…… While he enjoys armed security and a gated castle. Maybe instead he could use that money help pay for the mess he made in NY? (The rents are too Damn high – on purpose)
Michael Bloomberg on Gun Control: ‘This Is a Battle for the Hearts and Minds of America’
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg promoted his new $50 million gun control campaign on NBC’s “Today” show this morning, in an aggressive financial push to fight the National Rifle Association’s influence on gun policy.
Bloomberg plans to use the money to merge his Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America into a new group called “Everytown for Gun Safety.”
“This is not a battle of dollars, this is a battle for the hearts and minds of America so that we can protect our children, protect innocent people,” he said.
Bloomberg highlighted the amount of gun related deaths in America, explaining why he felt the need to continue fighting.
“We’re the only civilized country in the world that has this problem,” he said.
He also argued that he was not pushing for gun control, but rather keeping guns away from minors, criminals, and the mentally ill.
“It isn’t gun control. This is simply making sure that people everybody agrees should not be allowed to buy a gun – criminals, minors, and people with psychiatric problems – make sure they can’t buy guns – nobody is going to take anyone’s gun away nobody is going to stop you from hunting, target practice or protecting yourself,” he said.
Feds seek administrative solution; protesters stay
Senate Majority leader Harry Reid weighed in on the Nevada ranch standoff, warning that even though federal agents retreated over the weekend, “it’s not over.”
In impromptu remarks Monday after a speech at the University of Nevada, Reno, however, Mr. Reid struck a defiant tone on the matter of lawbreaking.
“We can’t have an American people that violate the law and just walk away from it,” Mr. Reid told Reno TV station KRNV. “So it’s not over.”
That feeling was shared, albeit from the opposite direction, by some of the hundreds of protesters from across the West who congregated at the Bundy cattle ranch near Mesquite, Nev.
Many of them remained Monday at the property, despite pleas from federal and state officials to disband and return home.
“I feel sorry for any federal agents that want to come in here and try to push us around or anything like that,” Jarad Miller said in an interview with KRNV-TV. “I really don’t want violence toward them, but if they’re going to come bring violence to us, if that’s the language they want to speak, we’ll learn it.”
Bureau of Land Management agents returned about 400 cattle to the Bundy family over the weekend amid escalating tensions between law enforcement and hundreds of anti-BLM demonstrators outside the ranch.
BLM spokesman Craig Leff confirmed Monday that “the gather is over” after telling reporters over the weekend that the bureau will “continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially.”
Mr. Kornze, 35, served for eight years on the Senate leader’s staff before joining the BLM in 2011. He was the Mr. Reid’s pick to head the agency, and his final confirmation was April 8 as the roundup at the Bundy ranch was underway.
In an updated statement Saturday, Mr. Kornze said the cattle gather was halted “because of our grave concern about the safety of employees and members of the public.”
Mr. Reid also has been accused of attempting to shut down the ranch in order to move ahead with two nearby solar energy projects, an accusation denied Monday by the senator’s press aide.
Reid spokeswoman Kristen Orthman told KLAS-TV in Las Vegas that “there is no truth to the conspiracy theories that are being pushed by right-wing media outlets.”
Mr. Reid’s son Rory Reid, a former Clark County commissioner, represented ENN Mojave Energy, a Chinese-backed company seeking to build a $5 billion solar plant near Laughlin, Nev. The company ultimately dropped those plans after failing to secure sufficient financial backing, according to reports.
That project was more than 100 miles from the Bundy Ranch, Ms. Orthman said.
A separate solar project, involving a local Indian tribe, that Mr. Reid has pushed also does not overlap with the Bundy ranch.
“[Harry] Reid’s push for solar energy development in southern Nevada included attendance last month at a groundbreaking ceremony for a solar power facility that involves the Moapa Band of Pauites and First Solar Inc.,” said the KLAS-TV report. “But that 250-megawatt power plant will be roughly 35 miles southwest of the Bundy ranch.”
The BLM cattle roundup began after a 21-year-old court battle between the agency and Mr. Bundy, who has refused to pay federal grazing fees over a dispute about whether the federal government has sovereignty over his land.
Mr. Bundy has said he pays grazing fees to Clark County, Nev., as he has since before the BLM took over management of the lands. The Bundy family has maintained a cattle ranching operation on the southern Nevada property since the 1870s.
