The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

YOU DIDN’T BUILD THIS

TO THE RIOTERS IN FERGUSON, MO:

YOU DIDN’T BUILD THIS:

 

 

OR THIS:

 

Ferguson

 

BUT YOU DID DESTROY THE LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS OF THE PEOPLE WHO DID.

 

Photo courtesy of the NY Post

 

YOU MUST FEEL VERY PROUD

WHITHER GOEST THOU, AMERICA?

As I write this we are within moments of learning the decision by a Grand Jury in Missouri.  It is as though this one verdict is the most important declaration ever to be pronounced.  To those poised to protest this panel’s expected decision it has significance far more sweeping than Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation” and it has rewritten the Beatitudes.  “Blessed are the troublemakers.”  Most likely there will be violence.  It is expected.  It is planned.  It is an American tragedy.

The Founders recognized that only if the law were applied equally to everyone  would there be the possibility of achieving the Declaration’s proclamation that each of us is entitled to enjoy “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  That was as true at the founding of the nation as it is today.  And it is probably also true that while that goal is admirable, it has never been fully achieved.  That is not a condemnation of this lofty objective but rather a statement about us and how we allow our self-interest to corrupt the ideal.

The judicial system is an integral part of the political system.  Whether the voters directly elect those who are responsible for trying us if we are alleged to have committed an offence or are appointed by those whom we have elected to serve the municipality, state or the nation as a whole, judges are as much political by nature of their office as are our mayors and congressmen.  The Founders recognized that in describing the judiciary as one of three co-equal branches of government.

Of course, before a person is brought to trial there are others who are involved in the process which resulted in a hearing before the bar of justice.  Those are, at the first level, the law enforcement officers who apprehended the accused.  While there are undoubtedly some who discharge that office inappropriately, we rely on our police forces to help maintain some reasonable semblance of safety in society.  By and large, the occasional “rogue” officer who abuses his or her authority and sworn duty are the exception rather than the rule.  To attribute regular unlawful behavior to them is to do them a great disservice – and if that attitude is commonplace, then all of society will suffer as a consequence.  Even those with the greatest distrust of police forces, I suspect, if caught in a crossfire by two rival gangs as an innocent bystander, would hope that a squad car would show up on the scene.

Fortunately, like most Americans, I have had very little interaction with the police in my lifetime.  The first time was as a victim of an assault by three perpetrators wielding switchblades.  The second time was after some workmen stole some personal property while making repairs in my apartment.  The third and fourth times were to report the theft of my vehicle.  The fifth through sixteenth times were to report the theft of my car’s radio.  That’s been it.  I’ve never heard a knock on the door asking me my whereabouts at such and such time because I was a suspect in a robbery, an assault or a murder.  My total interaction was as a victim – not as a perpetrator.

In reference to these various episodes, I suppose that I might choose to be bitter because none of those who either assaulted me or stole my property was ever tried for their abuse of the law – at least not as it pertained to my particular interactions with them.  Perhaps they went on to further crimes and were apprehended for those.  I have no way of knowing that.  Should I therefore conclude that my experience demonstrates that the police are worthless?

Sadly, while it is a commonplace way of viewing life, extrapolating from one individual’s personal experience and drawing broad conclusions from it can be a dangerous and biased path to follow.  I know that police forces do indeed apprehend people who have committed more serious crimes than the ones in which I was involved.  I, for one, am glad that they are there – and I’m glad that they’re armed.  There are sociopathic people in this country who break the law and who constitute a threat to those of us who are law abiding.

While we should certainly remove those in our law enforcement offices who abuse their power and responsibilities, whether that is a local law enforcement officer, an attorney, a judge, the Attorney General or President who are ultimately responsible for seeing that the laws generally are enforced, the best advice on how to avoid confrontations with law enforcement might come from comedian, Chris Rock.

 

 

Perhaps Rock’s advice, had it been followed, might have made it so those of us who before August had never heard of Ferguson,MO, would still be living lives of blissful ignrance about its existence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This principle, although probably lost on the majority of those who might protest the Grand Jury’s verdict, is at the heart of the matter.  They are not so much interested in justice as they are in the confirmation that the only justice that is acceptable is the one they dictate.  They look to mete out the vengeance handed out by vigilantes and the KKK to which some of their forefathers were subject.  They view that as proper retribution for the past misdeeds of others – now long gone to the grave.

This Kid Gets It!

juwannadoright:

LIFE IN MODERM AMERICA

Originally posted on Oyia Brown:

BY a 15 yr. OLD SCHOOL KID who got an A+ for this entry
(TOTALLY AWESOME)!

