VDH’s latest column, a profound indictment of the hypocrisy of much of our contemporary culture, has stirred a sense of anger inside me that I haven’t felt for a while. Maybe it’s VDH’s mastery of the art of juxtaposition, but I know of no starker picture of the difference between liberal theory and practice than his latest piece. It is a brief but devastating disrobing of our hollow culture. Are you angry after reading it? Good.
I mention it for two reasons:
(1) It is not mentioned enough.
(2) Lifestyle Liberalism (a.k.a. Limousine Liberalism, Bollinger Bolshevism, MasterCard Marxism) is now the dominant strain of progressivism. It is, quite simply, the striving to make oneself appear hip in order to achieve social status. That’s it. It is, psychologically and sociologically, a very simple concept. Say what you will about the Old Left, at least they tried to practice what they preached. Many donned Mao tunics and eschewed “bourgeois” lifestyle. Many actually were poor. Now it’s the complete opposite: in order to be “downtrodden” you must try very, very hard to appear so. You must be fashionably unfashionable, richly impoverished, powerlessly empowered, rebelliously trendy. You must become an expert on racial statistics, but never wander into Detroit, Inglewood, or Newark. You must live in Brooklyn, but in Carroll Gardens, not Brownsville. You must hate Christianity but write your master’s thesis on the awesome tradition of the black church. You must wear a keffiyeh but have bought it from Urban Outfitters, not a shack in Marrakech. You must hate affluence more than poverty, all the while affecting to believe the opposite, while using the fruits of the former to create a commodified version of the latter.
Well, we humans are rather primitive. Nobody wants to feel ostracized, so you do what you must in order to remain part of an in-group. This includes mouthing all the right slogans. The average college student is deathly afraid of disagreeing with his radical classmates and professors. If he does, he might not get the girls, he might fail the course, etc. The impulses for going along with absurd claptrap are mostly sexual in nature. Don’t agree? You’re not hip. Not hip? No status. No status? No sex.
This started in the 1960s at the universities and has trickled down to pretty much every corner of contemporary Western society. Universities are hellholes. The atmosphere of most humanities classrooms is as close to the feeling of being in Pyongyang as you’re likely to get in the United States. Everyone is on edge, petrified of saying the wrong thing. Even mildly dissenting opinions must be cloaked in the language of radical chic. Free speech means freely agreeing with the professor. But it is no longer just in the universities. American culture is fast becoming a very large classroom.
Regardless of what people actually think of radical chic, they go along with it in varying degrees in order not to be consigned to the margins of society. Czeslaw Milosz called this socio-political phenomenon “ketman.” I call it tragedy.
While Sandy Hook Elementary gives the Obama administration emotional fuel to promote a gun ban, government data show that civilian rifle ownership and murders with rifles have little in common.
The following graphs resulted from collating data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, and Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms. Between 1991 and 2011, civilian rifle ownership increased from an estimated 74 million to 112 million (51% growth). During that same period, the number of rifle homicide victims declined 57% (see graph below).
(Spearman’s rho equals -0.87, a strong negative correlation: more rifles, less homicide with rifles.)
Examining rates better compares growth in both gun ownership and population. The following graph compares the rate of victims shot with rifles (per 100,000 population) versus the rate of civilian rifle ownership (per 1,000 population for a more usable number). The rifle ownership rate increased 22% between 1991 and 2011, while the rifle homicide rate decreased 65%.
(Spearman’s rho equals -0.89, a strong negative correlation: higher rifle ownership, lower rifle homicide rate.)
In terms of crime data, the effective years for the Clinton “assault weapons” ban (banning scary-looking semi-automatic rifles) were 1995 through 2004. (September 13, 1994, was the enactment date, including over two-thirds of the FBI’s 1994 crime data; same for the sunset year, September 13, 2004.)
Focusing only on the three years following the ban’s sunset — and ignoring two spikes during the ban plus the increased rate right before the ban’s end — might make a case to low-information voters that the gun ban worked. But the longer the trend, the more reliable the result. Looking at time periods before, during, and after the Clinton ban show its questionable impact on murderers using rifles: While rifle homicide rates declined 45% during the 10-year ban period, they continued declining 31% during the 7-year post-ban period (see table below).
There’s no evidence gun bans work. The National Gang Crime Research Center concluded: “Gang members were significantly more likely to report it has been easier since the Brady Bill went into effect to acquire illegal guns.” There’s no evidence a gun ban stymied them, either. Both the Centers for Disease Control and the National Academy of Sciences found no evidence that the Clinton ban impacted crime.
