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April 2023

Gun Crazed Americans

Gun Crazed Americans

            Robert A. Levine  4-25-23

What is it about America that makes a portion of its populace so avidly love guns? With all the injuries and deaths in our nation as the result of guns, one would think there would be an aversion to guns. But no! The leading cause of death among children and teenagers is not some esoteric infectious disease but the result of guns. This includes both homicides and suicides. There are more gun deaths in the United States than in all other advanced societies combined. What is wrong with us?

All the mass shootings that have occurred in schools and public places in the last two decades have done nothing to permanently restrict the number of guns in circulation. In fact, though there are more guns than people in our nation, sixty million more weapons were bought by Americans in the last three years. So many of the deaths caused by guns are the result of mistakes by the shooters, hitting the wrong target or mistaking the person shot for a criminal. In just the last two weeks we have had two deaths and a serious injury caused by gun owners imagining they were being home invaded when people have turned into the wrong driveway. A simple mistake results in death. And it is possible the shooters will face no criminal charges if they believed they were at risk and were protecting their homes.

Our romance with guns is based on the Constitution’s Second Amendment which the Supreme Court interpreted as allowing civilians to possess unlimited guns. However, the Second Amendment is certainly open to interpretation and could indicate that gun ownership should be limited to members of organized militias. But guns have now been part of American history and folklore since before the Revolution and it would be impossible for the government to ban the hundreds of million guns that are now out there. In fact, many of the gun owners believe conspiracy theories and keep their guns to protect themselves from government intrusion. For some, guns are a reaffirmation of a man’s masculinity, even though women are also gun owners. The supposedly high crime rate is another reason that people own guns to protect themselves in case they encounter criminals. But as we have seen, they are likely to shoot innocent people as much as criminals. An Opinion article in the New York Times on Sunday noted that there were more than 4300 young people who died in America in 2020 from guns, while the Netherlands the previous year had two deaths that were gun related. According to the Brady Center, 321 people in the US are shot every day and 111 are killed daily. Gun violence costs the American economy at least $229 billion yearly. And the NRA and gun lobbyists ignore the statistics. Shocking, no! Crazy, yes!

We are not going to rid America of the proliferation of guns that has occurred. But we can take commonsense measures to reduce the carnage from guns. From 1994 to 2004, when assault weapons were banned, the number of mass shooting and deaths was down significantly according to the Department of Justice. This ban did not include weapons already possessed but the purchase of new assault weapons. It is time to ban all assault weapons as they are weapons of war and should not be in civilian hands. They can be repurchased by the government and no new ones sold. Obviously, Republicans are not going to support this no matter how many mass shootings occur. It will have to wait until the Democrats control both houses of Congress and the Presidency and can override or discard the filibuster.

The nation also needs to change the carry laws. The only people who should be allowed to carry guns on their person should be those who show they are in danger without them. Stand your ground laws should also be abolished as citizens thinking they are defending their property may kill others by mistake. Ghost guns made by computers should be banned as well with severe penalties to anyone who makes one. Background checks must also be strengthened significantly and a waiting period added before people can obtain guns.  All these measures will not end unnecessary gun deaths but they will greatly lessen the toll of lives taken. But will common sense prevail?

www.robertlevinebooks.com

Buy The Uninformed Voter on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


Judicial Overreach Again

Judicial Overreach Again

            Robert A. Levine  4-12-23

Once again, we are seeing evidence of judicial overreach, with judges disregarding the knowledge of experts in particular fields and of scientific data that was accumulated in favor of their own predilections. We have seen this a number of times in the last few decades at every level of the court system, where judges make decisions of the basis of their own biases, throwing out the views of experts and years of legal precedent. Though the current travesties involve the issues of abortion and the safety of mifepristone, it has been seen previously in the Citizens United ruling and the removal of federal monitors at the Department of Justice from states that interfered with the voting rights of minorities. The Supreme Court decided that enough time had passed with monitoring and the states no longer needed the federal government to make certain that voting rights were observed for all citizens since the states knew the proper procedures. Of course, the Court was dead wrong and minorities were egregiously deprived in various ways of the right to vote by a number of state governments.

Last year, in the case of Dobbs vs. Jackson, the conservative Supreme Court ignored a half century of precedent in overturning Roe vs Wade, making a woman’s right to abortion illegal in a 6-3 ruling. Five of the six justices who voted to overturn Roe were Catholic, with the sixth, Neil Gorsuch an Episcopalian who was raised as a Catholic. It is obvious that religious bias played a major role in outlawing abortion even though the majority of citizens in the United States are in favor of abortion rights. Several polls and state referenda have confirmed that.

