Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Gun Debate (Here We Go Again)

The horrific events of last week in Connecticut notwithstanding, there are facts that cannot be ignored.

One trained person with a firearm inside that school could have saved lives.  I find it interesting that there are dozens of fire extinguishers in every school and yet I can't recall the last time students were killed in a school fire.  I suspect there are licensed concealed firearm holders on the staff at that school, just like the ones who were present at Virginia Tech.  Unfortunately, they were not allowed to exercise their right to their own personal protection, much less the lives of the students and other faculty.  It's sad that we trust educators with to be responsible adults with their Concealed Handgun Licenses until they step foot on school property.  It's sadder still that we trust teachers with all aspects of our children's lives, but not to protect them when they need it most.

So now the rage is all about increased gun control.  Recent history clearly illustrates that if absolutely restrictive gun laws worked, Chicago would be the safest city in the US.  Indeed, Chicago's homicides outnumber US troop deaths in Afghanistan. Gun control will not solve this problem.  Crazy people control will. The Clinton Assault Weapons Ban went into effect in1994.  How many of these incidents have happened during its time?  To say that guns are the cause of these senseless deaths is to say that spoons made Oprah fat. 

Guns aren't the only or even the most prevalent killer.  The Murrah Federal Building was destroyed and hundreds were killed with common lawn fertilizer. No one seeks to ban fertilizer.  209 children drowned in backyard kiddie pools between 2001 and 2009.  No one seeks to ban kiddie pools. 
5,080 people were killed by automobiles in 2010.  None of these victims were passengers or drivers.  Still, no one Seeks to ban automobiles.  What if the shooter had used a car to mow down a group of kids on the playground?  Would Obama seek to restrict automobile usage?

If drivers are speeding through a 65mph zone at 80mph, lowering the speed limit will not slow them down.   Strict, consistent enforcement of existing laws will almost guarantee compliance.  The same applies to firearm laws.

If people genuinely wanted to protect children in schools, specific staff would be discreetly armed and well trained.  History proves that a "Gun Free Zone" sign will not keep a criminally minded assailant from doing harm any more than a lock on the door would keep a burglar from breaking in.

These are common sense statements to anyone without a hidden agenda.  The hidden agenda is the issue here.  Search who said the quote below and you'll get my point.

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Way To Go Michigan!

Right to work!  Right on!!

Workers in Michigan can now work without being forced to pay union dues if they don't want to join the union.  No longer will they be forced to pay dues that can be used to support political candidates that they don't support. This makes perfect sense to Texans and several other states who have had this basic right for years.  Apparently, it didn't to many union workers and their union management.

The reason is obvious for union management.  Their gravy train might get derailed.  Most union workers have no exposure to the costs associated with the luxury of being in their union because their dues are taken from their paychecks before they ever see them.  I would love to see how many union members would continue to pay their dues if it was not deducted from their checks and they had to actually write a check or hand the cash over to their union reps.  I dare say most all of them would opt out.

The fireworks are just beginning to spark in Michigan, but this is a good start.  I'm holding my breath to see if an activist judge will try to invalidate the State's decision.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The End Is Near!

The news is abuzz with impending doom and the threat of the end of the world.  No, I don't mean December 21st and the Mayan calendar.  I'm referring to December 31st and the so-called fiscal cliff.  I won't bore the enlightened readers here with an explanation of the term.  If you aren't already aware, read up on it here.

For President Obama, this isn't about saving the American economy; nor is it about fairness and protecting the middle class.  This is about Obama getting his way - without compromise.  Some say that the Democrats won the election and such behavior is one of the spoils of victory.

The President had both houses of Congress in 2009 and spent the entire year pushing Obamacare, which was passed without a tax rate hike.  The fact that the President is now proposing significant tax hikes during a recession is a clear indication that he is either clueless about basic economic principals or is just being intellectually dishonest.  Personally, I believe both.  Intellectual honesty and fairness would include a flat tax proposal.  I'm honestly trying to see his point of view on this, but intellectually speaking, I cant get my head that far up my own ass.

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean said the following:  "the truth is everybody needs to pay more taxes, not just the rich. And it’s a good start.  But we’re not going to get out of this deficit problem unless we raise taxes across the board, to go back to what Bill Clinton had and his taxes.  And if we don’t do that, the problem is the pressure is going to be on spending even more.”  I find it interesting that Dean doesn't see spending as the problem now.  Maybe I shouldn't.  I mean after all, Dean is a "progressive" liberal and what we're talking about here is other peoples' money.  Obama's goal is to re-define the middle class, just like he re-defined "millionaires" as people making $250,000 per year.  Rest assured that your support for raising taxes on the evil rich will also be your support for your own tax hikes and you will be reminded of your willingness to ask others to pay their "fair share" when Obama makes the same demand on you.

When it comes to the economic impact of taxes on the economy, Obama and modern liberals sure could learn a great deal from this guy:

Given the acknowledged (by the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office) fact that the revenue collected from the tax hike on "the rich" will only cover eight days of interest on our debt, it's clear that Obama's tax hike is nothing more than class warfare.  No one should be surprised here.  Class warfare was a foundation of both of Obama's Presidential campaigns.  It's a rare example of a politician actually doing what he said he would do.  But I digress.

Obama sent his Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to meet with House of Representative leader John Boehner with a plan to raise taxes now and a promise to find cuts to the budget in "the future".  Does anyone else see the irony in Obama sending Geithner (who failed to pay his own taxes) to pitch a plan to raise ours?  While I trust a Marxist to keep his promise to raise taxes, I do not trust him to actually cut budgets and entitlements.  If you believe these tax hikes will not affect you at your income level, then you were probably naive enough to vote for Obama in the first place.

Imagine two scenarios:
  1. You tell your boss that your spouse refuses to stop spending more money than you earn and you demand he give you a raise.
  2. Your boss tells you that his spouse refuses to stop spending more money than he earns and he has to cut your pay.
Obviously either scenario is bullshit.  Unfortunately, #2 applies to us all.  As long as our government continues to fund pork projects like shrimp on treadmills, robotic squirrel snake bate, and ketchup viscosity comparisons, we can't expect any real fiscal responsibility from Washington DC.  Of course, programs like these have been instituted and overlooked by leaders from both parties for generations.  Only one leader has the authority to go after them now.  But he won't.  Government pork programs employ government workers; union workers.  Union workers are entitlement voters and entitlements are a class warfare stable mate in Obama's political strategy.

In pursuit of reaching a deal, Obama has the Senate but lacks support in the House of Representatives. Republicans need to present a plan; not just respond to Obama's scheme by shaking their heads.  If an alternative plan is proposed, Democrats will have to respond lest they accept responsibility for not reaching a deal before the 31st.  Who am I kidding?  Democrats accepting responsibility for anything is about as likely as Obama releasing his college transcripts.  Nevertheless, I predict John Boehner will fold like a paper doll.  He's demonstrated that he has about as much he has about as much backbone as a bowl of Jello.

I believe the only way America will see any substantially effective cuts is if we let Obama enjoy his victory spoils and allow the U.S. to careen off the fiscal cliff like Thelma and Louise's 1966 Ford Thunderbird.  Will it hurt?  Absolutely.  Will it make a difference?  I believe so.  Politicians from both parties will point fingers at each other but in the end, Americans will remember who was in office when the country took an even steeper nosedive.  Whether they remember by the midterm elections or the 2016 Presidential election is yet to be seen.  I'd like to think that we as a country are bright enough to learn our lesson faster, but then we did reelect Obama in the first place.  Maybe I'm the naive one.