Florida stopped doing gun permit checks for more than a year
By GARY FINEOUT
Saturday, June 9
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — For more than a year, Florida failed to do national background checks that could have disqualified people from gaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
The lapse, revealed in an internal report that was not widely known about until Friday, occurred during a time period when there was a significant surge in the number of people seeking permission to legally carry a concealed weapon. Florida does not allow the open carry of weapons, but more than 1.9 million have permits to carry guns and weapons in public if they are concealed.
The state ultimately revoked 291 permits and fired an employee blamed for the lapse after an inspector general’s report detailing the problem was sent in June 2017 to top officials in the department who oversee the program. The Tampa Bay Times was the first to publish information about the report, which pointed out that the state failed to check the National Instant Criminal Background Check System from February 2016 to March 2017.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican running for governor who has touted his efforts to make it easier for people to obtain concealed-weapons permits, said the state did conduct its own criminal background checks on those applying for permits during that time period.
Putnam blamed the problem on the negligence of a department employee.
“The former employee was both deceitful and negligent, and we immediately launched an investigation and implemented safeguards to ensure this never happens again,” Putnam said in a statement.
McKinley Lewis, a spokesman for Republican Gov. Rick Scott, said the governor’s office was never provided a copy of the inspector general’s report.
Democrats and gun control advocates quickly criticized Putnam over the incident and said he should resign. Putnam has raised the ire of gun control advocates for his proclamation last year that he was a “proud NRA sellout” who supports the National Rifle Association. He also said that he would not have signed the new gun and school safety law enacted by the Florida Legislature in the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
“Career politicians like Mr. Putnam think this is just another bad day at the office — but when you conceal a level of negligence that endangers every resident, and every child, in Florida, you forfeit any moral right to lead,” said former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, one of the Democratic candidates running for governor.
The state used the national system to see if there were reasons such as mental illness or drug addictions that should prevent someone from being issued a concealed-weapons permit. But in March 2017 an investigation was triggered after a state employee noted that the state was not getting any correspondence from people whose applications had been rejected due to information gleaned from the national database.
The final report issued in June 2017 states that an employee in the Division of Licensing did not run applications through the national system because she couldn’t log into the database. The employee is quoted in the report as saying that she “dropped the ball.”
The Times interviewed the employee, Lisa Wilde, who told them she was working in the mailroom when she was given oversight of the database in 2013.
“I didn’t understand why I was put in charge of it,” Wilde told the newspaper.
Statistics compiled by the department show that from the summer of 2015 to the summer of 2017, the number of new applications for concealed-weapon permits jumped dramatically, to its highest level in 25 years.
The Great Waking Up
By Robert C. Koehler
I don’t blame all of the planet’s ills on the Republican Party, but I find hope in the possibility that it’s on the verge of collapse.
I’m not talking politics here. I’m talking deep vision of humanity: a sense of who we are and how we impact Planet Earth and all its occupants. A smallness of mind has a chokehold on American political power and awareness. Maybe what I mean is that it has control over the money.
“The money just isn’t there” — to provide universal healthcare, to create environmental sustainability … to ensure that everyone has clean drinking water. I could name dozens more “nice ideas” that are financial impossibilities, relegated to the trash bin of wishful thinking. We all could.
But “the money,” whatever that actually is, remains quietly, unquestionably present to maintain a suicidal status quo of expanding war, prisons, border “protection” and, of course, environmental exploitation.
Is it simply human stupidity that’s at the center of such irony?
A couple days ago, NBC Newspublished an intriguing story: “California’s GOP is collapsing. Is that a sign for Republicans nationwide?”
The article, with typical mainstream superficiality, described the Republican problem as a “demographic” one: You know, America isn’t as “white” as it used to be, but the Republicans, with Donald Trump as their poster boy, have focused on “doubling-down on their white base … instead of trying to expand it.” The quiet implication is that white voters simply have a set of values that aren’t shared by those across the demographic divide, but the values themselves are media-neutral. Furthermore, politics itself is simply a matter of manipulating voters — enticing them to buy your product — as opposed, heaven forbid, to standing for a coherent, plainly stated worldview.
This is the context in which the article points out that Republicans are now the number-three voting bloc in California, behind not just the Democrats but independents as well. And apparently, as California goes, so goes America, eventually.
The article points out some of the GOP initiatives from the old days, a quarter century ago, when the party ruled the Golden State, which now, apparently, have a stench to the voting majority: declaring English the state’s official language, outlawing affirmative action, and banning undocumented immigrants from access to public health care and even education.
My thought, as I read this, was that maybe what’s going on here is some kind of Great Waking Up — not Democrat over Republican or even non-white over white, but democratic penetration into the default setting of American values. That is to say, the initiatives the article cites aren’t problematic because they’re Republican but because they’re racist. And because they quietly maintain a value system that divides the planet into winners and losers — with the “winners” on endless alert to protect, and add to, their holdings.
What if that’swhat is under assault by uncorralled — i.e., independent — voters in California: the force that controls the money?
Maybe I’m kidding myself. Maybe it’s not possible … that the force of democracy, the “will of the people,” could actually begin to reshape social values and social spending, that it could penetrate, for instance, the keep-out zone of military spending, one of those areas where the phrase “the money just isn’t there” never applies.
“Did you know,” writes William Astore at TomDispatch, “the U.S. Air Force is working on a new stealth bomber? Don’t blame yourself if you didn’t, since the project is so secret that most members of Congress aren’t privy to the details.”