Since the Pledge of Allegiance
And The Lord’s Prayer
Are not allowed in most Public schools anymore
Because the word ‘God’ is mentioned…..
A kid in Arizona wrote the attached
NEW School prayer:

“New Pledge of Allegiance”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a freedom scene..
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all..
In silence alone we…

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GOOBERS AND GRUBERS

It finally arrived – the long awaited envelope.  It had been well over a week since I had sent away for it – but my letter had to make it from New York to Arizona and then the response had to come all the way back.

I had found an ad in one of my “Fantasy and Science Fiction” magazines and had responded.  Who wouldn’t answer this ad?  It promised to send the person who clipped the ad a “secret” way to accumulate wealth without really having to do much of anything.  It didn’t matter if you were young or old, a PhD or a high school drop out, the system would bring riches to whoever used it.   It was the American dream – and the information would be sent absolutely free of charge.

Some people are motivated by theory and others by practical concerns.  In my case, I wanted to become a fourteen year old success because I was tired of sleeping on the Castro convertible sofa and sharing my “bedroom” with the “dining room.”  If I made a lot of money we could move from our small apartment into one of the new high rises that were being built throughout Manhattan.  My parents had looked at several apartments in these new edifices, but decided that quadrupling the rent for just a small amount of additional space just didn’t make sense or fit our budget.

When Grandma handed me the envelope containing the “secret system” I took it and held it with the reverence due a holy relic.  I went to my desk, placed my school books on the side and laid it gently in the middle of the blotter.  I took the seldom-used letter opener and carefully opened it, making sure that my cut was even and neat.  After I completed that I waited a minute or two before daring to pull out and read its contents.  But I finally summoned up the courage.

Before me I had a pamphlet that explained how a person could make a huge amount of money by getting into mail order.  I read every word of this brochure, replete with “testimonials” from people who were identified only by their first names and an initial for their surnames and the city in which they lived – stories about how they had made a small fortune in mail order thanks to the secret system.

And what was it that they were selling?  They were selling copies of a booklet that explained how to get into mail order – a copy of which was reserved for me – if I merely completed the enclosed order form and returned it with my five dollar remittance.  Once I had received my copy, I would have the opportunity to purchase additional copies which I could sell at a “huge profit” and the booklet would explain the step by step way of doing that.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

Even though I knew that something just didn’t add up, I was reluctant to give up so quickly on this opportunity to get my own bedroom.  So at dinner that evening I asked my parents to read the brochure and give me their opinion.  Needless to say, it did not survive their imprimatur.  Nevertheless, having explained why this was a scam  they still permitted me to purchase the book if I chose to spend my five dollars on it.  My parents allowed me to make my own mistakes – as long as they weren’t likely to be dangerous to my health or well being.  Their theory was that rather than hearing them preach, a little personal experience would be far more enlightening to me.

Even before I had given my folks the brochure I knew that something just didn’t sound right.  But I was hoping that I was wrong and that my parents would agree with my original opinion that I had latched on the key to riches.  After several days of soul searching, I concurred with my parents and tossed the brochure in the wastebasket.  My father summed up the experience with the statement, “When something seems too good to be true – it probably isn’t.”

In 2010 the Congress passed and President Obama signed the PPACA into law.  Now more commonly referred to as Obamacare, the law was touted by Obama and lawmakers who supported it as the best thing that had happened since the invention of sliced bread.  It offered every American the opportunity to get “affordable health insurance”; we would be able either to keep our existing insurance or get a better policy through the healthcare exchanges that were going to be established; despite the fact that these new policies would be better they would be less expensive; every American household would save $2500 per year for this insurance; and on top of all of that, this three thousand page bill would reduce the national debt.  It almost seemed too good to be true – and it wasn’t.

Nobody who took the trouble to read through the law believed that the promises could be delivered for a simple reason.  The numbers just didn’t add up – and they still don’t.  But without going into a detailed analysis of the math, if you think about the law’s purported primary goal – insuring all Americans with affordable, quality medical care – it should be clear that goal is inconsistent with providing quality healthcare.

Let’s assume that magically everyone suddenly signed up and there were no longer Americans who couldn’t see a doctor for lack of insurance.  How would this impact the quality of delivering medical services?  It would cause a lower quality of health care if, for no other reason, than that we have now added forty million potential patients to a system to which no new medical practitioners or hospital facilities have been added.  The overall effect would necessarily be longer wait times to get an appointment which in and of itself constitutes a decrease in the quality of healthcare.

We know that few if any legislators actually read the bill before voting to approve it – per then Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  That in itself is disturbing as that is the reason that we pay these people quite handsomely.  But if they had read the bill I sincerely wonder if they would have been much more elucidated on its contents than before they began that exercise.  Besides its length, the law is convoluted and the language goes beyond what we have come to expect from Washington speak.  For that reason perhaps, we employed an MIT professor, one Jonathan Gruber to advise those who wrote the law on how to craft it.  The Federal government and various state governments apparently paid Professor Gruber the sum of nearly $6 Million over several years for his insight.