The current problem is not at a Supreme Court level but comes from a district court in Texas by another Trump biased appointee who has been an outspoken opponent of abortion throughout his life. This recent egregious ruling by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Texas court was to ban a pill used to aid in abortion that has been found to be safe and effective by the FDA for decades- mifepristone.  Kacsmaryk decided that the pill had not been proven safe, overruling the experts at the FDA. But it seems beyond belief that he had the gall to question the scientific evidence provided by the FDA for the approval of mifepristone which has been used by women safely for decades in the United States. In some European nations, it has been in use even longer. This is like Trump deciding that the use of ivermectin, hydroxychloroquin and disinfectants were the way to treat Covid though there was no scientific evidence these worked.

Shortly after Kacsmaryk’s decision, a judge in the state of Washington ruled that mifepristone was safe to use and should remain on the market. But since when are any judges more knowledgeable than the experts at the FDA about the use of medication. Kacsmaryk’s ruling  was a clear case of judicial overreach. Neither one of these judges should be ruling on mifepristone, nor should the Supreme Court. Medical experts should be making the decisions about the safety and use of medication, not judges.

www.robertlevinebooks.com

Buy The Uninformed Voter on Amazon or Barnes and Noble


Judicial Overreach Again

Judicial Overreach Again

            Robert A. Levine  4-12-23

Once again, we are seeing evidence of judicial overreach, with judges disregarding the knowledge of experts in particular fields and of scientific data that was accumulated in favor of their own predilections. We have seen this a number of times in the last few decades at every level of the court system, where judges make decisions of the basis of their own biases, throwing out the views of experts and years of legal precedent. Though the current travesties involve the issues of abortion and the safety of mifepristone, it has been seen previously in the Citizens United ruling and the removal of federal monitors at the Department of Justice from states that interfered with the voting rights of minorities. The Supreme Court decided that enough time had passed with monitoring and the states no longer needed the federal government to make certain that voting rights were observed for all citizens since the states knew the proper procedures. Of course, the Court was dead wrong and minorities were egregiously deprived in various ways of the right to vote by a number of state governments.

Last year, in the case of Dobbs vs. Jackson, the conservative Supreme Court ignored a half century of precedent in overturning Roe vs Wade, making a woman’s right to abortion illegal in a 6-3 ruling. Five of the six justices who voted to overturn Roe were Catholic, with the sixth, Neil Gorsuch an Episcopalian who was raised as a Catholic. It is obvious that religious bias played a major role in outlawing abortion even though the majority of citizens in the United States are in favor of abortion rights. Several polls and state referenda have confirmed that.

The current problem is not at a Supreme Court level but comes from a district court in Texas by another Trump biased appointee who has been an outspoken opponent of abortion throughout his life. This recent egregious ruling by Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Texas court was to ban a pill used to aid in abortion that has been found to be safe and effective by the FDA for decades- mifepristone.  Kacsmaryk decided that the pill had not been proven safe, overruling the experts at the FDA. But it seems beyond belief that he had the gall to question the scientific evidence provided by the FDA for the approval of mifepristone which has been used by women safely for decades in the United States. In some European nations, it has been in use even longer. This is like Trump deciding that the use of ivermectin, hydroxychloroquin and disinfectants were the way to treat Covid though there was no scientific evidence these worked.

Shortly after Kacsmaryk’s decision, a judge in the state of Washington ruled that mifepristone was safe to use and should remain on the market. But since when are any judges more knowledgeable than the experts at the FDA about the use of medication. Kacsmaryk’s ruling  was a clear case of judicial overreach. Neither one of these judges should be ruling on mifepristone, nor should the Supreme Court. Medical experts should be making the decisions about the safety and use of medication, not judges.

www.robertlevinebooks.com

Buy The Uninformed Voter on Amazon or Barnes and Noble


GOP Icon- Trump vs. Santos

GOP Icon- Trump Vs Santos                   

Robert A. Levine                     

In this age of mass communication, particular figures become representative of their political parties because of repeated exposure on television and social media. For the Republicans during the last six or seven years this figure has been Donald Trump, aka The Donald. He has dominated the news and sucked the air out of every venue where he has appeared with a constant array of controversial statements, misstated facts and outright lies. Since his defeat in the presidential election of 2020, he has played the role of victim, insisting that the election was stolen from him without an iota of proof. However, the Republican base loves his bluster and lies, with the majority of Republicans believing that the election was indeed stolen from him.

Now that he is being indicted on criminal charges for the first time, which he describes as the result of a witch hunt, it appears that the majority of Republicans are remaining in the Trump camp. However, as more and stronger charges are brought against him by other prosecutors, will his base remain loyal? Will he remain the symbol of modern Republicanism? It is quite possible that as the criminal charges against Trump pile up, large numbers of Republicans will abandon him and seek another standard bearer for the party.