Why, then, the sudden push to ban semi-automatic rifles?
The U.S. Geological Survey released a comprehensive fracking study today showing 127 shallow domestic wells in the Fayetteville Shale natural gas production area of Arkansas caused no groundwater contamination.
Chloride concentrations were not higher in the 2011 samples taken in Van Buren and Faulkner counties than in samples from nearby areas collected from 1951 through 1983.
The USGS admits it’s a study of just one area, but it provides a good measurement for the future.
“None of the data that we have looked at as part of this study suggests that any groundwater contamination is resulting from natural gas production activities,” said USGS hydrologist Tim Kresse. “However, this study does not speak to other wells that were not sampled, every chemical used during the hydraulic fracturing process, or water quality changes that might take longer to occur. It does provide a baseline to use to evaluate any possible changes in the future.”
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who sits on Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) Environment and Public Works Committee, said the study puts a dent in environmentalists’ arguments against fracking.
“The president and his administration have been trying to cripple hydraulic fracturing for years, even though domestic energy production has been one of the only bright spots in our economy, thanks in large part to the utilization of this technology,” Vitter said.
“It’s certainly encouraging to see this positive result from a study using sound and transparent science to draw conclusions instead of ideology,” he added. “The EPA’s mishaps with fabricating evidence in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming caused an unnecessary attack on an effective, efficient and safe method of developing domestic energy. Studies like these from the USGS help set the record straight.”
Vitter wrote President Obama last month to highlight how the UK is moving toward fracking.
“As numerous members of your cabinet and administration look to frustrate and perhaps cripple fracking in the United States, I ask that you take a serious look at the decision the UK made last week to allow fracking,” the senator wrote. “In fact, an analysis of what the unemployment rate in this country would have been over the last four years without fracking is perhaps overdue.”
It was reported yesterday that U.S. oil production exceeded 7 million barrels a day for the first time since March 1993 thanks to the expansion of fracking.
Weston, CT is going for a massive gun registration regime which would do nothing to stop the next mass killer, but would make law-abiding gun owners less safe from irresponsible journalists and whatever you’d call the creeps that work at Gawker.
An ordinance before the Weston Board of Selectmen seeks to ban any assault or automatic weapon, as well as high-capacity magazines, and would also require that any firearm be kept in a locked box. Weston residents also will have to register any firearm with the police chief, including rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers.
“This is not an effort to cause concern for lawful gun owners,” Selectman Dennis Tracey told FoxNews.com. “There’s been significant support for our efforts to re-look at our ordinance, which is over 20 years old and provides insufficient safety measures for our community.”
Under the proposal presented last week, the town would have regulated not just firearms, but other weapons including “long bows, cross bows, slingshots, or other implements that impel with force a projectile if [sic] any kind.”
Presumably including your bare arm, because you can throw stuff, and those Nerf toys that can shoot foam darts. They do make one that could be considered an assault toy. It’s fully automatic too.
They eventually realized that they would have to register an awful lot of things that are not guns, and some things like airsoft guns that are guns but can’t really hurt anyone, and revised the statute. But what’s still on the table is ludicrous. It learns nothing from the antics of the so-called journalists who have turned registration and FOIA against law-abiding citizens, and does not take the natural right to use force in defense of yourself and your family and property into account.
It’s fine to take a look at ideas that might legitimately help stop mass killers, but we’re well into full blown panic, “red scare” mode now. Many responsible gun owners already do keep their hand guns in a safe, but how would police enforce a law requiring it? Would enforcing that law really be a wise use of stretched and finite law enforcement resources? Could you enforce it without creating a police state?
Weston’s selectmen who support this ordinance say they want their law to become the model for the nation. Sane people should hope it fails and goes away quickly. If passed it will only breed distrust of government and, if pushed too far, the word Charles Krauthammer used recently — insurrection.
“The National Rifle Association of America is made up of over 4 million moms and dads, daughters and sons, who are involved in the national conversation about how to prevent a tragedy like Newtown from ever happening again. We attended today’s White House meeting to discuss how to keep our children safe and were prepared to have a meaningful conversation about school safety, mental health issues, the marketing of violence to our kids and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals.
“We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be ‘prejudged,’ this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners – honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works – and what does not.”
The Obama administration has greeted the response to president’s threat of an executive order to bypass Congress and implement gun control measures as reminiscent of dictators, as hysteria.
