24,000.
Elected officials and activists gathered on Sunday at the entrance to Willow Lake to honor late greenspace champion and Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy founder Pat Dolan, renaming the trail leading through the wetland in the her honor.
Dolan was the president and creator of the conservancy that bears the park’s name, and a tireless champion of the lake and its many inhabitants.
Weather appeared to be the largest contributing factor to airport delays on Wednesday as the federal budget sequester resulted in continued staff reductions in air traffic control towers nationwide.
In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration said roughly 1,500 of its 15,000 air traffic controllers would be furloughed on any given day.
Residents, civic leaders and activists on Sunday rallied against the proposed expansion of the United States Tennis Association’s presence in Flushing Meadows Corona Park ahead of the City Planning Commission’s scheduled hearing on the plan this Wednesday.
(NAPSI)—Some American heroes can finally get the recognition they deserve.
Photo courtesy of the Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress Flight nurse Mary L. Weiss in action. (NAPS)
The Music Man is coming to Queens.
Grammy-nominated singer and pianist Michael Feinstein will be performing at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College on May 4. Feinstein serves as the artistic director for The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Ind., but more notably is known for being an archivist and performer of the Great American Songbook, a compilation of the iconic songs of the 20th century, from “Over the Rainbow” to “Singin’ in the Rain.” One of his five Grammy nominations comes from his covers of Frank Sinatra’s works.
Fifty-three years ago, Howard Beach was very different than it is today.
New homes and streets were being laid out around what had always been a sparsely populated area, transforming it into the neighborhood we know now.
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) is celebrating her first 100 days in office as the first Asian-American member of Congress from New York and the first female member of Congress from Queens since vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.
“It is difficult to put into words how honored I am to be your congresswoman, and how excited and proud I am to represent the great borough of Queens in the United States Congress,” she said in an address given Sunday. “It is an incredible privilege to be your voice in Washington, and I cannot thank you enough for the confidence you have in me to fight on your behalf.”
A proposed amendment to federal gun law is making some politicians go ballistic.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) warned community leaders last Sunday about a controversial measure that would allow anyone with a permit to legally carry a concealed weapon in any state.
(NAPSI)—As anyone who has had a serious medical condition can tell you, there is usually a nurse who was his or her hero. That’s because it’s often up to nurses to make sure that the right procedure or medication is delivered in a timely and compassionate manner.
(NAPSI)—Investing a little time and effort with students can pay big dividends—particularly when it comes to their financial education.
More than seven million people will visit the Adirondacks this year, but sadly, without needed federal support these mountains may not be prepared for such crowds, visitors may see a park which isn’t as pristine as in the past, and development may continue along its borders. The current Congress could bring renewed hope to these majestic mountains — with their beloved lakes, pristine trails and popular ski resorts — by acting to protect our parks for generations to come.
Decades ago, Congress set up the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect our parks against overdevelopment and pollution. Unfortunately, this program has been routinely underfunded for years. This has put the Adirondacks — and the memories and experiences millions will have by visiting them — at risk.
That’s bad news for the Adirondacks, as well as other parks like Harriman State Park in the Hudson River Valley and Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes region, where New Yorkers spend time hiking, fishing, boating, camping or simply enjoying the scenery. We should protect these special places so
that future generations can experience seeing a moose up close, or catching trout from the crystalline waters of a mountain lake, just as generations of New Yorkers have done before us.
We owe it to our children to protect the Adirondack Mountains, and other places that make New York special, with full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. I applaud Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for supporting our parks, open spaces and wilderness areas,and we hope New York’s legislators will give our parks the protections they deserve.
All polls show that Americans approve of stronger gun control regulations. Folks, that’s not enough!
The NRA has a strong grip on most Republicans and many Democrats in Congress. It will take 60 votes in the Senate to pass a reform bill (there are 55 Democrats vs. 45 Republicans there). Neither party is in control. However, the tough battle will be in the GOP-majority House.
If we want the poll “approval” to become reality, the following “urgent action” must be taken ... now! All Americans must get off their butts and demand Congress pass a bill so that Obama can sign it into law. This action will require willpower. We must turn up the heat on Congress — letters, emails, phone calls, petitions.
Tell ‘em in the only language they know: Pass a gun reform bill now or we will vote you out of office!