Archive | December, 2012
30 Dec

21 Dec

Excellent reminder of the trouble we are in, and the probability that it will get worse before it gets better.

A Heapin' Plate of Conservative Politics & Religion

By Tom Quiner

1. President Obama’s solution to our deficits and national debt is to increase taxes on productive Americans who earn over $250,000. If he gets his way, how long would these new taxes fund our federal government?

a. 200 years

b. 200 weeks

c. 200 hours

d. 200 seconds

2. How much money will Social Security spend next year, according to SS actuaries?

a. $165 billion less than it takes in (surplus),

b. $16.5 billion less than it takes in (surplus),

c. $16.5 billion more than it takes in (deficit).

3. How much will Medicare spend next year?

a. $1 for every $3 that it collects (surplus),

b. Medicare will break even next year,

c. $3 for every $1 that it collects (deficit).

4. How do government expenditures for 2013’s budget compare to 2008’s?

a. $10 billion more,

b. $100 billion more,

c. $1 trillion more.

5. America…

View original post 267 more words

Use of Guns: A Cause or a Symptom?

19 Dec

Thomas Sowell has once again written an essay in which he uses facts to dissect the gun ownership and control issue.  His latest essay can be found at

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/invincible-ignorance-12-12-18.html

There are countries where a larger proportion of the populace is armed with guns, but where the incidence of murder with guns is far less than in the U.S.

Extracts from Sowell’s essay:

[I]f you look back through history, you will find that Britain has had a lower murder rate than the United States for more than two centuries— and, for most of that time, the British had no more stringent gun control laws than the United States. Indeed, neither country had stringent gun control for most of that time.”

In the middle of the 20th century, you could buy a shotgun in London with no questions asked. New York, which at that time had had the stringent Sullivan Law restricting gun ownership since 1911, still had several times the gun murder rate of London, as well as several times the London murder rate with other weapons. . . . Neither guns nor gun control was the reason for the difference in murder rates. People were the difference.

. . . other countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States, such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico. All of these countries have higher murder rates than the United States.

You could compare other sets of countries and get similar results. Gun ownership has been three times as high in Switzerland as in Germany, but the Swiss have had lower murder rates. Other countries with high rates of gun ownership and low murder rates include Israel, New Zealand, and Finland.

Guns are not the problem. People are the problem— including people who are determined to push gun control laws, either in ignorance of the facts or in defiance of the facts.

Places and times with the strongest gun control laws have often been places and times with high murder rates. Washington, D.C., is a classic example, but just one among many.

When it comes to the rate of gun ownership, that is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole, hand gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.

[End of excerpts]

Honestly, although I support the Second Amendment, I’ve never seen the need for private citizens to own assault weapons, and if such weapons are laying around, some monsters or mentally-deranged persons are going to get their hands on some.  So why not make it really tough for private citizens to acquire them.

On the other hand, there seems to be a great deal of statistical evidence pointing us toward the cause of too many Americans working out their issues by murdering people – the problem is largely cultural – pure and simple.  Our high murder rate, whether by gun or otherwise, is merely a symptom of a deeper sickness within our society.  But I have little confidence in Biden’s committee to recognize this.

Let’s Hear It for Gun Control!

18 Dec

I am not a rabid fan of guns.  But I do own some, I enjoy shooting them, and, yes, I even use silhouette targets when I go to the firing range.

I swing back and forth in my understanding of the Second Amendment, sometimes interpreting it in the light of “necessary”, “well regulated militias” (which don’t really exist anymore), and sometimes in the light of individual, and not “State” “security” considerations.

However, regardless of how I feel about it, I am reasonably certain that several things will result from federal gun control laws:

1.  They will increase the federal bureaucracy;

2.  The implementation will be inefficient;

3.  They will address the wrong symptoms;

4.  They will, therefore, execute the wrong solution;

5.  They will, therefore, be largely ineffectual;

6.  They will be expanded.

God help us.  We have a growing sickness within our society – a sickness that stems from becoming progressively inured to violence and amorality.  Many influences have been mentioned by columnists, pundits, radio and TV hosts, educators, psychologists, theologians, and dopey politicians (I know that is a redundancy), etc., and they are probably all factors, with a cumulative effect.

