Homeland Lunacy

Wait.  Wait.  Hold on.  I have the answer to all of the world’s problems, and it was right in front of my ….. arms …..  all the time.

Heard about the senseless massacres in Oakland, Binghamton and Pittsburgh?  Seven policemen and a score of civilians were shot dead by raging gunmen.  So seven public servants were murdered this week.  Hold a fancy funeral with bagpipes a-playing, give the wife a fancy schmancy folded American flag, and then go out and recruit numerous replacements so that this scenario can repeat itself over and over again.  But by all means, do not deal with the root of the problem.  Could that be our breezy wheezy easy access to guns?  Perish the thought.  Better to live in denial and keep sacrificing our citizens’ lives.  So how about this: instead of begging our “allies”, i.e. Europe, China, Japan, to collaborate with us in securing the world’s financial wobblies and security concerns against global terrorism, how about we just take some of our homegrown, red-blooded American lunatics, who have the absolute Constitutional right to bear arms, and throw them in to the fray to fight the terrorists?  That would be a great use of our resources.  After all, we do not have much money left, so why not use our unending supply of unbalanced but armed citizens as pawns for trade?

If you take a look back about 50 years in our history, you will see that the shooters of JFK, Martin Luther King, RFK, President Ford, President Reagan and John Lennon were not political madmen; they were just regular madmen who were able to put their hands on very available guns.  Hell:  John Hinckley, Jr., Reagan’s shooter, claimed his rapture for Jodie Foster made him do it.

So massacre upon massacre upon massacre has overtaken us.  Anything less than two a week would be cause for worry, but not, God forbid, any prophylactic action.  The conservative talking heads, such as Glen Beck, have called for Americans to go out and buy guns before President Obama outlaws them.  Whether or not it is a result of this fear-mongering, the purchases of guns have increased significantly over the last few months.  And do not dare to tell me that “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” because I will kick you in the crotch for repeating that ancient adage.  Other countries have nutcases also.  What they do not have are liberal gun laws that give their citizens the right to bear arms.  Go figure.

So here’s the plan.  With Europe, Russia, China and others refusing  to not only add some cold cash to the global stimulus, but also giving the cold shoulder to contributing troops to fight terrorism in Afghanistan, we should gather up our lunatics, along with their cache of legal arms,  and ship them to all the hot spots in the world.  Fight insanity with insanity.  Case closed.

I have some relevant weekend reading for you.  Paul Krugman of the New York Times, wrote a very clear article on why China, in all of its cowardice, is appealing for a world currency to replace the dollar that has formerly fulfilled that role.  Just plain old sour grapes.  China was flying high when the dollar was also soaring.  Now that calamity has replaced calmness in the world financial markets, China is crying, “No fair”  because they are inundated with low interest Treasury bills from a nation in severe financial distress.  Tough titties, China.  No one told you to put all of your eggs in one basket.  It astounds me to see seasoned investors, old-as-the-hills corporations and some nations’ entire net worth placed in one non-diversified basket.  No matter that such an investment has been historically safe and that, to quote many financial shamans, “If that goes down the tubes, everything will also”.  How many “safe” investments have we seen over the last year crumble and disintegrate?  Stupid is as stupid does.  Anyway, here is Krugman’s column.  It is a very good one in terms of its explanation of China’s selfish rationale for a global currency:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/opinion/03krugman.html?_r=1

Furthermore, as for the lack of participation of other nations in the economic stimulus, they have said that their citizens are not getting as hurt as Americans are because the Europeans have a social net in place that deflects the effects of the recession/depression.  That is true.  But wait.  Hold on.  All that needs to happen is for the scales to tip a bit in an even worse direction.  The Europeans will be screaming for our help faster than you can say “Told you so.”

David Brooks, also of the New york Times, had a good piece on the basic causes of this depression, a concise, easy-to-understand explanation of what has befallen us:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/opinion/03brooks.html

Then, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post came out with a story on the former AIG chairman and company rapist, Hank Greenberg.  I have always placed a lot of blame at Greenberg’s feet for what transpired at AIG.  If you agree with Brooks’ overall thesis, then do read Milbank’s specific blame-pointing:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/02/AR2009040203600.html

As for our international allies chickening out also of contributing to the global fight against terrorism, I can guarantee you this one thing: if any radical militant group even attempted, much less succeeded with,  an attack within the borders of any of these stingy allies’ countries, specifically France and Germany, these same chickensh**, spineless and backward looking nations would be the first ones to call on the U. S. to bail them out, once again.  “Come save us!”

