If not now, when?
By The Wizard of Odd
Just like mass murderers, bad ideas need to be stopped before they kill again. And if horrors like the Connecticut schoolhouse massacre cannot shock Americans into addressing a deadly and fundamental element in our pervasive gun culture, then we’re sealing our own fate: these massacres will continue to happen. There are some who assert that the snuffing of a score of innocent lives is an increasingly rare opportunity for Americans to come together, to pray to the same God, to embrace one other under the umbrella of shared values. But there are a few brave souls who dare to think outside the box, to question popular opinion and commonly-accepted wisdom, to speak truth to power and, hopefully, to stifle and discredit the caveman theories that permit these massacres to occur. These courageous few recognize the value of political capital and understand that crisis, by its nature, provides opportunity to affect change for the common good.
Whenever the 2 Amendment is discussed in the public forum, a horde of pious, unhinged, Constitutionally ignorant mouth-breathers can be counted on to storm to the surface and bring an important, intellectual, public policy debate to a mad, emotional boil filled with finger-pointing outrage and impassioned assertions of archaic notions. Logic cannot convince them. Data cannot sway them. They repeat propaganda, propagate insane ideas that endanger themselves along with the rest of us. It’s time that we stop pretending that their passion makes their intentions worthy of consideration. Bad ideas, even if espoused by otherwise decent people, need to be quashed before they turn those decent people into monsters.
What the left has done with “gun control” has made the world more dangerous. Just as their socialists mistake labor as the source of wealth, their gun control advocates mistake guns as the source of violence. This idea has broadly affected public policy to the point that no public building (including schoolhouses) permit guns. More perniciously, gun control advocates have ignited and fanned the flames of a panicked anti-gun culture. They’ve impacted the zeitgeist by promoting fear. One of the direct effects of their fear mongering is a less armed and less educated-about-arms populace. Put simply, their gun control zealotry has made the world more dangerous.
Though madmen are ultimately responsible for their acts of violence, gun control wackaloons have been a force-multiplier for the madness of madmen. Imagine an America without leftist, anti-gun propaganda. If America had a healthier gun culture, crazies like Jared Loughner and Adam Lanza would only get a few shots off before they were gunned down themselves. Actually, in a healthier gun culture in which more Americans were armed in public, Loughner and Lanza might respond to that disincentive, find another outlet for their madness and their atrocities could be wholly prevented.
In short, guns aren’t the pathogen of madness and violence. Guns are the antiseptic for madness and the cure for violence. They are an equalizing force between the genders and a pacifying force for civilization (especially in cities that promote shall issue conceal/carry laws.)
Our gun culture needs to change. On the surface, the gun control argument is embarrassingly stupid. It’s caveman-thought – like banning fire because it has the potential to burn. In practice, gun control exacerbates the violence it hopes to prevent. It promotes the disarming of the American public. That’s like outlawing vaccines for public health. We need to stop trying to find middle ground with these nitwits. In the interest of political amity, lawmakers have endangered American citizens, both through bad legislation and by permitting anti-gun imbecility to infect our culture.
Like guns, madness cannot be eradicated. But it can certainly be truncated. A well-armed citizenry with a healthier gun culture would severely limit and likely prevent future massacres.
The right to bear arms was instituted because Americans trusted the individual American’s decency and instinct for self-preservation more than they trusted the government. That dynamic shouldn’t change.
I’ve never dedicated a column before, but inspiration must be credited. This column is dedicated to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner for her reflexive, ignorant, grossly political and painfully insipid commentary in a moment that could have been unifying and didn’t deserve to be tainted by her bad taste and silly ideas.
Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There
The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.
These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by Rutger Bregman
… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.
Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry
In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.
To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.
But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.
But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…
The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.
Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:
Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:
The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.
Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.
Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!
I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.
After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.
The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.
But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.
Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.
In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.
Your most humble and obedient,
… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.
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