“We are so so grateful for the overwhelming show of support. It is clear freedom loving Americans still exist!” said a Monday post on the Bundy Ranch website.
He told Las Vegas radio station KDWN-AM that the demonstrators backing him “have faith in the Constitution.”
“The Founding Fathers didn’t create a government like this,” he said.
The Bundys also have refused to scale back their cattle operation in reaction to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s listing of the desert tortoise as “threatened (similarity of appearance)” in 1990. The Bundy operation is reportedly now the only operating cattle ranch in the area as a result of enforcement efforts aimed at protecting the desert tortoise.
In August, however, the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Las Vegas announced that it would begin euthanizing half of the 1,400 tortoises in its 220-acre facility as a result of federal budget cuts, according to The Associated Press.
“The Center is scheduled to close in December 2014 due to funding issues,” said a statement on the BLM’s website. “All healthy tortoises at the Center will be relocated to sites that will support the recovery of the species. Healthy tortoises will not be euthanized.”
ENTERPRISE, Utah (Reuters) – A Utah county, angry over the destruction of federal rangeland that ranchers use to graze cattle, has started a bid to round up federally protected wild horses it blames for the problem in the latest dustup over land management in the U.S. West.
Close to 2,000 wild horses are roaming southern Utah’s Iron County, well over the 300 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has dubbed as appropriate for the rural area’s nine designated herd management zones, County Commissioner David Miller said.
County officials complain the burgeoning herd is destroying vegetation crucial to ranchers who pay to graze their cattle on the land, and who have already been asked to reduce their herds to cope with an anticipated drought.
Wild horse preservation groups say any attempt to remove the horses would be a federal crime.
On Thursday county workers, accompanied by a Bureau of Land Management staffer, set up the first in a series of metal corrals designed to trap and hold the horses on private land abutting the federal range until they can be moved to BLM facilities for adoption.
“There’s been no management of the animals and they keep reproducing,” Miller said in an interview. “The rangeland just can’t sustain it.”
The conflict reflects broader tension between ranchers, who have traditionally grazed cattle on public lands and held sway over land-use decisions, and environmentalists and land managers facing competing demands on the same land.
The Iron County roundup comes on the heels of an incident in neighboring Nevada in which authorities sent in helicopters and wranglers on horseback to confiscate the cattle herd of a rancher they say is illegally grazing livestock on public land.
In Utah, county commissioners warned federal land managers in a letter last month that the county would act independently to remove the horses if no mitigation efforts were launched.
“We charge you to fulfill your responsibility,” commissioners wrote. “Inaction and no-management practices pose an imminent threat to ranchers.”
The operation was expected to last weeks or months.
“The BLM is actively working with Iron County to address the horse issue,” Utah-based BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall said, declining to comment further.
Attorneys for wild horse preservation groups sent a letter this week to Iron County commissioners and the BLM saying the BLM, under federal law, cannot round up horses on public lands without proper analysis and disclosure.
“The BLM must stop caving to the private financial interests of livestock owners whenever they complain about the protected wild horses using limited resources that are available on such lands,” wrote Katherine Meyer of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal a Washington, DC-based public interest law firm representing the advocates.
The BLM puts the free-roaming wild horse and burro population across western states at more than 40,600, which it says on its website exceeds by nearly 14,000 the number of animals it believes “can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.”
Wild horse advocates point out that the tens of thousands of wild horses on BLM property pales into comparison with the millions of private livestock grazing on public lands managed by the agency.
Wild horses have not been culled due to budget constraints, according to Utah BLM officials, who say their herds grow by roughly 20 percent per year.
Pressure on rangeland from the horses may worsen this summer due to a drought that could dry up the already sparse available food supply, according to Miller.
“We’re going to see those horses starving to death out on the range,” he said. “The humane thing is to get this going now.”
Adding to frustration is BLM pressure on ranchers to cut their cattle herds by as much as 50 percent to cope with the drought, Miller said.
A tour of Iron County rangeland, not far from the Nevada border, illustrates the unchecked herds’ impact on the land, said Jeremy Hunt, a fourth generation Utah rancher whose cattle graze in the summer in a management area split through its middle by a barbed wire fence.
On the cattle side of the fence, the sagebrush and grass landscape is thick and green. The other, where a group of horses was seen on Thursday, is scattered with barren patches of dirt and sparse vegetation.