But such comparisons are not easy to dismiss. Lenin stated “One man with a gun can control 100 without one.” Stalin, his successor declared, “If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.” When the Kulaks refused, Stalin instituted his own “executive order,” and they were helpless as the state mowed them down.
But this disarming of the population was not exclusive to the Russians. Mao Tze Tung declared “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” Fidel Castro sounds eerily like those Americans who state that automatic and semi-automatic weapons are of no use for hunting nor defending their home when he says,”Guns, for what?” in response to the populace’s resistance to his gun control policies.
For those who think it hysterical to even dare to compare these sentiments with liberals, they should consider what has been said. Dianne Feinstein, stated in 1995, years before Newton: “If I could have banned them all – ‘Mr. and Mrs. America turn in your guns’ – I would have!” Then-President Clinton, who would send armed federal troops into the unarmed home of those sheltering Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez, stated in 1993, “We can’t be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.” Attorney General Janet Reno, who would send in black helicopters at the Koresh compound in Waco, Texas, subscribed to a step by step process (to be fair, something Stalin did not do) and was quite clear in her ultimate objective when she said, “Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal.”
Consider the much more honorable people on the other side of the debate. George Washington declared “that a free people should be armed.” Thomas Jefferson echoed this sentiment: “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” James Madison was quite prophetic when he said, “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries (italics mine), whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.”
For those who say that this was another period, when a citizen militia was needed, they should consider another facet of this era. In 17th century America, the British Army, under the Quartering Act, were allowed to camp in colonist’s homes. But weapons of both sides were on a relatively equal footing (muskets, knives, swords, etc). There were no helicopters, no tanks, no bazookas, no snipers on the side of the tyrants. Citizens could truly defend their home. Today the need for private arms is even greater, for potential consequences of governmental invasion of your home is even greater, and under the Patriot Act, you can be arrested and imprisoned without due process.
The Founding Fathers regarded the government as the employee of the people, while Communist dictators saw the individual as the property of the state. One group was concerned with civil liberties; the other regarded such bourgeois rights as impediments. And gun control was their first step.
Something to think about.
For the last year or so, the Catholic church and other organizations, faith-based and secular in their missions, have been battling with the Obama government over its mandate requiring that they pay for abortifacient drugs through their employee insurance plans. The Obama government has met them in court and, other than one meeting with Catholic leadership at the beginning of the fight, told them to talk to its hand. It has not listened to their objections, except to very narrowly allow that actual church staff are exempt. Catholic hospitals must comply. Christian-owned businesses have also had to go to court against the mandate, with varying rates of success. Domino’s Pizza has won so far, as has Tyndale House publishing, but Hobby Lobby has lost. Much time, effort and expense has gone into these battles, on the part of the government and the groups seeking to undo the mandate.
Fast forward to today. Rev. Louie Giglio was slated to deliver the invocation at President Obama’s second inaugural. Think Progress, using the terms “think” and “progress” very loosely, dug up an old quote from a Giglio sermon regarding the gay movement. The quote is neither hateful nor bigoted. It’s actually more nuanced than most things that get said by people on both sides of most issues. It’s far more nuanced than anything that came from, say, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
“We must lovingly but firmly respond to the aggressive agenda of not all, but of many in the homosexual community. … Underneath this issue is a very powerful and aggressive moment. That movement is not a benevolent movement, it is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to family. “
I’ll point out, again, that he said this in the 1990s. Less than a year ago, Barack Obama was against gay marriage but now he is not.
Well, Think Progress highlights the old quote, and, just like that, Giglio is no longer going to be a part of the inauguration.
Both fights have the same trajectory, which is the systematic marginalization of mainstream Christianity, out of the American mainstream. So, for whatever it’s worth, he is at least consistent.
Today’s nomination of White House chief of staff Jack Lew to replace Tim Geithner at the Treasury Department drew some unusual bedfellows together in opposing President Obama’s pick.
“I cannot think of a better person to continue Tim’s work at Treasury than Jack Lew,” Obama said at his early afternoon announcement. “This is bittersweet not only because Tim is leaving, but also because Jack has been my chief of staff for the last year. He was my budget director before that. I trust his judgment. I value his friendship. I know very few people with greater integrity than the man to my left. And so I don’t want to see him go because it’s working out really well for me to have him here in the White House. But my loss will be the nation’s gain.”
No, it won’t, countered Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as he joined Republican opponents to the nod.
“Jack Lew is clearly an extremely intelligent person and I applaud his many years of public service to our country. I believe that he will be confirmed by the Senate,” Sanders said. “Unfortunately, he will be confirmed without my vote. At a time when the middle class is collapsing and millions of workers are unemployed, I do not believe he is the right person at the right time to serve in this important position.”