Astore proceeds to tell us about the B-21 Raider, which would carry both conventional and thermonuclear bombs, and comes in at a cost of $550 million per plane (“before the inevitable cost overruns even kick in”). The Air Force plans to buy 200 of them from Northrop Grumman, at cost of, oh heck, something over a hundred billion dollars. Is that such a big deal?
“Here’s the nightmarish reality,” he writes, “of actually bringing such weapons systems online: when the U.S. military develops a capability, it seeks to use it, even in cases where it’s wildly inappropriate… . Fielding a new strategic bomber for global strike, including potential thermonuclear attacks, will not so much enhance national security as potentially embolden future presidents to strike whenever and wherever they want in a fashion devastating to human life. The B-21 isn’t a force-multiplier. It’s an Armageddon-enabler.”
Let’s just sit with this for a moment. Indeed, let’s sit with the future of this planet, which we hold in our hands. The reality is that the human race has managed to embed itself in a social system that includes a murderous and suicidal militarism, which is minimally checked and unquestioned except at the margins of politics and the media. Given this — and given everything else going on in the military keep-out zones across the planet — I think we’d be better off in a state of total anarchy, with no political organization whatsoever.
But that’s a surrender to cynicism and no more realistic than any other form of wishful thinking. We’re stuck, at least here in the USA, with a pseudo-democracy partially but not completely controlled by certain special interests. We possess a fair amount of freedom of thought and action. Maybe it’s not enough to dislodge the entrenched, money-blessed military-industrialism that is our ruling god — but maybe it is, if we can foment a Great Waking Up and start undoing the harm we have been inflicting on ourselves for so long now.
The collapse of the Republican Party may signal that change is underway. So is the message from a few millennia back: Love thy enemy as thyself.
Robert Koehler, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor.
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Foreign Policy Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu
United States President Obama has long had a strained relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, despite the two nations being historically close allies. Obama’s reasoning has been straightforward: Netanyahu is a corrupt warmonger has intentionally made his region unstable for his own political gain. Republicans have fired back by accusing Obama of simply being anti-Israel. But wiretaps now show that at least some republicans in congress had an entirely different reason for siding with Netanyahu: he was bribing them to change their votes on key issues.
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I speak out for the human race, for not only Americans, Palestinians, Israel, and any other, for all mankind, I am a man of faith in god, but who’s to say my god is any different than your god, or your god isn’t the same as mine have we met our gods? I believe all of the human race should be as one, not living on hate just because of one mans god.
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Thanks to Trump’s efforts to bully the US’ closest allies into a lopsided, unfair trade balance, Macron and Trudeau say the rest of the G7 will conduct trade negotiations with the rest of the world without American involvement. And this is on top of the retaliatory tariffs imposed on the US by the EU, Canada, Mexico, China and India!
Trump’s reaction? To call for the readmission of Russia into the G7, after they were thrown out for annexing Crimea! Putin’s Russia invaded its neighbors, violated our sovereignty by undermining elections, and attacks dissidents abroad. Yet our President wants to reward him with a seat at the table while alienating our closest democratic allies. It makes no sense.
He’s not even trying to disguise who he really serves! Trump again calls for readmitting Russia to G7, and blames Obama for Crimea’s annexation. Putin’s Plan:
Destroy THE Western Alliances; First victory Brexit. Trump helping to destroy NATO. Trump needs to register as a foreign agent. He doesn’t have to – his base refuses to face reality! Putin says he “regularly” talks to Trump. Trump says he hasn’t spoken to Putin in a “long” time. Sadly, I believe Putin!?
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5. This Veteran is spot on about everything that is wrong with the world today
6. Senate Votes 100-0 To STOP Obama
7. Tom Cotton Accepted $1 Million From Israel To Sabotage Iran Nuclear Deal
8. Treason: Leaked Wiretaps Reveal Netanyahu Bribed Senators To Sabotage Obama’s…
9. Republican senator took million dollar bribe from Israel to sabotage Obama’s Iran deal
10. President Obama catches Netanyahu bribing republican congressmen to change their Iran votes
11. Trump Claims to be Christian just like the KKK
12. Trump has repeatedly declined to disavow the KKK
13. Trump has repeatedly declined to disavow white supremacy activists, except when cornered, he finally says, “fine I disavow them” now can we get on to something else.
14. Trump happily relishes having the supremacy movements supporting him. And they all call him their leader, and he places two supremacist leaders in his cabinet.
15. Trump supports Putin and the Ukrainian rebel’s takeover of the Crimea and Putin’s occupation of eastern Ukraine.
16. Trump supports and encourages begging Putin’s to continue hacking the US Democratic party and republicans support him as he does it.
17. Trump says after the election he sides with Putin and Denies Russia played any part in the hacking he says we need to better our relations with Putin there is nothing wrong with trying make friends with Russia.
18. Trump brags of war with ISIS saying “I’ll bomb the hell out of them” “ killing women children and baby’s we need to kill the entire family that’s the only way.
19. Israeli PM yahu says he was against a 2 State solution to get elected. Which is something all US presidents prior have found to be the US solution to the problems the and Israel have always said the only answer to peace between the Palestinians and the Israeli conflicts. Now Obama takes a stance and says something for a resolution supported by all the other countries. But on the contrary trump sides with yahu that has sided against the us stance on peace in the middle east.
20. No innocent people in Gaza’ says Israeli defense minister
21. Israel’s Prime Minister wants more aid 3 Billion isn’t enough