“This land is being literally destroyed because they are not following the laws that they set up to govern themselves,” said Hunt, who also works as a farmhand to make ends meet for his family of six.
“I want the land to be healthy and I want be a good steward of the land,” he added. “But you have to manage both sides of the fence.”
About two dozen demonstrators protested outside the headquarters of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday, demanding the philanthropic organization dump its investments in a company that runs private prisons.
Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times
Immigrant-rights supporters protest outside Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle on Thursday, calling on the foundation to drop its investments in GEO Group, the world’s largest operator of private prisons and detention centers. GEO operates the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
On Thursday, about two dozen immigrant-rights advocates and other demonstrators gathered outside the foundation’s offices, demanding it dump its investments in one of the nation’s largest operators of private prisons.
Specifically, they want the Gates Foundation — whose co-chairman, Bill Gates, has been a steadfast supporter of immigration — to divert the $2.2 million that its trust invests in The GEO Group.
The world’s largest operator of private prisons and detention centers, GEO runs 59 facilities across the country, including the 1,500-bed Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
“This isn’t just a moral argument,” said William Winters, senior campaign adviser with the Latino advocacy group Presente.org, which organized the protest.
“If the Gates Foundation wants to have the effect in the world they say they want to have, then investing in private prisons is the antithesis of that.”
Organizers said they staged the demonstration after getting no response to a letter they sent to Bill Gates a month ago.
After the demonstration, a handful of protesters were invited inside, where they presented officials with nearly 11,000 signatures collected online.
Gates Foundation spokesman Jonah Goldman, in an earlier conversation, said the foundation and the trust are separate and that the foundation does not control the trust’s investment decisions.
Trust investments, he said, are “the reason we have about $4 billion a year to spend on vaccines, AIDS drugs, on U.S. education and the millennium scholars program — on all the work the foundation does in Seattle and around the world.”
He noted the $2.2 million invested in GEO, compared to the $36 billion foundation trust and GEO, a $2 billion company.
Questions about the foundation’s investments have been raised before, forcing the foundation in the past to issue a statement explaining its policy.
The Gateses guide endowment managers to vote proxies “consistent with the principles of good governance,” the statement said, pointing out that the foundation has defined areas in which it will not invest, such as tobacco stocks.
Winters, who was among those invited inside, said foundation representatives assured protesters that their letter would be submitted to the trust.
He said they wanted to be sure protesters understood all the good the foundation does around the world. It’s something Presente acknowledges and appreciates, Winters said.
“But by investing in GEO, it’s capitalizing an organization that then uses that money to incarcerate more people, which seems to run counter to the foundation’s own mission.”
With Congress declining to act on overhauling the nation’s immigration system, demonstrations over detention and deportation across the country have become more frequent.
One after another, Thursday’s presenters spoke of the effect detention has on families. Winters read portions of statements by some who he said signed the petition, including a Gates scholar from California who said that while he is forever in the foundation’s debt for his education, he is “saddened to know that some of that money was due to investment in the prison industry complex.”
Jose Moreno, 25, who participated in a recent hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center, said in Spanish that he wanted to be part of it to draw attention to the conditions inside the facility, saying, it’s “jail not a detention.”
Maru Mora Villalpando, who is in the country illegally and active in an anti-deportation movement called, Not1More, said it was morally wrong for the foundation to profit from separating families.
“The Gates Foundation should be ashamed for putting money into the business of separating families and into the business of making money off those that are the most vulnerable,” she said.
Initially “curious” about the protest, Goldman said Gates Foundation officials “totally understand the passion that comes from this.”
The allegations made against GEO seem deplorable, he said, “and we certainly understand people standing up for justice. That’s the reason we come to work every day.”
Just an hour after U.S. Officials called off the roundup of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle due to safety concerns, hundreds of ranchers and supporters — some armed — have mobilized with the intent to free cattle confiscated by the federal agents.
Sign of the times? Feds back down. For now. Beware of infiltration and snatch and grab after the fact (ala The Ed and Elaine Brown ending)
A Nevada cattle rancher appears to have won his week-long battle with the federal government over a controversial cattle roundup that had led to the arrest of several protesters.
Cliven Bundy went head to head with the Bureau of Land Management over the removal of hundreds of his cattle from federal land, where the government said they were grazing illegally.
Bundy claims his herd of roughly 900 cattle have grazed on the land along the riverbed near Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, since 1870 and threatened a “range war” against the BLM on the Bundy Ranch website after one of his sons was arrested while protesting the removal of the cattle.