There are a number of candidates who would be glad to assume this position if Trump were found guilty of criminal charges, especially if he wound up in prison. One of the leading candidates would be Marjorie Taylor Greene, a GOP Congresswoman from Georgia who loves to bask in the public spotlight. While she would be a fine icon for the Republicans, she might be a little too far out for some, though after Trump, who knows? MTG was an open supporter of Qanon, believed that the California wildfires were caused by space lasers and that a plane did not crash into the Pentagon on 9/11, among other bizarre theories. Even though her Georgia district voted for her twice overwhelmingly for congress, Republicans overall might not appreciate her views.

Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House is the highest ranking Republican in government right now and could also be a candidate for GOP icon. However, it took fifteen ballots for him to get elected and he had to make deals giving away some of his power. He is also seen by some Republicans as too wishy-washy and not a figure who projects strength.

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri saluted the rioters on January 6th when they stormed the Capitol and later was seen running away from the chaotic scene. These actions sort of disqualify him from being the Republican icon. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is disliked by many in the Republican Party for his know-it-all and superior attitude, so he would not make a decent icon. Mitch McConnell is too old and not photogenic.

Therefore, I propose that George Santos replace Donald Trump as the new GOP icon. He has many similar qualities, including the ability to lie, cheat and steal money from his campaign contributors. Much of his biography is also false as was The Donald’s. Despite all the negative attributes of Congressman Santos, the Republican Party has been unwilling to dissociate itself from him. He would make a fine figure to represent the GOP, as did Trump.

www.robertlevinebooks.com

Buy The Uninformed Voter on Amazon or Barnes and Noble


GOP Icon- Trump vs. Santos

GOP Icon- Trump Vs Santos                   

Robert A. Levine                     

In this age of mass communication, particular figures become representative of their political parties because of repeated exposure on television and social media. For the Republicans during the last six or seven years this figure has been Donald Trump, aka The Donald. He has dominated the news and sucked the air out of every venue where he has appeared with a constant array of controversial statements, misstated facts and outright lies. Since his defeat in the presidential election of 2020, he has played the role of victim, insisting that the election was stolen from him without an iota of proof. However, the Republican base loves his bluster and lies, with the majority of Republicans believing that the election was indeed stolen from him.

Now that he is being indicted on criminal charges for the first time, which he describes as the result of a witch hunt, it appears that the majority of Republicans are remaining in the Trump camp. However, as more and stronger charges are brought against him by other prosecutors, will his base remain loyal? Will he remain the symbol of modern Republicanism? It is quite possible that as the criminal charges against Trump pile up, large numbers of Republicans will abandon him and seek another standard bearer for the party.

There are a number of candidates who would be glad to assume this position if Trump were found guilty of criminal charges, especially if he wound up in prison. One of the leading candidates would be Marjorie Taylor Greene, a GOP Congresswoman from Georgia who loves to bask in the public spotlight. While she would be a fine icon for the Republicans, she might be a little too far out for some, though after Trump, who knows? MTG was an open supporter of Qanon, believed that the California wildfires were caused by space lasers and that a plane did not crash into the Pentagon on 9/11, among other bizarre theories. Even though her Georgia district voted for her twice overwhelmingly for congress, Republicans overall might not appreciate her views.

Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House is the highest ranking Republican in government right now and could also be a candidate for GOP icon. However, it took fifteen ballots for him to get elected and he had to make deals giving away some of his power. He is also seen by some Republicans as too wishy-washy and not a figure who projects strength.

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri saluted the rioters on January 6th when they stormed the Capitol and later was seen running away from the chaotic scene. These actions sort of disqualify him from being the Republican icon. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is disliked by many in the Republican Party for his know-it-all and superior attitude, so he would not make a decent icon. Mitch McConnell is too old and not photogenic.

Therefore, I propose that George Santos replace Donald Trump as the new GOP icon. He has many similar qualities, including the ability to lie, cheat and steal money from his campaign contributors. Much of his biography is also false as was The Donald’s. Despite all the negative attributes of Congressman Santos, the Republican Party has been unwilling to dissociate itself from him. He would make a fine figure to represent the GOP, as did Trump.

www.robertlevinebooks.com

Buy The Uninformed Voter on Amazon or Barnes and Noble


GOP Icon- Trump vs. Santos

GOP Icon- Trump Vs Santos                   

Robert A. Levine                     

In this age of mass communication, particular figures become representative of their political parties because of repeated exposure on television and social media. For the Republicans during the last six or seven years this figure has been Donald Trump, aka The Donald. He has dominated the news and sucked the air out of every venue where he has appeared with a constant array of controversial statements, misstated facts and outright lies. Since his defeat in the presidential election of 2020, he has played the role of victim, insisting that the election was stolen from him without an iota of proof. However, the Republican base loves his bluster and lies, with the majority of Republicans believing that the election was indeed stolen from him.