Never mind.  We don’t need you.  We will just pack up our gun toting mental maniacs and deploy them to fight the terrorists, whenever and wherever. Go team!

Enough of the depressing world situation.  If you were kind enough to slog through all of this post, here are some weekend funnies for you.

Let me start with one of my fave topics:  Sarah Palin.  It appears that the GOP really does eat its own:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/04/03/ted-stevens-should-run-against-palin-alaska-republican-says/

Also, I have to admit that regardless of how gorgeous Lady O. looked in Europe, attention is needed in the shoe department.  Unlike Sarah and me, Lady O. is not a shoe whore.  However, she should spruce up her feet a little more.

President Obama was given the Galaxy British Book Award in the category of best biography for his book, “Dreams From My Father.”  Can you believe that we finally have a literate President?

Have any of you seen the latest Charmin toilet paper commercial, the one with those cute (but disgusting) bears?  This particular one talks of how wonderful Charmin is because “it doesn’t leave any pieces behind.”  In the clip below, you can see small pieces of paper remaining on the bear.  However, in the actual commercial there are no paper pieces visible and I do believe they are talking about pieces of “other” material:

A golden oldie comes to mind:

Dave Ross, in his commentary on CBS radio, has a great addition yesterday, regarding President Obama bowing to the Saudi King.  Just go to this link and then click on “Obama Bows To Saudi King — What’s The Big Deal?”:

http://www.wtop.com/?sid=1510558&nid=524

Finally, after getting a wee bit disgusted with national affairs such as the likes of gun-toting lunatics, Larry Summers taking huge paychecks from those exact people who brought our economy to its knees, Obama and Geithner trying to circumvent Congress’ stiff penalties on those unearned bonuses, I do believe a little R and R is necessary.  Oh yeah.  I almost forgot:  I heard on the local news today that the Department of Homeland Security is relocating to the grounds of Saint Elizabeth’s Mental Hospital.  How appropriate.  What happened to all of the inmates, including the infamous John Hinckley, when the hospital closed down?  Perhaps they are on their way to Afghanistan, to fight an anti-terror regime that most of the world would rather just watch.

Homeland security.  Now that’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one.  How the hell can our homeland be safe if we are swimming in guns?  Sure sounds like homeland lunacy to me.

Anyway, I fear our nation and our world are going to the dogs.  Personally and literally speaking, that is not so bad:

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11 Responses to “Homeland Lunacy”

  1. The Waterman Says:

    And on what basis do make the claim that problems with violence relate to so-called easy access to guns?

    Why is it that the highest centers of crime are the ones where the access to guns is most limited? Places like Baltimore, D.C., and Chicago.

    The simple fact is that there is no society safer than an armed one. That’s because there is no greater threat to human safety and liberty than the government.

    Part of the reason that the British found us so hard to subdue was the ubiquitous presence of arms in American households. It meant every home was a potential source of armed resistance.

    No government ever presumes to oppress its people when they have weapons. It’s why ever tyranny starts off by taking the people’s guns.

  2. yomamaforobama Says:

    One question: How come no other developed country has a murder-by-handgun rate higher than ours? Do you think it just might be tangentially related to our free access to guns?

  3. The Waterman Says:

    What free access to guns. The vast majority of gun related violent crime occurs where the restrictions are extremely high.

    The fact is that government cannot effectively prohibit the sale of of a product. It couldn’t stop alcohol during Prohibition. It obviously hasn’t been able to stop the sale of drugs.

    Neither can it stop the sale of guns.

    The majority of guns used to commit crimes were acquired illegally. Restricting our supposedly free access to guns won’t do a hell of a lot to reduce violent gun crime. In fact, it will likely increase it as those with the guns will know those they prey on won’t have them.

    And why are guns the sticking point for you? Shouldn’t it be murder? As I recall, they happened to do that much more effectively for a few weeks in Rwanda using machetes than we have ever done using guns.

  4. yomamaforobama Says:

    Are you brain dead or just stupid? The crimes may be committed with ILLEGAL guns. However, when they made their actual entry into society, it was done with the proper paperwork. Even tough initially legally obtained, the numbers of guns on the streets go from hand to hand to hand. All control is lost once the gun is issued.

  5. The Waterman Says:

    Which of us is the brain dead one here?

    If a gun is legally purchased – through the process you have finally acknowledged is not free, but in fact clogged with enormous amount of bureaucratic redtape – the most likely way it ends up being possessed illegally is because it was stolen.