“We don’t need a treasury secretary who thinks that Wall Street deregulation was not responsible for the financial crisis,” he added. “We need a treasury secretary who will work hard to break up too-big-to-fail financial institutions so that Wall Street cannot cause another massive financial crisis.”
The ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), vowed to block the Lew nomination.
“Jack Lew must never be Secretary of the Treasury,” Sessions said. “At this time of unprecedented slow growth, high unemployment, and huge deficits, we need a Secretary of the Treasury that the American people, the Congress, and the world will know is up to the task of getting America on the path to prosperity not the path to decline. Jack Lew is not that man.”
Other Republicans signaled concerns about the pick. “It virtually guarantees the president will not compromise on entitlement reform, and assures that the White House will fight to maintain the status quo of our deeply dysfunctional system,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). “At a moment when the president could have shown a willingness to work with Republicans to fix the challenges that face the country, he has instead moved in a disappointing direction.”
“Under Jack Lew’s leadership at the Office of Management and Budget, we saw trillion dollar deficits and no serious attempt to rein in spending,” said Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). “As President Obama’s chief of staff, we’ve seen on-going dilatory tactics as the nation stares down one fiscal crisis after another. While Mr. Lew deserves a fair hearing, Texans deserve to hear the president’s plan for cutting spending and balancing our budget.”
Lew’s Democratic supporters asserted that he comes well equipped for the job.
“America needs the stability and predictability that can only come from a new Secretary of the Treasury who already is intimately familiar with the economic and budget reality facing our country and someone who has the experience to articulate a balanced solution to our problems,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). “I look forward to a fair and open confirmation process, during which we can fully examine Mr. Lew’s extensive experience in finding thoughtful and appropriate solutions for our fiscal challenges.”
“Jack Lew is respected on both sides of the aisle for his deep knowledge on fiscal matters and his strong commitment to public service. From Wall Street to the West Wing, his expertise and calm, rational temperament have made him a trusted adviser and respected leader,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). “I’m confident he will continue to serve our country with distinction and will be an excellent Secretary of the Treasury.”
Two have been shot, one reportedly injured seriously, when a man with a gun opened fire at a high school in Taft, CA today. There aren’t many details available yet.
Officials have said that at least two people were shot at Taft High School.
The shooting happened at about 9 a.m., and reports indicate that at least two people were shot.
The shooter was taken into custody at about 9:20 a.m.
Update: More details here.
After observing and opposing and reporting on Barack Obama’s actions for going on six years now, it’s evident that majority opinions and facts have no effect on him. If it was a fact, for instance, that the Bush era deficits were unpatriotic as Obama said they were, what are the larger Obama deficits? If it was a fact that Bush had been an imperious president who wielded too much executive power, what are we to make of a president who signs a sweeping law that the majority opposed and who used his executive power to gut part of our immigration law on the pretext that since Congress did not act, he had to? That is not how our system works.
If it was a fact that raising the debt ceiling was bad enough that it prompted Senator Obama to vote against it, why is he now arguing for unilateral power to raise the debt ceiling without any congressional input? This president rejects the law and the very concept of a national budget at all. He has said on more than one occasion that he wishes he could just do whatever he wants, without our elected representatives’ input.
Now he is hell bent on not letting a perceived crisis go to waste. He used his vice president to threaten executive action against one of our most constitutional rights, the right to keep and bear arms. We can fact check him and his cronies all day and it will have no effect on what they do. He believes that he can impose his will on the nation, and the combination of low-information voters, liberals who support him no matter what he does, and the high rate of dependency on government may help prove him right.
But in the interests of maybe changing a mind our two out there, Reason TV runs down five facts about guns, schools and violence.
Also in the interests of maybe changing a mind or two, or at least countering media propaganda, Ben Swann at a Fox affiliate in Cincinnati, took at look at the statistics that CNN’s Piers Morgan uses in his anti-gun diatribes. It turns out that Morgan’s statistics are off.
This isn’t the first time Morgan has engaged in deceit to reach political aims. He is a preening fraudster who considered it his “moral duty” to smear British troops fighting in Afghanistan via fake photos. That got him fired in the UK. It may have got him hired at CNN.
While Joe Biden sits down with 2nd-Amendment advocates today, several gun retailers have agreed to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder.
According to the DOJ, the businesses are meeting with Holder “as part of the ongoing gun violence sessions being held at the White House by Vice President Biden.”