“I have no contract with the United States government,” Bundy said. “I was paying grazing fees for management and that’s what BLM was supposed to be, land managers and they were managing my ranch out of business, so I refused to pay.”
The federal government had countered that Bundy “owes the American people in excess of $1 million ” in unpaid grazing fees and “refuses to abide by the law of land, despite many opportunities over the last 20 years to do so.”
However, today the BLM said it would not enforce a court order to remove the cattle and was pulling out of the area.
“Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,” BLM Director Neil Kornze said.
“We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner,” he said.
The roundup began April 5, following lengthy court proceedings dating back to 1993, federal officials said. Federal officers began impounding the first lot of cows last weekend, and Bundy responded by inviting supporters onto his land to protest the action.
“It’s not about cows, it’s about freedom,” Utah resident Yonna Winget told ABC News affiliate KTNV in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“People are getting tired of the federal government having unlimited power,” Bundy’s wife, Carol Bundy told ABC News.
By Sunday, April 6, one of Bundy’s sons, Dave Bundy, was taken into custody for refusing to disperse and resisting arrest, while hundreds of other protesters, some venturing from interstate, gathered along the road few miles from Bundy’s property in solidarity. Dave Bundy was later released.
A spokesman for the Bundy encampment told ABC News roughly 300 protesters had assembled for the protest, while a BLM representative estimated there were around 100 people.
“We want a peaceful protest, but we also want our voices heard,” said Cliven Bundy’s sister, Chrisie Marshall Bundy.
But clashes between demonstrators and authorities took a violent turn on Wednesday, with cell phone video showing some being tasered at the site, including Bundy’s son, Ammon Bundy. Two other protesters were detained, cited and later released on Thursday, according to the BLM.
As the movement grew by the day, and demonstrators rallied together, bonding by campfires at night, local protest leaders warned people not to wear camouflage and keep their weapons inside their vehicles.
Both sides said the issue is one of fairness, with the federal government maintaining that thousands of other cattle ranchers are abiding by the law by paying their annual grazing fees, while Bundy’s family and supporters say the government’s actions are threatening ranchers’ freedoms.
“It’s about the freedom of America,” said another of Bundy’s sisters, Margaret Houston. “We have to stand up and fight.”
Embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning as the White House seeks to move past the election-year political damage inflicted by the rocky rollout of President Barack Obama‘s signature health care law.
Secretary Sebelius’ resignation comes just over a week after sign-ups closed for the first year of insurance coverage under the so-called Obamacare law. The opening weeks of the enrollment period were marred by widespread website woes, though the administration rebounded strongly by enrolling 7.1 million people by the March 31 deadline, exceeding initial expectations. Enrollment has since risen to 7.5 million as people were given extra time to complete applications.
This is the Ultimate dream of a Police State! Lock people up because they don’t “fit” in society, and are “bad machines”. No trial, no Habeas Corpus, no pesky rights at all to get in the way of Lock Up. If your neighbor, family member, boss complains….. You GONE! Getting out is nearly impossible until you convince the authorities that you have conformed.
Be careful what you think! It could be a crime.
You might have a different reaction than I did watching this video, but I didn’t feel comforted by Tim Murphy’s remarks on how to prevent mass stabbings or shootings. At 1:40 it becomes really clear: the main “problem” with the system is that it is too hard to get a man or woman incarcerated against his or her will.
Rep. Tim Murphy, Pennsylvania Republican, said Wednesday that the school stabbings in Pennsylvania demonstrate the need for more mental health resources for children.
“We know if we identify kids, get them early, help them with medication and counseling, it can make a world of difference,” he said on CNN.
He also cited the need for more psychologists to work with kids in schools and more training for police on how to handle situations like this one, where a 16-year-old student injured 20 people with two knives at school.
Mr. Murphy said it’s not usually one event that sparks a violent act like this, and that communities need to get better at recognizing the warning signs.
“In a situation like this, usually there’s a long fuse,” he said. “When you come to school with two knives with the intent to do this kind of harm, that’s not a normal response and we better get better at dealing with it.”
Basically, we are being assured that there is a way to predict who is going to turn violent and to intervene in a way that is helpful. We will see some big miscarriages of justice taking place under a regime of new, heavily financed “mental health professionals.”
