Gun Control Fallacy


The present occupant of the White House and his administration have taken it upon themselves to attempt the creation of a safe society.  They have given us platitudes.  They have given us Executive Actions that make those that are gullible enough warm and fuzzy.  What they haven’t done is think.  They have allowed their knees to dictate actions, not honest and sincere thought processes.  They also haven’t done research as to what gun controls will produce.

Sandy Hook was truly a horrific event.  I can’t begin to imagine the heartbreak of the parents let alone the general public.  But to use the event as an agenda pusher; use children as pawns in pushing this gun control agenda; is sick by any definition. Gun controls; punishing law abiding citizens for owning any type of weapon; is going to do nothing to stop hard-core criminals and the mentally unstable from killing people.

In the wake of all the talk about assault weapons, the FBI’s own statistics seem to have been ignored.  Assault weapons are such a small percentage of violent crimes its almost not worth mentioning http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/violent-crime/violent-crime.  This same report breaks down many other factors on crime and it might be worth your time and effort to read the report.  There is nothing there that supports the mass hysteria that is now permeating society.  This hysteria is being fed fuel from knuckleheaded, featherbrained politicians as well as the MSM.

Now, as far as having the CDC do research on violent crimes and the relationship to guns, that’s old news.  In 1978, then President Jimmy Carter gave a grant to James Wright and others to do research on gun control laws and its effectiveness in curbing violent crimes.  The resulting study came to the general conclusion that to think controls will reduce the type of crime such as Sandy Hook was sophistic at best.  There have been other studies as well that in general, support this thought.  The underlying premise in all of these studies is that the more you restrict law-abiding citizens ownership of guns, the more guns the criminals will have.

Finally, the 2nd Amendment.  Knee-jerking liberals and others like them will constantly use the statement that “…why do you need an AR-15 to hunt deer?”  That statement itself is sophistic and shows that the speaker knows absolutely nothing about the 2nd Amendment.  The 2nd Amendment was written to allow citizens to protect themselves from tyrants, both foreign and domestic.  In other words, to protect ourselves from a government that wants to take our rights away and has a military or others, with great firepower, to do so.  The American Revolution actually started because British soldiers were attempting to disarm the citizens, thus the 2nd Amendment.

Dont’ let the politicians do your thinking.  Think for yourself.  Research information on how gun controls only hurt the law-abiding citizen.  Then tell Washington to take their gun controls and put them in a dark place and start doing rational thinking that will produce something that resembles intelligent results. 

References:

http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/KesslerReview2.html

http://customcollegeessays.com/samples/gun-control-research-paper.html

http://www.guncite.com/journals/krealsym.html

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/public_interest/detail/second-thoughts-about-gun-control

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White House Chief of Staff Makes “Misleading” Statement


See the link below.  This is just another example of the nonsense that comes out of the White House; and liberals as well.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/jack-lews-misleading-claim-about-the-senates-failure-to-pass-a-budget-resolution/2012/02/12/gIQAs11z8Q_blog.html

Wow…and this guy is the COS for Obama?  Even the Washington Post threw the BS flag on this one!  How many others working for POTUS are as uninformed about how government works?  Is Jack Lew really that stupid or is he just a plain old liar?  If a liar, how many other lies have come out of the White House?  If he’s just plain stupid about how things work, how many others are?  You know what the big problem is?  There are enough people out there that will fall down on their knees and worship these words as gospel…and we allow these sheep and lemmings to put these kinds of people in office.  And then we get a mealy-mouthed explanation from a White House official;  “The Chief of Staff was clearly referencing the general gridlock in Congress that makes accomplishing even the most basic tasks nearly impossible given the Senate Republicans’ insistence on blocking an up or down vote on nearly every issue.”  If you are going to reference something, then do so, don’t make up something to make you, your party, or the President look good to those non-thinking, non-questioning people that vote you.