Those who agreed to attend are Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dunham’s Sports, Gander Mountain, Sportsman’s Warehouse, and Wal-Mart.
The National Retail Federation may also be in attendance at the 3:15 p.m. sit-down.
At 11:45 a.m., Biden began meeting with sporting groups: the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, BlueWater Strategies, Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance Action Fund, Ducks Unlimited, Outdoor Industry Association, Pheasants Forever, Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and the Wildlife Management Institute.
At 1:45 p.m. comes the meeting with gun-owner groups: Defense Small Arms Advisory Council (DSAAC.), Firearms Import/Export Roundtable, Independent Firearm Owners Association (IFoA), National Rifle Association of America, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the National Association of Arms Shows.
At 6 p.m. Biden meets with representatives from the entertainment industry: Branded Entertainment, Comcast Corporation, Directors Guild of America, Film & Television Alliance, Motion Picture Association of America, National Association of Broadcasters, National Association of Theatre Owners, and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.
The governor of Connecticut said no weapons should be sold “that have no other use than — potential use or are designed for anything but an assault.”
Democrat Dan Malloy advocated gun-control measures this morning on MSNBC including making the rules for purchases uniform across the country.
“We have different laws that make it substantially easier to buy weapons without sufficient background checks in states like Virginia, and Florida, because we’re on I-95, the road system that runs from Florida through — through Maine, we’re going to see those weapons come into our state. Let’s close those loopholes,” he said.
“I mean, they’re just practical things that we need to do. The interest of people who go to these gun shows shouldn’t supersede the interest that I have in protecting my children, and my citizens in my state,” Malloy added.
The governor also charged that the argument with pro-2nd Amendment forces “has gotten crazy.”
“These high-capacity magazines, it — they don’t make any sense in our country. We don’t need those things. Nobody’s going deer hunting with them. You don’t use that to protect your house,” he said.
Malloy also advocated “an honest debate about our glorification of violence.”
“I mean this — you know there were games on the market that actually talked about shooting in high schools. It doesn’t make any sense. Can’t we just do the things that simply make some sense, that we — we could have reasonable agreement on?” he said.
The governor spoke yesterday with Vice President Joe Biden, who’s leading discussions with gun-rights groups today.
“And I know he is preparing his recommendations to the president. And I don’t want to get into the details of the discussion, but he’s got this down pretty well,” Malloy said. “He understands what we need to do to make it less likely that these things are going to happen in our cities and towns.”
“And these mass murders could be limited, at least going into the future if some common-sense things are taken. The magazine thing is very big.”
This photo, posted on the White House web site this week, continues to cause a stir. President Obama’s cabinet includes no female nominees. In fact, the only woman in the photo is Valerie Jarrett, and the only part of her that’s visible is her leg. She is apparently sitting on top of the president’s desk, obscured by a white, male adviser.
The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus hit Obama today suggesting that he needs some “binders of women” to help him elevate more women to power.
Now Charlie Rangel, the congressman of questionable ethics from New York, is piling on.
“It’s embarrassing as hell,” Rangel said. ”You have to do these things because it’s the right thing to do as a symbol of what America stands for.”
Obama’s last three appointments – Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), and chief of staff Jack Lew – are all white men, and the White House has faced criticism after a photo it released earlier in the week provoked The New York Times to point out the “all-male look” of Obama’s inner circle. The photo showed Obama meeting with ten advisers, all men.
The vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, who’s helping lead a push for stricter weapons regulations, said he just believes “there’s too many guns in the world today.”
“This country, 300 million plus guns in this country alone,” Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) said on CNN this morning.
“You know, we’re moving the focus and direction against — basically the NRA. And focusing on what it can do to get these weapons off our streets. What we can do to get these magazines out of the hands of criminals and people who want to do bad things with them,” Crowley said. “And the focus now is about society as a whole and, you know, the — what we’re exposed to that causes us to do the things that we do.”
He admitted, though, that even “if we pass that, we would still have incidents that take place.”
“Where the leadership is coming from? Right now, the leadership is coming from a state like New York. We had Governor Cuomo lay out a plan yesterday, 7-point plan that was dealing with mental illness, is dealing with access issues,” Crowley said.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), a longtime gun-control advocate whose district now includes Columbine High School, said on MSNBC last night that she’s “never seen such a deep sense of outrage and a deep sense of commitment to doing something.”
“People who I’ve been talking to, they can’t understand why you would need an assault rifle or why you need one of these assault magazines to go out hunting. I mean, a magazine that holds 30 or 100 rounds. You’re not going to use that to shoot a deer. You’re either going to use that for target practice or to shoot people,” she said.
