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Thousands more killed in gun violence than terror attacks (with video)
Oct 4th, 2015 by Warren Swil

Paralysis over mass

shootings lays bare

power of big money

President Obama is frustrated and angry with his powerlessness over gun safety reform.

President Obama is frustrated and angry with his powerlessness over gun safety reform.

The paralysis of America in the face of an epidemic of mass shootings is shameful and disgraceful.
It was best captured by the president in his reaction to the latest tragedy, Thursday’s fatal shooting at a community college in Oregon.
Here was the most powerful leader in the world expressing frustration and anger at his inability to do anything more than offer sympathy for the victims.
Those who do have the power – the members of Congress – are so thoroughly in hock to the gun lobby and other vested interests their response was perfectly encapsulated by Jeb Bush’s “stuff happens” comment.
The US can and must do better if it wants to continue being considered a “civilized” nation.
Watch the video below the fold.


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Public art in LA hard to find, but not rare

RENAISSANCE EXPECTED AFTER CITY LIFTS BAN ON MURALS
Public art is hard to find in Los Angeles except in a few notable locations like world-famous Venice Beach.
Aficionados are expecting something of a renaissance now the City Council has lifted a long-running ban on murals.
Imagine, therefore, my delight, when discovering there is actually a veritable smorgasbord of art – from crude to rude and inspiring to insipid – scattered all over the ethnic enclaves of the inner city.
In a three-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard (made famous by so many Hollywood references) and also east of downtown, examples abound.


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GOP’s worst nightmares turning into harsh reality

OBAMACARE SUCCESS MAY YET SPLIT REPUBLICAN PARTY
President Obama’s signature accomplishment in office – what Republicans disparagingly call “Obamacare” – is off to a rousing start and this is the Republican Party’s worst nightmare.
A second unexpected one, however, is that the continuing shutdown of the federal government – and the looming debt ceiling crisis – threaten to split their party into two warring factions.
It’s tempting to gloat – and I would forgive anyone who does – that the nightmare scenarios for the Republican Party are unfolding before their eyes, and they seem powerless to stop them.


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GROSS MISMANAGEMENT: World’s only superpower lurches from crisis to crisis

US GOVERNMENT – AND PEOPLE – HELD HOSTAGE BY LUNATIC FRINGE
Few people on the planet can be unaware that the American federal government is on track to shut down in a few hours.
It’s all the fault of a crazy radical fringe group that has seized control of Congress.
What an embarrassment. Even worse, what an unnecessary calamity for the entire country, all its 330 million people, and the global community.
It is beyond pathetic. It is gross mismanagement on a massive scale.


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Climate change is real and getting worse, U.N. panel says

EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS BECOMING MORE COMMON, SEVERE
The world’s leading authority on climate change reported on Friday that global warming is a certainty and that we, humans, are the most likely reason for it.
The truth is getting increasingly undeniable, but, rest assured, naysayers in the U.S. will do their best to deny that climate change even exists.
It is too bad that the public is confused. It has been an uphill battle with public opinion drifting away from the belief that we humans are to blame. It is time to look out the window and get a dose of reality.


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‘Internet of things’ poised to take over your life (with video)

AS BILLIONS OF DEVICES CONNECT, PLANET GROWS ‘CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM’
A vast revolution – already under way – that is forecast to change our lives even more dramatically than the Internet with all its people, is called the “Internet of Things.”
As computers the size of postage stamps with connectivity to the web emerge, and cheap sensors proliferate, the number of “things” going online is expected to reach 50 billion within a few years – compared to the mere two billion people expected to be online.
Are you ready for everything you sit on, touch, watch on TV, take from the ’fridge to be broadcast to the entire planet?
This poses huge public policy questions about privacy and data sharing that have not begun to be explored.
It is time to begin the discussion. Here. Now!


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Clinton Global Initiative kicks off annual powerhouse fundraiser

U.N. IS NOT THE ONLY SHOW IN NEW YORK THIS WEEK
President Bill Clinton’s hugely impactful Clinton Global Initiative is also holding its annual gathering of the world’s richest men and women, who are being asked to pull out their credit cards and donate (millions) to worthy causes.
It is a success story worth noting – and it certainly does nothing to hinder Hillary Clinton’s nascent campaign for the presidency in 2016.
It is a bright picture in an otherwise bleak scene emanating from the halls of power, especially in The Capitol this week.


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Coup becomes final as Egypt court bans Brotherhood

MOVE CEMENTS MILITARY CONTROL AFTER 3-MONTH CRACKDOWN
While the world was preoccupied with the crisis in Syria the military junta that took over Egypt three months ago was cementing its control over that country.
Monday was the final nail in the coffin of the promising experiment in democracy.
In a sweeping ruling, an Egyptian court banned the Muslim Brotherhood, whose leader Mohamed Morsi was duly elected in an election widely regarded as fair in 2012.
All these signs point to the lights going out on Egypt’s short-lived attempt at democratic rule. It is a tragic development.


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Obama expected to nominate Yellen as new Fed chief

HER SELECTION WOULD BE GOOD POLITICS, GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY
Blog note: This was originally posted Sept. 23. .

President Obama is expected to name – as early as Monday – Janet Yellen as his nominee to head the Federal Reserve Bank.
Yellen, seen as widely supported among the cognoscenti, would make an excellent choice.
It would be smart politics and the right thing for the economy – assuming the radical right-wingers don’t destroy it first by shutting down the federal government.


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Walls, checkpoints can’t give Middle East security

ONLY COMPROMISE CAN END PERPETUAL VIOLENT STALEMATE
It is totally understandable that in Israel, tight security checks at every public place have become a way of life. Residents don’t seem to notice; visitors, unaccustomed to it, hardly can not notice.
On two occasions during my recent 10-day visit to the region, security was both overwhelming and, seemingly, futile.
They are the strongest indications I got anywhere that security cannot be bought with walls and checkpoints. It is a chimera.
Security can only be attained through peace. And peace, it seems, can only be accomplished through compromise.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But, I do have a lot more questions.


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