I personally think the solution begins by re-emphasizing the importance of family in assuring our nation’s moral and cultural strength and prosperity, and re-instituting shame in bearing children out of a family environment.  But, although millions of Americans might agree, I have near-zero confidence that we will regain our family-focused footing without some cataclysmic national event (probably national bankruptcy) taking place first – and even then, the outcome could go off in any number of ways.

10 Dec

Great restatement of the direction we are headed. But — don’t worry — major celebrations in Washington state re: legalization of gay marriage and marijuana. Good to see we are concerning ourselves with the really important things . . . .

nebraskaenergyobserver

I’ve very little to add to this except to reiterate that when the people have no confidence in the government, it is most likely because the government deserves no ones confidence.

Making Sense, by Michael Reagan

Help us, we’re falling and we can’t get up again.

Once upon a time — in 1988 and 1998 to be exact — the United States was the best country for a baby to be born and raised in, at least according to The Economist magazine.

But the 2013 edition of the magazine’s “where-to-be-born” index has us down at No. 16 — tied with Germany and one spot ahead of the United Arab Emirates.

Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Denmark — nice countries but not exactly world famous as destinations for millions of people seeking opportunity — are ranked 1 through 5.

The Economist’s annual ranking tries to quantify…

View original post 124 more words

Redefining Marriage

5 Dec

A recent e-mail essay from the “pen” of Star Parker, the highly outspoken black conservative.  This essay is titled “Redefining Marriage a sign of a lost society”, and is partly reproduced below.  I believe she states the situation well.

Excerpts:  [Emphasis is mine]

One significant development in the recent election was that voters in four states approved same-sex marriage initiatives. Until now, all previous state referendums to approve same-sex marriage — 32 of them — failed.  .  .  .

According to the [Wall Street] Journal, marriage definition should come from voters, not from court orders. Americans, they argue, have “shown themselves more than capable of changing their views on gay marriage the democratic way.”

In other words, our definition of marriage should follow process, not principle. Let voters decide.  .  .  .

So it is not surprising when liberals, for whom tradition is meaningless, trash once-sacred institutions in favor of impulses of the moment.

But it does surprise me when those whose politics are supposedly right of center, who view America’s founding documents as sacrosanct and give the highest priority to preserving their integrity, are cavalier regarding the integrity of an institution thousands of years older than our Constitution.

But it’s a point of view not uncommon.

In the 1850s, Stephen Douglas proposed solving the dilemma of whether slavery should be permitted in new states by suggesting that they should just vote. What could be more American than submitting the question of slavery to the democratic process of each state?

To this Abraham Lincoln observed: “God did not place good and evil before man telling him to make his choice.  .  .  . “

Lincoln’s rejoinder to the idea of “popular sovereignty” — that states should vote to determine if slavery would be legal — was that there are core truths — truths that define right and wrong, good and evil — that precede the democratic process.

To reject this premise is to buy into moral chaos. Which is what we are approaching today.

The claim that somehow it is a sign of a healthy, free society that by way of the vote we can rewrite our language, our dictionary, our oldest, time-tested traditions is a sign of how lost we are.  .  .  .

As American society has become more self-centered and materialistic, family and marriage have been imploding.

According to the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of American adults were married in 1960. This dropped to 51 percent in 2011.

Marriage and family form the pillar of any healthy society. Marriage is the institution through which children are born and raised and through which time-tested truths and values are transmitted from one generation to the next.

To deal with the crisis of the collapse of family and marriage by redefining what they are is the sign of a society losing its way.

Fortunately, America is still a free country. Individuals can make their own choices about how they choose to live.

But taking personal choices to deviate from our social standards of right and wrong, true and false, and decide to change those truths and standards, so that nothing is any longer considered deviant, is a bridge to nowhere.

[End of Excerpts]