“And frankly, the slight inconvenience to target hunters to have to reload that magazine is so slight that I think most Americans agree things like that need to be limited.”
Bill Clinton Named ‘Father of the Year,’ Simultaneously Receives Lifetime Ban From ‘Cigar Afficianado’
The National Father’s Day Council has named Bill Clinton its “Father of the Year.” He will receive the award on June 11, 2013. They’re not joking.
What must Bernard Lewinsky think of this? Isn’t it like giving Ted Kennedy a “Swimmer of the Year” award? Or giving Vlad Putin a Pulitzer Prize?
Criminal Charges of Bribery, Bank Fraud and Bringing a Gun Onto a Plane: The Illinois Assembly is Back in Session
The Land of Lincoln should just change its name to the Land of Larceny and be done with it. They’re not fooling anyone.
As members of Illinois’ newest General Assembly took the oath of office Wednesday, the state that’s still struggling to rebuild its image after two consecutive governors went to prison set yet another precedent of sorts: three sitting lawmakers facing criminal charges.
The allegations against the three officials vary widely: bribery, bank fraud and trying to bring a gun onto a plane. But experts say that while the charges differ, the accumulation and timing is damaging to Illinois as it struggles to address some of the most serious financial problems in its history.
Two consecutive Illinois governors have gone to prison. The three lawmakers accused of breaking the law are Rep. Derrick Smith, Rep. La Shawn Ford, and Rep. Donne Trotter. They are all Democrats.
But I guaran-darn-tee you that Illinois voters will not only return them to office if they’re given the chance, they will return the Democratic Party there to power despite that party running their state near bankruptcy. There is a culture of corruption, but it isn’t limited to our elected betters. The people have a say in this, and keep choosing poorly.
If it only saves one life, well, then perhaps we should consider making it easier for individuals to purchase so-called “assault weapons” and obtain training for their families in proper safety and operation. In Houston this week, a 15-year-old boy was at home with his 12-year-old sister when a pair of intruders broke into their home. The kids’ father is a law enforcement officer, and he owns an “assault rifle.” The thieves soon found themselves looking at the business end of that rifle, and the boy opened fire. KHOU reports.
The boy hit one of the intruders, wounding him. Both were captured and the two innocent kids are safe. Two lives saved.
According to the video above, the neighborhood where this occurred had been plagued with burglaries prior to this incident. A repeat is unlikely now.
h/t John Hayward
The 911 tape of Georgia mom Melinda Herman taking down an intruder in her home have been released. Herman was at home in the middle of the afternoon with her twin 9-year-old children when a career criminal invaded their home. She and her husband owned a .38 revolver, which they kept in a safe. She retrieved the gun and hid with her kids in a crawl space. The intruder broke through two locked doors, found them and bashed his way into the crawl space with a crowbar.
That turned out to be a mistake on his part. Paula Slater defended herself and her kids, while her husband was on one phone with her and another with the police. She fired six shots and hit her assailant five times.
- Who’s Worse — Al Gore or Bernie Madoff? By Roger L Simon. Mr. Ponzi to the green courtesy phone, please.
- The Chávez Legacy in Venezuela, by Jaime Daremblum. Autocratic rule, economic ruin, and South America’s highest murder rate. (You can read this article in Spanish here.)
- 5 Things to Miss About Joe Lieberman, by Bridget Johnson. The 113th Congress is missing one of the true gentlemen of the game.
- Scientists Discover Unbreakable 90-Year-Old Mobius Loop, by Ed Driscoll. Why “Progressive” culture is permanently trapped in the postwar-era. The post-World War One era.
- Too Cowardly To Print Muhammad Cartoons? By Robert Spencer. The “Free Press” continues down the path of Sharia compliance.
- Would You Meet Your Killer Halfway? By Walter Hudson. Fiscal cliff deal raises a question. Is compromise always reasonable?
- DOJ Sends Lawyers to Monitor South Carolina Election With 186 Voters, by J. Christian Adams. Your federal tax dollars at work to monitor a special election for a town council seat in Branchville.
- Peeling Back the ‘Cover of Darkness’ on Obama’s Regulatory Agenda, by Bill Straub. Red tape that could cost the public $123.2 billion was a (late) Christmas gift to lawmakers leaving town.
- The 5 Most Underrated Pop Culture Heroines, by Leslie Loftis. What happens to female characters who don’t fight like men?