Now that he is being indicted on criminal charges for the first time, which he describes as the result of a witch hunt, it appears that the majority of Republicans are remaining in the Trump camp. However, as more and stronger charges are brought against him by other prosecutors, will his base remain loyal? Will he remain the symbol of modern Republicanism? It is quite possible that as the criminal charges against Trump pile up, large numbers of Republicans will abandon him and seek another standard bearer for the party.

There are a number of candidates who would be glad to assume this position if Trump were found guilty of criminal charges, especially if he wound up in prison. One of the leading candidates would be Marjorie Taylor Greene, a GOP Congresswoman from Georgia who loves to bask in the public spotlight. While she would be a fine icon for the Republicans, she might be a little too far out for some, though after Trump, who knows? MTG was an open supporter of Qanon, believed that the California wildfires were caused by space lasers and that a plane did not crash into the Pentagon on 9/11, among other bizarre theories. Even though her Georgia district voted for her twice overwhelmingly for congress, Republicans overall might not appreciate her views.

Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House is the highest ranking Republican in government right now and could also be a candidate for GOP icon. However, it took fifteen ballots for him to get elected and he had to make deals giving away some of his power. He is also seen by some Republicans as too wishy-washy and not a figure who projects strength.

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri saluted the rioters on January 6th when they stormed the Capitol and later was seen running away from the chaotic scene. These actions sort of disqualify him from being the Republican icon. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is disliked by many in the Republican Party for his know-it-all and superior attitude, so he would not make a decent icon. Mitch McConnell is too old and not photogenic.

Therefore, I propose that George Santos replace Donald Trump as the new GOP icon. He has many similar qualities, including the ability to lie, cheat and steal money from his campaign contributors. Much of his biography is also false as was The Donald’s. Despite all the negative attributes of Congressman Santos, the Republican Party has been unwilling to dissociate itself from him. He would make a fine figure to represent the GOP, as did Trump.

www.robertlevinebooks.com

Buy The Uninformed Voter on Amazon or Barnes and Noble


GOP Icon- Trump Vs Santos                   

Robert A. Levine                     

In this age of mass communication, particular figures become representative of their political parties because of repeated exposure on television and social media. For the Republicans during the last six or seven years this figure has been Donald Trump, aka The Donald. He has dominated the news and sucked the air out of every venue where he has appeared with a constant array of controversial statements, misstated facts and outright lies. Since his defeat in the presidential election of 2020, he has played the role of victim, insisting that the election was stolen from him without an iota of proof. However, the Republican base loves his bluster and lies, with the majority of Republicans believing that the election was indeed stolen from him.

Now that he is being indicted on criminal charges for the first time, which he describes as the result of a witch hunt, it appears that the majority of Republicans are remaining in the Trump camp. However, as more and stronger charges are brought against him by other prosecutors, will his base remain loyal? Will he remain the symbol of modern Republicanism? It is quite possible that as the criminal charges against Trump pile up, large numbers of Republicans will abandon him and seek another standard bearer for the party.

There are a number of candidates who would be glad to assume this position if Trump were found guilty of criminal charges, especially if he wound up in prison. One of the leading candidates would be Marjorie Taylor Greene, a GOP Congresswoman from Georgia who loves to bask in the public spotlight. While she would be a fine icon for the Republicans, she might be a little too far out for some, though after Trump, who knows? MTG was an open supporter of Qanon, believed that the California wildfires were caused by space lasers and that a plane did not crash into the Pentagon on 9/11, among other bizarre theories. Even though her Georgia district voted for her twice overwhelmingly for congress, Republicans overall might not appreciate her views.

Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House is the highest ranking Republican in government right now and could also be a candidate for GOP icon. However, it took fifteen ballots for him to get elected and he had to make deals giving away some of his power. He is also seen by some Republicans as too wishy-washy and not a figure who projects strength.

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri saluted the rioters on January 6th when they stormed the Capitol and later was seen running away from the chaotic scene. These actions sort of disqualify him from being the Republican icon. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is disliked by many in the Republican Party for his know-it-all and superior attitude, so he would not make a decent icon. Mitch McConnell is too old and not photogenic.

Therefore, I propose that George Santos replace Donald Trump as the new GOP icon. He has many similar qualities, including the ability to lie, cheat and steal money from his campaign contributors. Much of his biography is also false as was The Donald’s. Despite all the negative attributes of Congressman Santos, the Republican Party has been unwilling to dissociate itself from him. He would make a fine figure to represent the GOP, as did Trump.

www.robertlevinebooks.com

Buy The Uninformed Voter on Amazon or Barnes and Noble