This is what angers me, sometimes as much from the right as it is from the left, that these people open their mouths and spew out words, never stopping to think about the truth of what they say.  Truth no longer counts, only winning; at any cost.  And in this case, if the Republicans did block this budget, I’d be more than happy!  $4 trillion more to the debt?  And we are supposed to roll over and say amen?  You bet it should be blocked; and anyone that says it is a good thing to add another $4 trillion to the debt should take serious stock in their thought process…or move to Greece.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Constitution


An article came across my email today and the headline jumped out at me,”Supreme Court Justice: U.S. Constitution Inferior“.  Now, needless to say, this caught my attention so I followed the link and read the article.  It seemed to be one sided so I decided to do a search on this topic and found two more articles that approached this in different ways.  If you take the time to read the above link, you’ll see it’s from a viewpoint that is very “right”.  The next two links could be considered “left” and “center”.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-egypt_n_1248527.html

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/ruth-bader-ginsburg-to-egypt-dont-use-our-constitution-as-a-guide/

Once I had read all three, I remembered my earlier post about an informed citizenry and that making sure we get the complete picture, at least as complete as possible, is very important in decision making.  These three articles are a prime example of how the information we recieve is so broken down into attention grabbing “sound bites”, that get an immediate reaction from us, that we forget to do our “due diligence” in researching.

Please, those that occasionaly stop by and read my musings; do your research before allowing your emotions to make decisions for you that you may regret soon after.  Become an informed citizenry.

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2011 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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“Occupy Wall Street Crowd Blind to Benefits of Capitalism”


 Below is a comment from Gary Wolfram of Hillsdale College concerning the OWS demonstrations happening across the country.  The reason I post this is that Gary makes very good points about the essence of capitalism.  He doesn’t necessarily say it is fair but he does point out that without market capitalism, we wouldn’t have the things that we do now, and that we take for granted. He states that it is the only system that provides the ability to live a lifestyle that others never get a chance to know.  Notice I said ‘ability to’.  Market capitalism allows anyone to increase their human capital as well as their finanicial capital, but not everyone takes advantage of that. 

The OWS crowd would have you believe that the big money makers have, by themselves, put us in the finanical situation this country is in yet they are more than willing to take advantage of what market capitalism and the big money makers have created for them.  Gary Wolfram brings this out.  The original post can be seen at this link: http://givemeliberty.org/forums/index.php?/topic/821-hillsdale-college-in-the-news/.

I hope this makes you think about market capitalism in a different light.  

“Occupy Wall Street Crowd Blind to Benefits of Capitalism”

By Gary Wolfram
William Simon Professor of Economics and Public Policy
Hillsdale College

Whenever I watch media coverage of another Occupy Wall Street event I am reminded of an exchange between Jewish protesters in the 1979 Monte Python movie Life of Brian. One of the protesters asks another what the Romans have brought to the area and the conversation goes like this:

Question: All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Answer: Brought peace?
Response: Oh, peace – shut up!

The point is that the Roman institutions brought a good deal to the area that was being overlooked by the protesters. The Wall Street protesters, in their hatred of capitalism, overlook things including the fact that over the last 100 years capitalism has reduced poverty more and increased life expectancy more than in the 100,000 years prior.

Every semester I ask my students: “What would you rather be? King of England in 1263 or you?” Turns out, students would rather be themselves. They enjoy using their iPhone, indoor plumbing, central heating, refrigerators and electric lighting. All of these things are available to the average person in America today and none of them were available to the aristocracy when the West operated under the feudal system.
 
How is it that for thousands of years mankind made very little progress in increasing the standard of living and yet today half of the goods and services you use in the next week did not exist when I was born? It wasn’t that there was some change in the DNA such that we got smarter. The Greeks knew how to make a steam engine 3,000 years ago and never made one. The difference is in how we organize our economic system. The advent of market capitalism in the mid 18th century made all of the difference.