    Setting aside the whole point that if someone is able to break into your home and steal your gun, there’s a good chance you needed it for protection (particularly when numerous courts have held that the police have no legal obligation to protect you), how on earth does this become a justification for even more stringent gun control?

    During Prohibition do you think all of the booze Al Capone and his fellow mobsters were selling was produced in America? They illegally imported it from outside.

    With the War on Drugs, do you think all the pot, coke, crack, heroin, and various other drugs come with a Made in America guarantee? Of course not, that’s why there’s a civil war in Mexico right now between the government and the cartels.

    So if the government makes it harder to obtain guns legally, what do you think will happen? Everyone will just say “Too bad, got to start using bows and arrows now.”

    No. They’ll start buying them from the same criminal syndicates they’re currently buying drugs from. Which is incidentally going to make things even worse. The Mexican drug cartels are using automatic weapons, grenade launchers, and other military level equipment from the Mexican Army, either stolen from the army or bought from it through corrupt members.

    Considering you can’t legally buy any of those weapons in America, do you really want to make buying them from the drug cartels the most economically attractive option?

  6. yomamaforobama Says:

    What are you so fearful of that you need a gun to protect you?
    It’s really quite simple. A plus B equals C. Having guns available and for legal sale to people, the numbers of these arms circulating in society are huge. Even if our right to bear arms was taken away, we couldn’t even begin to clean up the mess we have created.
    So many guns, so little time.

  7. The Waterman Says:

    What am I scared of?

    In part I’m frightened of a world in which the government has said the police do not have a legal obligation to protect me yet says I do not have the right to possess and carry the means with which to protect myself.

    More than anything else though I’m scared of a government that thinks it knows better than I do how to live my life – and that because of that it has the right to appropriate my income, limit the things I say, control the foods I eat, and in general completely subsume the private world into the public.

    Centralized, controlled economies will always inevitably devolve into tyranny. Try reading The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek. We’ve been slowly working our way down that path for quite some time now.

    Now then, hopefully you’ve worked all the ad hominem attacks out of your system and we could have an actual substantive discussion. How about answering any of the points of made?

    Just to recap here’s a few:
    -Why do areas with stricter gun control laws generally have more gun related violence?
    -How could the government realistically stop there being a market in illegal guns even if it wanted to?
    -Why do you ignore the primary reason the Framers included the 2nd Amendment: protection from the government?

    Please, feel free to offer a substantive, reasoned answer on any of those issues.

  8. Natalie R Says:

    Let’s talk some sanity about the glories of owning a gun. The gun huggers just make me ill. Most of those murders which recently occurred were committed by men (I do say MEN) who own guns legally. They often own assault rifles. Why ANYONE needs an assault rifle I have NO idea. While it is true if certain guns are illegal some will obtain them no matter what but do we REALLY have to make it so simple? It is SIMPLE to get a gun even an assault rifle in this country. In Canada guns are legal but they do NOT have anywhere near the horrendous rate of gun violence we do. One wonders why.

    Moreover, that rancid Second Amendment would NEVER even exist had our Founders thought our culture would be what it is in this historical time period. The Second Amendment had to do with monarchical tyranny. It was part of the 17th and 18th century experience. The Founders were NOT thinking of average people protecting themselves from criminals. They were thinking about protecting themselves from monarchies which were the only ones of that era to own weapons. If one wants to claim THAT right then one is talking about protecting oneself from our government and then possibly overthrowing the government if necessary. THAT is treason and in today’s climate even in the Obama administration it could get one a knock at one’s door and ultimately a nasty sentence.

    The issue is male, gun violence. I as a youth used to love to shoot rifles. It was fun. I still like it BUT I would NEVER do it and NEVER join a gun club OR the NRA. Why? Because I do NOT like the people. They are often testoseronized, mean, macho and have a proclivity toward violence.

    In addition, more often if you meet an intruder with a gun you will not have (a) time to get your gun assuming it is LOCKED and (b) if you do and it is not locked if you have children more die from guns which are not secure and (c) you will lose because you simply do not have the time to prepare. In my opinion, there is NOTHING good one can say about guns NOTHING. The Second Amendment is NO excuse to have one although the late Charleton Heston certainly used his status as Moses to support the NRA. If he is buried with his gun then one could REALLY remove it from his cold dead hands. Sorry I had to say that. He was smart but a JERK.