Over the last ten days a series of videos have surfaced in which said professor has been recorded delivering a number of talks to various groups, mostly within the hallowed halls of academia, and explained that in order to secure the law’s passage, basically its contents had to be both disguised and lied about because it would never have passed if the public new what it actually contained.  In the course of his explanation he pointed out that, “The American public is stupid.”

While this academic apologized for the statement from the first of these videos which was released as an unfortunate malapropism, on several other occasions he made essentially the same comment.  This is not a faux pas but a reflection of the professor’s world view – and more generally – an example of the world view of most on the liberal left.  People are simply too stupid to do what is in their best interest – so it is up to enlightened do-gooders to enforce what is good for them on them.

These comments brought me back to the time I was able to attend “The Howdy Doody Show.”  It was much earlier than my experience with the magic mail order system.  I think I was about eight – and like all the ther kids who attended, I sat in “The Peanut Gallery.”  Like all the other “peanut attendees” I was wowed by Buffalo Bob, Princess Summerfallwinterspring and Mr. Bluster.  It was a half hour of pure fantasy and delight.  But I graduated from The Peanut Gallery.

I wonder if Professor Gruber ever had that same experience.

“Goober – a peanut.”  {Colloquially – A person of limited intelligence}.

“Gruber – a pompous, cynical ass paid nearly $6 Million by various government agencies to deceive the American goober to buy into Obamacare.”

DOUBLE DOWN OBAMA

Although it is unlikely that this post contains enough controversial information to make its way through the dark halls of the NSA and to the White House, it would be of value to the president should he have the opportunity to read it.  It would require him to put on his “Big Boy” pants and evaluate a view that is radical – in its divergence from the one which forms his ideology.  That, in itself, is probably too much to ask.

In life we all make choices.  Some of those we make have good consequences – others not so much.  It is only the stubborn and arrogant who, having made a poor choice, continue to insist that theirs was the correct one, the evidence notwithstanding.  Sadly, Obama has, to this point, followed that path – not only to the detriment of his approval rating but, far more importantly, to the detriment of the country.

Let’s take a lesson from the real world of stock trading – a galaxy away from the not so real world of Washington, D. C.

There are a number of rules of trading which have become rules because those  who are engaged in the activity realize that they are correct and work far more often than they fail.  Successful traders observe those rules because they realize that doing so helps them achieve their goal – which is to earn a living.  Failure to observe these rules has its consequences – usually involving finding a new line of endeavor.

The first rule of trading is quite simple.  “Never add to a losing trade.”   Here’s a simple example.

A trader buys XYZ stock at $50 a share.  Within minutes the stock declines to $49.50.  At this point that trader has only three options.  He may do nothing and maintain the position hoping the stock will recover; he may sell it and accept the loss; or he may add to the position and double down on his position.  Although most non-professionals would adopt either options one or three, the professional would most likely take the second option, accept the loss and move on, looking for a better trade.  Here’s the rationale behind all three choices.

Doing nothing is essentially a denial of having entered into a bad trade.  Clearly, when the trader bought XYZ stock at $50 he did so for one reason.  He thought the stock price would increase from his purchase price – otherwise there would be no reason to initiate the trade.  Doing nothing is simply ignoring the reality that he was wrong in his assessment.

Selling the stock at a loss, while painful, is the correct choice because it recognizes some very basic facts.  The trader bought the stock with the expectation of a rise in its price – but he was wrong.  Admitting that you’re wrong – and limiting the amount of that mistake is the correct response.  We all make mistakes.  It is acknowledging that we have made a mistake and learning from that so we don’t repeat it, that makes the trader successful.

The third option, purchasing additional stock is the worst of the three because it not only ignores the reality that the trader was wrong in his initial decision but that pure hubris causes him to deny that fact.  Unfortunately, ego has caused the demise of more traders than bad decisions.

Now this simple example from the real world will undoubtedly be lost on the president for the simple reason that he has never held a job in the real world.  Despite the repudiation of Obama’s policies which was a message by those of us who took the trouble to voice our opinion on November 4th delivered, the president prefers to focus on those non-voters who didn’t bother to show up as a “silent” endorsement of his six years in office.  That’s like saying that because no one mentions anything to the person with a dreadful case of bad breath because they don’t want to offend him, that halitosis is a condition to which we all should aspire.

This president has seldom shown an interest in how the American people feel about any issue.  Obamacare has never enjoyed a majority positive view and is now at its lowest level of support since the law was passed; Americans in a vast majority view the country as moving in the wrong direction;  the president’s own approval rating hovers at the lowest levels of his presidency.  To these fact the president, like the six year old who is determined to have his own way despite his parents’ admonishment, turns a deaf ear to these facts.  Hubris reigns supreme in the White House.