We need not just rely on historical data. Look at cross-section evidence. I try another experiment with my students. I tell them they are about to be born and they can choose whatever country in the world they would like to be born in. The only caveat is they will be the poorest person in that country. Every student picks a country that is primarily organized in a market capitalist system. No one picks a centrally planned state. No one says, “I want to be the poorest person in North Korea, Cuba, or Zimbabwe,” countries which are at the bottom of the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom.
 
What does it mean to be poor in our capitalist society that the Occupy Wall Street crowd so hates? Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has several studies of those classified as poor by the U.S. Census Bureau. He found that 80 percent of poor persons in the United States in 2010 had air conditioning, nearly three quarters of them had a car or truck, nearly two-thirds had satellite or cable television, half had a personal computer and more than two-thirds had at least two rooms per person.
 
Contrast this with what it means to be poor in Mumbai, India, a country that is moving rapidly towards market capitalism but was burdened for decades with a socialist system. A recent story in The Economist described Dharavi, a slum in Mumbai, where for many families half of the family members must sleep on their sides in order for the entire family to squeeze into its living space.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has shown a lack of understanding of how the market capitalist system works. They appear to think that the cell phones they use, food they eat, hotels they stay in, cars they drive, gasoline that powers the cars they drive and all the myriad goods and services they consume every day would be there under a different system, perhaps in more abundance.

But there is no evidence this could be or ever has been the case. The reason is that only market capitalism solves the two major problems that face any economy-how to provide an incentive to innovate and how to solve the problem of decentralized information. The reason there is so much innovation in a market system compared to socialism or other forms of central planning is that profit provides the incentive for innovators to take the risk needed to come up with new products.
 
My mother never once complained that we did not have access to the latest Soviet washing machine. We never desired a new Soviet car. The socialist system relies on what Adam Smith referred to as the benevolent butcher and while there will undoubtedly be benevolent butchers out there, clearly a system that provides monetary rewards for innovators is much more dynamic and successful. The profit that the Occupy Wall Street protesters decry is the reason the world has access to clean water and anti-viral drugs.

The other major problem that must be solved by any economic system is how to deal with the fact that information is so decentralized. There is no way for a central planner to know how many hot dogs 300 million Americans are going to want at every moment in time. A central planner cannot know the relative value of resources in the production of various goods and services. Market capitalism solves that problem through the price system. If there are too few hot dogs, the price of hot dogs will rise and more hot dogs will be produced. If too many hot dogs are produced, the price of hot dogs will fall and fewer will be produced.
 
Market capitalism is the key to the wealth of the masses. As Ludwig von Mises wrote in his 1920 book, Socialism, only market capitalism can make the poor wealthy. Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek in his famous 1945 paper, The Use of Knowledge in Society, showed that only the price system in capitalism can create the spontaneous order that ensures that goods will be allocated in a way that ensures consumers determine the use of resources. The Occupy Wall Street movement would make best use of its time and energy in protesting the encroachment of the centrally planned state that led to the disaster of the Soviet Union, fascist Germany, and dictatorial North Korea.

This article was originally posted at the Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute blog.

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How To Grow the Economy


Below is a post from a friend of mine, John Gessner in Couer d’Alene, ID.  He hits the economy nail square on the head.  The math is so simple it’s ridiculous.  Maybe, just maybe, a liberal or two will see the light.  This goes for conservatives also that like to think the rich are bad.  Thanks John…I appreciate your candor.

“There are three ways to balance a budget:

 1. Spend less + tax less

2. Tax more – spend more

3. Grow the economy.

 

#1:  Leaves the money in the economy and leaves it up to businesses and consumers.

#2:  Takes money out of the economy and puts it back in targeted projects.

#3:  Results from one of the above.

I’m pretty sure you would choose #2 (a perfectly good choice for an espoused liberal). I don’t believe that works very well (if at all) because it’s like giving a man a fish – tomorrow he’ll be hungry. You have to keep pumping the money into projects year after year AND the party in power uses money collected from EVERYBODY to pursue their own pet projects (the Dems funnel money to the unions and social programs – the Republicans funnel money to the military)

I believe leaving the money in the economy is the best route, #1 – let the greedy people make more  millions by hiring as many workers as they need (rich people didn’t get rich on their own – one person doesn’t often make  millions w/o minions). When the economy picks up, worker bees will have more choices and will be able to change jobs if they don’t like the job they have or aren’t getting paid enough.