    So why does Canada who has liberal gun laws NOT have the violence we do? Good question. I believe it is because we have a mean, violent, nasty, uncaring streak in part of our national character and our government, especially in the hands of right wing nut jobs, does everything it can to reinforce our position in the world through might, guns and war. Why are so many people in our culture violent? Because, sad as it may be, I think some LIKE IT.

    Maybe IF we changed the notes to our own music the song would be sweeter!

  9. Natalie R Says:

    One more thing sure if you make guns illegal then only criminals will have guns, if you make guns LEGAL then EVERYONE will have guns. No wonder we are in the mess we are in. UGH!

  10. The Waterman Says:

    Talk sanity? You might be sane, but your facts are pretty damn wrong.

    You cannot legally buy an assault rifle in America. By definition an assault rifle is a weapon capable of automatic fire. It is illegal to purchase an automatic weapon.

    What you appear to be thinking of are assault weapons, assault weapon being a legal term made up the Assault Weapons Ban. For all it did, it might as well just be called the Scary Weapons Ban. The bill defined as an assault weapon any semi-automatic gun that had two or more of the following:
    * Folding or telescoping stock
    * Conspicuous pistol grip
    * Bayonet mount
    * Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
    * Grenade launcher
    * Barrel shroud

    The only one of these that remotely makes the weapon more lethal is the grenade launcher – and as a private citizen you can’t legally buy grenades as far as I’m aware.

    And as for the Second Amendment, you’re only half right. It wasn’t inspired by a fear of monarchical tyranny – it was inspired by a fear of tyranny in general.

    The Founders were a great deal smarter than most people today. They knew quite well that tyranny of the majority is a distinct threat in a republic and that it was just as dangerous as the tyranny of the minority they had only recently escaped.

    Furthermore, while the government may have assumed powers enough to say owning a gun as a protection against government encroachment upon liberty constitutes treason, the government saying it doesn’t make it so.

    More importantly, as you note, the government could easily make the claim and give you quite a nasty sentence – isn’t that proof enough that if anything we need more gun ownership to make the government more reticent about such action?

    As for the question of intruders, you have a valid point – sort of. If your guns are locked away, to keep them safe from children and such (note, I grew up with guns, most were locked up, but there were ones out quite often too. What we really need to prevent child accidents is better education by the parents about the dangers of misusing guns) then at least some times you won’t have time to get to it and use it.

    But that isn’t why guns are effective as a means of home protection. They work because of the unpredictability factor. The easier it is to legally own a gun, the more the danger for a thief to break into any given home. It’s a simple matter of expected costs vs benefits. When there’s even the chance the resident of a targeted house has a gun and could use it against the thief the costs of breaking and entering rise substantially. On the other hand, if it is known they most likely will not have a gun, the costs of hitting the house go down substantially.

    Natalie, you have also not brought up the issue of concealed carry. For someone as concerned with testosterone-driven, barbarous, American male culture one would think you would support this. Carrying a concealed pistol in her purse is the single best way for an 85 pound woman to have a chance at defending herself from a 250 pound man that wants to rape her. If our culture really does “have a mean, violent, nasty, uncaring streak” that drives people, especially men, to act out violently, you ought to be highly supportive of concealed carry by women.

  11. yomamaforobama Says:

    My dear Waterman-

    Here are my answers to your questions:

    1.Areas that have stricter gun control have higher incidences of gun violence because they are rougher, tougher areas. Why do you think that the tighter gun laws were passed there in the first place? Duh!

    2.The government CAN NOT, at this point of absolute SATURATION of available guns, stop the further proliferation of gun ownership and irresponsible murders. After over 200 years of allowing every Tom, Dick and Harry to own guns, we are pretty much on the road of no return. Once again, you have agreed with one of my main points.
    By the way, it just came over CNN that a father in Washington state has shot dead his 5 children in their house and then killed himself nearby. But I am sure, as you said, this man just owned a gun to protect himself and his family from our government.

    3.Your third question re: legal gun ownership for the protection against the government. How about having a sense of time, place and perspective? Back in Revolutionary times when our Constitution was framed, there was a need for citizens to protect themselves from the royal militias who wanted to take away our freedom. This amendment was put on our books to protect us from OTHER, invading governments, NOT OUR OWN GOVERNMENT.

    So you can twist the facts and reality any way you wish. My dear Waterman, please go crawl back into your angry, isolated hole from where you came. Stay off of my blog. I will not be responding to you any longer.

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