Saturday, December 29, 2012

Solving Gun Violence

A tragic and horribly misplaced approach of today's liberal and progressive leaders is to blame inanimate objects or cultural attitudes or corporations (which today's liberals see as inanimate objects) or, rarely, government for any and all of today's ills.  But we avoid any assignment of personal responsibility at all costs. Even if the cost is in human lives.

Gun deaths and gun violence is no exception.

First we blame the guns themselves.  And, of course that allows us to blame the NRA. From there it's easy to blame the gun manufacturers, gun sellers and gun owners (as a group, of course, and primarily if they're legal, registered gun owners).

Quickly we blame lax gun laws, gun shows and gun registration.  We blame large ammunition clips and semi-automatic weapons.

Next we blame the lack of jobs, poverty in general, or as Reverend Jessie Jackson did this week, a "lack of dreams."

Curiously we don't blame Hollywood or the media culture of violence very often. I'm guessing that's because many of the people in Hollywood are wealthy liberals who contribute verbally and, rather rarely, financially to our causes.  Best not bite the hand that feeds. But that's a very minor side point.

But we avoid any assignment of personal responsibility.  We do not, under any circumstances blame personal lifestyles, personal choices or personal decisions. We never allow any blame that would insult or hurt an individual or the choices they have made or failed to make.

If a person drops out of school, that's the school's fault. A school system is a great inanimate object.  But we never blame the teachers, or even dare to measure a teacher's ability or success.  That's personal and we don't do personal.

Because of our tragically failed approach to problems we have the great tragedy of gun violence in our society.  And the iconic symbol of our failure in curbing gun violence is not Newtown, Connecticut, but Chicago Illinois.

Chicago had 500 hundred murders this year, 87.5% of which were "gun related."  And they took place in city with the tightest, toughest gun laws in America.  Babies, children, teen and adults were all killed, with the toughest gun laws in place.

Did you realize that virtually no murders are committed by people with "concealed carry" permits? Nationally. Almost none. It turns out that murders are committed by criminals.  Who knew?

I personally have no problem with tougher gun laws.  I believe some new gun laws will emerge from Congress this next year and they'll have my strong personal support.  They won't solve any problems, but my fellow liberal will feel better.

But no gun law currently being proposed or discussed will prevent the tragedy in Newtown or reduce murders in Chicago (or anywhere else).

Both Ann Coulter and the vilified NRA know exactly how to stop future Newtown's from happening.  We will condemn them with our strongest voices of righteous indignation. We will call them "racists" and "neanderthals" and then we will quickly and quietly implement their solutions because they are right. Curiously, Ann Coulter is almost always right.

And Larry Elder knows how to solve the poverty problem, which does lead directly to the gun and gang violence in Chicago.  Our problem is that, as liberals, we've decided to take personal responsibility off the table and, therefore we cannot consider Elder's solutions.  Let me print some of what Elder has to say:

“To avoid poverty, UCLA public policy professor James Q. Wilson said that everyone — not just blacks — must do three things: finish high school, don’t become a parent until at least the age of twenty, and get married before having a child. Do this and you will not be poor,” 
Elder said. “I once asked Kweisi Mfume, then the head of the NAACP the following question: ‘As between the presence of white racism and the absence of black fathers, which poses the bigger threat to the black community.’ He immediately responded, ‘The absence of black fathers.’ Screaming about racism won’t solve this problem.”
“And if every white person, as my friend Walter Williams likes to say, suddenly became as pure as Mother Teresa, the problem of a 50 percent urban high school drop out rate would remain,” he added.
I want to be clear. I favor gay and lesbian marriage.  But Elder is right, we need two parent families.  Two men, two women or a man and women, I don't care.  But marriage need to occur before childbirth.  And life long commitment is a key.

Poverty rarely occurs in two parent families.  School drop-outs are reduced, too. Be honest, a single parent doesn't have the time or financial resources to attend school meetings, join the PTA and lead fund drives for more resources.  They often don't have the time to help with homework.

Poor single parents are good people, but they are handicapped  financially and functionally.  They love their kids, but they are stressed to the limit.

We cannot and must not legislate marriage. But, as a society, we need to realize strong family units are a key to a healthy society.  And, as liberals, we must look beyond the inanimate and toward the personal if we are truly to make an impact and begin to actually solve problems.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Thelma and Louise

Are we going to the edge of the cliff? Or are we going to go, full throttle, over the edge?

I've already stated it is best for the country if we pull a full Thelma and Louise and sail right over the edge.  If somehow you don't know the Thelma and Louise reference, please go rent, borrow or buy the excellent movie.  While it will teach you only a little about economics, it will teach you a great deal about humanity.

Indeed, what's happening in Washington is mostly "theater." We have players acting on the stage to impress the audience.   Both House Speaker Boehner and President Obama are striving for an Academy Award.  They want to win.  Neither actually wants whats best for the American People, the economy or the future.

These are small men with small minds and smaller hearts.  There's no Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in this bunch.  And that is a shame.  Like Thelma and Louise, we deserve better.

Kathleen Parker wrote an excellent piece about President Obama and Speaker Boehner yesterday.  I urge you to read the entire article, but here is a small excerpt:

The cliff negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have taken on the aspect of a game of chicken. Boehner needs spending cuts; Obama needs revenue. America needs both.
Who will blink first before we plummet off the edge into automatic tax increases for all, government spending cuts and a probable recession? 
After so many years of partisan intransigence, it's easy enough to assume that all parties are equally guilty, but this time Obama is driving the herd. Elections have consequences, as the president keeps reminding us. By this, he apparently means that he will have things his way, the rest of the country be damned.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Happy Holidays! Here's President Obama's Gift to You

You Owe $51,252.21.  That is your personal share of the National Debt.  If you have a son or daughter, they each owe the exact same amount.

As a Nation we owe $16,353,231,308,750.00 at this second.  By the time you read this it will be more.

Tomorrow, we all will owe more.

When President Obama and his family return from their taxpayer paid $4 million vacation to Hawaii we all will owe more.

Leadership in Washington, D.C. does not exist today.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The World is NOT Coming to an End

TODAY'S HEADLINE:  Fiscal Cliff Talks Frozen

Two thoughts.  First and, by far, most important: If Congress fails to act the world will not come to an end.  Far from it. In fact I believe the complete failure of talks is the optimal outcome.  We need to aggressively deal with the national debt. This is the only approach that does that.

I am confident the economy will not go into recession.  In fact, I predict with confidence, it will improve.  After all Nancy Pelosi's $800 million dollar stimulus had no effect on the economy.  Neither will this tax increase coupled with the minor spending reduction.

This is much ado about nothing.

Second, in spite of my bold suggestion we allow the tax cuts to expire and the spending cuts to take effect, neither will happen.  Compromise will be reached.