Rich people buy things like boats, houses, football teams, $10,000 shower curtains, etc. all of that creates jobs.

Rich people put money in banks – banks loan money (if the economy doesn’t suck) to poorer people to buy homes, buy cars, start businesses (so that they, with luck and/or skill, can become rich people).

Rich people invest in stock in existing and startup companies that employ people.

Rich people donate huge amounts of money to their pet causes (colleges, hospitals, etc.)

Teach a man how to be a rich person and he’ll eat well for the rest of his life!

I, personally, hope, one day to be a rich person, with thousands of employees that buy houses, cars, boats, burgers, etc.  Employees that save their money for college for their kids and to start their own businesses, quit the jobs I gave them, and go on to be rich people in their own rights.

Just sayin’

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Texas…The Right Way to Govern


Governor Rick Perry seems to showing the rest of the country how to actually govern and how to create jobs. He’s not in the race just yet but if he should decide to enter, it would not surprise me that he gets some strong support. Take a look at two short editorials, one by Michael Reagan and one by the Washington Times.  Both show that with less government, economies can and will grow.  Even with the results so blatantly obvious in Texas, and California coming to Texas to find out how it works, the progressives in D.C. continue to play the class warfare game.  Oh, when will they ever learn?  Well, probably never, since they can’t realize a world that exists without them and their ‘we know better than you’ attitudes.

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!  It’s either socialism or capitalism!  Which do you want?

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Justice Stephen Breyer’s Discussion on Making Democracy Work


I’ve been watching a video, on the Forum Network, of Justice Stephen Breyer discussing his views of on how democracy works. In the first 20 minutes (it’s an hour plus) he has pointed out things that in all honesty I hadn’t considered, one being that the Supreme Court will hold up, and reject laws that are both good and bad. Justice Breyer is very candid in stating that the Justice’s are fallible people and will make mistakes, much like the rest of us. He does inject some humor concerning Congress, and I have to give him credit for that.

Justice Breyer states that Justices are junior varsity politicians and as such, are terrible politicians. That is a refreshing line of thinking coming from a sitting supreme court judge. He also talks about ‘originalism’; the view some have taken regarding what the original writers of the constitution meant. One thing that Justice Breyer speaks about is how we take values, that are permanent, and in the constitution, and try to apply them to circumstances that do.

I think that regardless of your political leanings, this discussion sheds some light on how the Supreme Court works and why. You might not agree with everything he says, but Justice Breyer is very candid about the court, about the constitution and what it was meant to be and how it is to be used, and just the general workings of the democratic process.

The link below will take you to the video. Listen with an open mind then make your own decision. I look forward to any comments.

http://forum-network.org/lecture/justice-stephen-breyer-making-our-democracy-work

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Jill Lepore’s Thoughts on Political Speech


Earlier this month,Jill Lepore wrote an op-ed in the New York Times asking the question “What Thomas Jefferson Would Say”. The opening question is directed at political speech and does it incite political violence. The question itself is good in … Continue reading

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An Informed Citizenry Will Benefit From Applying Both Creative and Critical Thinking In Solving The Challenges Of Our Society


This is an essay I wrote for a college class and felt that it should be given the opportunity to be read by others.  It is based on what seems to be the norm today; that we do not think for ourselves but allow others to think for us then react as they would have us do.  When you read this, take a few moments and see if you are part of the norm or are one that can and will think, decide, and act according to your own will.

I believe that most people would take the essay statement’s base premise that being informed is the best way to approach, and possibly produce, a solution to the challenges of our society as a true statement. The operative words ‘creative thinking’ and ‘critical thinking’ are what put action into the statement and are the key to any benefits that might be observed from the action. Before any discussion can be made concerning the benefits received by an informed citizenry, I think it would be prudent to define the terms state above. Without definitions as a background, we may take off on tangents that get away from the core statement.