If it were simply a small man’s refusal to see the light it would be one thing.  Sadly, this president, by virtue of his office, is the most powerful man on earth.  And while he doubles down on his own failed policies and refusal to find common ground with those whose responsibility is to provide an alternate view, it is not only those in America but people and nations around the world who will be his victims.

I guess if I really wanted the president to read this I should just print it out, pack my bags and plan a trip to Washington to deliver it in person.  I understand that getting into the White House isn’t all that difficult.

Forty-three Mexican college students, studying to be teachers, were out fund raising for their college – soliciting money to buy supplies for the school.  They were stopped in Iguala by the police and three of them were shot by these same police.  Apparently, the Mayor of Iguala was concerned that the students were planning to disrupt a speech that his wife was scheduled to give.  The surviving students were turned over to a local drug cartel “to be disposed of.”  And the cartel did its job well.

They executed these kids at a trash dump and then the cartel had a “student roast,” burning the bodies in a fire that lasted for sixteen hours – as the cartel members stood by and watched.  Except in the case of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi who was finally released after six months in Mexican prison for inadvertently entering the country while in possession of legally owned weapons, Mexican “justice” can be inexorably efficient, swift – and terminal.

The mayor and his wife were arrested in Mexico City a week after the students disappeared.  He has had several charges leveled against him and  is currently in jail awaiting further processing.  As of this writing, no charges have been brought against his wife.  Although it is only an allegation, there appears that there may be a tie between these two and the local drug cartel.

Subsequent to the students’ disappearance a search began for them.  The announcement by the Mexican Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam that the students’ remains had been found resulted in protests throughout the country with tens of thousand marching in peaceful protest against a government that has corruption at its most basic foundation.  Additionally, other protesters with a less pacifistic view of the events, burned government buildings, cars and blocked highways in Guerrero state where these murders occurred.  In the course of the search, several mass graves were discovered – apparently additional victims of the local drug cartels.

It is probably difficult for most Americans to conceive living in a country where the police, rather than occupying a position of “serving and protecting” people actually function as the judiciary and dispatch summary “justice” with impunity.  Difficult unless you believe that is the same system we have in the United States.  And if you turn your attention to Ferguson, MO and the protests that have been ongoing for the last three months you might believe that is the case.

On August 9, 2014, a shooting occurred in Ferguson, MO resulting in the death of Michael Brown.  The deceased was a young black man; the person who shot him was a white police officer, Darren Wilson.  Those are the facts that no one disputes.  The specific circumstances of causality have now been before a Grand Jury for several months and we are awaiting their determination.

I believe it is fair to say that if, under the same set of circumstances a white police officer shot a white teenager; if a black police officer shot a black teenager; and perhaps if a black police officer shot a white teenager, there would have been no lootings in Ferguson, MO; no businesses would have been burned there; neither President Obama nor Attorney General Eric Holder would have expressed an opinion on the event; and the media would have not covered it.

The only reason for interest and the tension that it has evoked has, unfortunately, nothing to do with the late Mr. Brown.  It has to do with race and, more specifically, the allegation that the black community has no reason to have confidence that the police are there to protect them but rather, Mexican style, are self-serving racists whose ultimate goal is their annihilation.  If that theory were in fact true, there would be legitimate reason for concern by the citizens of Ferguson, MO.  There would then be validation for their peaceful protests – although it is hard to understand how committing additional crimes such as lootings and burnings can be justified, efforts to the contrary notwithstanding.

Neither my readers nor I have all the facts and details of what happened between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson.  Hopefully, the Grand Jury will have those presented to them and will make an informed and fair judgment based on what they review.  And, whatever their decision, it is incumbent on those who truly want to live in a country where the rule of law is respected to accept that verdict.  Otherwise we invite upon ourselves a system of “justice” like that which we just saw in Mexico.  And that is something that no intelligent person would bring down on his own head.

We know how that system played out in Mexico.  We’ll soon see how things work out in Ferguson, MO.

Originally posted on :

Iran’s Letter to Obama: Thanks for the Nukes! Israel Today, Noah Beck, November 14, 2014

131015_iran

Dear President Obama,

You’ve been a great friend for the last six years and, to express our appreciation, we’d like to acknowledge some of your many helpful actions:

1) In 2009, our presidential election results were so dubious that millions of brave, pro-democracy protesters risked their lives to demonstrate throughout our country. When our Basij paramilitary force brutalized them, you kept your response irrelevantly mild for the sake of “engaging” us. That surely helped Iranians understand the risks of protesting our “free” election of 2012 (involving our eight handpicked candidates). It was indeed a very orderly rubberstamp.

2) After eight years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, we KNEW you’d fall for the smiles of his successor, President Hassan Rouhani! Human rights abuses have actually worsened under his rule and his polished charm only makes him better at duping the…

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