I am very sorry for those who were attacked and stabbed (in PA) . But we still don’t have the ability to predict the future. While there are people who need help, there are also people who don’t need help and shouldn’t be forced to take it. I don’t see any reason why this latter group would be helped by an army of tax-supported psychologists. They WILL do more harm than good.
Read the bill here:
The National Guard is following a direct order — but it’s not happy with it. All of the Guard’s AH-64 Apache helicopters are scheduled to go to the active Army, and there’s nothing its top brass can do about it.
“None of us like what we’re having to do,” National Guard Chief Gen. Frank Grass told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, the military website Defense One reported. “My big concern right now is figuring out how I’m going to move, and how many states I’m going to have an impact on, and what’s the cost of facilities and to retrain pilots. I’ve got to tackle that because the decision’s been made.”
Students terrified when safety project goes wrong; Cleveland Heights High School principal placed on administrative leave
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — A Cleveland Heights High School principal was placed on paid administrative leave after a safety project had some students and teachers panicked and running scared for their lives.
Several students said there was screaming and running in the halls last Wednesday morning when administrative principal Johnetta Wiley announced on the public address system that there was a shooter in the building. There was no shooter. It was part of a safety video that Wiley and other staff were filming, but not all teachers and students were told the scenario wasn’t real.
They can take all of the Guns… and we would still have THIS!
MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) – At least 20-people have been injured in a stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.
Murrysville police Chief Thomas Seefeld says 19-of the victims are students, one of them is a school security guard.
A school security guard called in the stabbing at 7:13 a.m.
Seefeld wouldn’t detail the carnage beyond saying, “The juvenile went down the hallway and was flashing two knives around and injured the people.”
Police say the 16-year-old male student suspect is in custody and is a sophomore at the high school.
He was transported from the Murrysville Police Department by police car, and reportedly taken to a local hospital for superficial wounds, and then returned.
Investigators haven’t determined a motive, but Seefeld said they’re looking into reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student the night before. Seefeld didn’t specify whether the suspect reportedly received or made the call.
Jeff Dahlke with the security company who provides security for Franklin Regional High School says the suspect was armed with two knives.
“The alarm went off, and students started rushing outside, the security guard outside rushed in, and came upon his supervisor, and a vice principal who had the suspect in custody on the ground and was trying to control him, and try to get the weapons away from him,” Dahlke said.
Police say that security guard was stabbed in the abdomen.
Two student victims were in critical condition, according to Dr. Mark Rubino of Forbes Regional Medical Center.
The CEO of Forbes Hospital tells KDKA’s Heather Abraham that one-student applied pressure to an injured classmate, possibly saving student’s life.
Several local hospitals report patients were taken to their hospitals. Here is the breakdown of victims.
–8 at Forbes Regional Hospital
–5 at UPMC East
–4 at UPMC Children’s Hospital
–1 at UPMC Mercy
–1 at UPMC Presby
–1 at Allegheny General Hostpital
Hospital officials say patients range from 15-to-60-years old.
UPMC Presby says the 17-year-old male student they have there is in critical condition with chest and abdominal injuries.
According to a witness, the stabbings happened in the science wing of the building.
“One of the students pulled the alarm, my daughter said, after the incident happened to clear the school. She reported to me it was a 10th grade student,” parent Tim Graham told KDKA.
The chief said someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm after seeing some of the victims being stabbed. Although that created chaos, he said, it also resulted in students running out of the school to safety faster than they might have otherwise.
“The fire alarm being pulled probably assisted with the evacuation of the school and that was a good thing that that was done,” Seefeld said.
Several students tell us that Franklin Regional student Nate Scimio pulled the fire alarm and was stabbed.
Franklin Regional School District says the high school will be closed for the next few days, but the middle school and elementary school will be open tomorrow.
Westomreland County Public Safety spokesman Dan Stevens said, “We haven’t lost a life. That’s what we have to keep in mind.”
Governor Tom Corbett issued a statement that reads:
“I was shocked and saddened upon learning of the events that occurred this morning as students arrived at Franklin Regional High School. As a parent and grandparent, I can think of nothing more distressing than senseless violence against children. My heart and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.”
“I have directed the Pennsylvania State Police to assist local law enforcement in its investigation in any way possible. Other state resources will be made available to the community, if needed. I assure the citizens of Murrysville that they have the full support of my administration.”