Let’s look at the beginning of the statement; “An informed citizenry…” What does it mean to be informed? One definition of informed is having sufficient and sufficiently reliable information or knowledge to be able to understand a subject or situation and make appropriate judgments or decisions regarding it. It would then follow that an informed citizenry would be those that search for information, digest it, and actively participate in society putting their knowledge to a good collective use.

This citizenry now puts their knowledge to good collective use by creative and critical thinking. Dr. Edward de Bono states that creative thinking is, “looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unorthodox solutions (though these solutions may be unsettling at first)”. The definition for critical thinking could be stated as disciplined intellectual criticism that combines research, knowledge of historical context, and balanced judgment.

As individuals, and as a group, we have challenges daily. Individually, we look at the challenge, determine its cause (informed) and develop a means to solve it (creative and/or critical thinking). In a group situation, we approach the challenge in the same manner, but now we take input from the group, choose the best ideas, and apply them. In both circumstances, new ideas may have been voiced and possibly used, the challenge is solved and both the individual and the group have gained some kind of benefit.

As an informed citizenry, we need to take the same approach with the challenges we face as a society, largely now couched in the political arena. The challenge here is to overcome the bitter bi-partisan government-knows-best attitudes of our elected officials and attempt to put at least a modicum of civility and intelligence back into all political discussions. In so doing, we may plant the seed for more cordial and beneficial activity.

This doesn’t mean that bi-partisanship will disappear, but at least discussions would hopefully revolve around the matter at hand and not solely on ideals. It wasn’t until this last election that a small group of citizens finally began to notice how the government spent our money. Through some research as well as some critical and creative thinking, this citizenry developed a loosely knit organization (Tea Party) that, as they coalesced, forced a big change in make-up of congress as well as the thinking of our leaders. It was time to remind our leaders that we are a democratic republic and that they work for us, not us for them.

This was an example of an informed citizenry applying critical and creative thinking to determine how to address the challenge of a bigger and more costly government. I would hesitate to say that there were not plenty of new ideas presented and that even if they weren’t accepted at the time, the grain of a thought was planted. Were there benefits to the citizenry from this group addressing the challenge from an informed position? I would say yes, that the immediate, though maybe not recognized benefit, is the citizens of the country seeing that we, the people, do have the power to alter the direction our leaders are taken.

An indirect benefit will be, regardless of anyone’s political affiliation, that the citizenry has taken a big step to what can be euphemized as taking back some small amount of control of our government. It may be difficult for some to realize that not all benefits are realized immediately but as we move through the coming elections, we may just see our leaders begin to actually listen to us and sincerely try to meet our needs. Another indirect benefit will be that discussions, though still partisan, will be more likely to involve honest discussion of topics instead of blaming. The challenge will always be there and as long as the citizenry stays informed, by means of the internet, multiple print sources and open discussion, we will benefit.

Having now stated my thoughts on how an informed citizenry can benefit from creative and critical thinking, I will state that it is imperative we as citizens stay informed and do not allow others to think for us. Kennedy Javuru stated succinctly that “A functioning democracy needs an informed citizenry. Providing citizens with adequate information on priorities, programs and activities ensures not only the legitimacy of a government, but also institutes regimes of transparency and accountability.” (Media and Democracy, October 15, 2010). Stay informed and governments will be accountable.

I have been informed that students are plagiarizing this post.  I must state that any writer worth his or her salt will appropriately cite any information taken from this post.  It is incumbent upon the writer to use their own words and where others’ statements are used, appropriately cite those words.  When you plagiarize my post, or the words and thoughts of anyone, you are showing yourself to be part of the ‘norm’ and not capable of either creative or critical thinking.  Regarding the title of my post, should Professors have this title as a research assignment, I would think it is incumbent upon them to instruct their class as to the nature of this post and that any sign of plagiarism would be dealt with appropriately. 

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