The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘National Rifle Association’

WHO’S GOT THE POWER? (PART ONE)

Those of us who had the benefit of learning grammar as part of our elementary school curriculum may remember that words which modify nouns are known as adjectives.  An example would be “Fearless Leader” – as it was used by Jay Ward in “Rocky and Bullwinkle” – perhaps the most creative cartoon series of all time.

Recently, I’ve noticed a trend in journalism.  I’m not sure if this is an intentional attempt to introduce yet another classification into our grammar, but it seems that certain nouns almost always are preceded by the same adjective – as though the two are inseparable.  I refer to this new entry into the English language as an adje-noun.  The most apparent example to me is the “POWERFUL NRA”.

Being powerful means that someone or something has a great deal of inherent strength and exerts that power to achieve its ends.  In the world of politics, at least in the United States, that usually takes the form of lobbying our elected representatives to influence them to vote for those laws which will benefit a company or an association.  A great deal of money is spent by respective organizations to accomplish that mission.

As I have heard so much since the Newtown tragedy about the Powerful NRA’s gun lobby, I thought I would take a look at how powerful that organization actually is, how much they spend on their lobbying efforts and to compare that to other industries and groups which also engage in lobbying activities.

What follows is a list of lobbyists by industry for the calendar year 2012, compiled by OpenSecrets.org:

Opensecretsindustry groups

The original link to this chart may be found at https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?showYear=2012&indexType=i

If you go to the source and want to review this information, clicking on each industry brings up the companies and organizations which are included in the compilation.  Incidentally, this data is available going back to 1998 and although there is some slight variation on who spends the most money on a year to year basis, the same industries consistently appear at the top of the list.

If you spend a few minutes with this chart, perhaps you will see the same thing that I noticed.  There are four industries, Pharmaceuticals/Health Products; Hospitals/Nursing Homes; Health Professionals; and Health Services/HMO’s which aggregately spent $359 Million in 2012 to advance their agendas.

In addition, if you look at the detail under Insurance, the top two lobbyists in that category were Blue Cross/Blue Shield and America’s Health Insurance Plans which paid an additional $17 Million to lobbyists.  That comes to a total of $376 Million spent in one year by businesses and professionals in the Health Care Industry.

I returned to the OpenSecrets.org website to try to put the powerful NRA’s lobbying efforts in perspective.  Here is the link to that information:

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000082

By comparison, the powerful NRA spent only $2.2 Million last year in their lobbying efforts.  That’s five percent of what the defense and aerospace industry spent and five percent of what the auto industry spent; that’s four percent of what unions representing government workers spent; that’s three percent of what unions and others involved in education spent; that’s two and one half percent the amount that the entertainment industry spent; and that’s just over one half percent the amount that people involved in healthcare paid their lobbyists.

I have yet to hear the argument that gun owners are the cause of our anemic economy, our spiraling deficits, our unacceptable rates of unemployment or the out of control costs associated with healthcare, although it is not hard for me to believe that those in Washington who are, apparently oblivious to the facts, might try to advance that case.

Despite the recent comment by President Obama that “we do not have a spending problem,” most people with the smallest grip on reality realize that statement is exactly the reason that we have many of our problems – and at the heart of it is our healthcare system.

Is it mere co-incidence that the industry which is most greatly benefited by our excesses is the largest single contributor to lobbying efforts to maintain their place at the top of the food chain?

Is one of the causes for the murders we commit the fact that more and more Americans are feeling helpless and bereft of hope and turn to irrational, violent acts out of despair?  Or is it the intransigent Powerful NRA which is at fault?

So in America, who’s got the power?  I think the numbers speak for themselves.

ON GUN CONTROL, MIND CONTROL AND CHICKEN SOUP

Now that the Republican “leadership” has ceded what little remnant of moral authority they might have held to the dark side, it will be time for us to turn our attention to the issue of gun control.  Fortunately, we get a break from Washington “willy wabbering” for a period until the new Congress is convened.  Time to go out and buy some Tylenol to prepare ourselves for the two years ahead.

While I am not an NRA member and have never owned or fired a weapon, this debate has caused me to think whether that is an intelligent attitude in light of the real world in which we live.  So I am going to engage in my own, private gun debate.  I never thought I would ever consider having such a conversation.

It’s estimated that there are far more weapons in the United States of America than there are people.  If it is true that “guns kill people” then we should not be having this debate at all.  Our weapons would have picked themselves up, fired at their owners and they would all be dead., leaving their liberal opponents to say, “See, we told you so.”

While the Founding Fathers, I believe, crafted the Second Amendment with the clear intent of allowing the citizens of this new country to have the ability to resist a tyrannical government, that same principle also applies to their right to defend themselves from those in society who are violent and a menace.  People like Adam Lanza form a part of that group.  I believe that the appropriate PC term is that he was “mentally challenged” which translates into English as insane.

But the insane represent the smallest portion of those who commit violent crimes.  Most of those are perpetrated by thugs who do this for a living, never having learned, as products of our school systems and single family homes, to do anything else.  These are people who have never been functional members of society – and like the devil’s minions, their numbers are legion.

Should there be any liberal readers who stumbled upon this post, I want to prepare you for what’s coming.  Perhaps you should begin Googling from your latest version of the iPhone in your chic white suburban home and look up the number for the Federal Thought Police so that you can turn me in.

There are now well over 2.5 million who are incarcerated in the United States.  According to “The Sentencing Project”, a liberal dink tank, the rates at which black Americans are incarcerated versus their white counterparts is five times as great and for Hispanics, nearly twice as great.  Naturally, the conclusion that the authors draw is that fat old white conservative SOB’s are far more anxious to punish the darkie or the spic than they are to put away someone who has the potential of becoming a good ole boy.

What a load of crap!  (I hear the phone ringing at the central office of the Thought Police).  Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to go to jail because, for  a very large percentage of both those communities, they are born into, grow up and live in environments which offer poor education, little opportunity and no reason to hope for anything better.

They turn to crime because it is the only “job” for which they qualify and, frankly, if they get away with it, they will make substantially more than their parent or parents.  And if they get killed while performing their activities, well, they didn’t really have the expectation of a long life anyway – so why not go out with a blaze of glory?  This is not much different than the mentality to which a suicide bomber clings.

So how did these communities get this way?  The answer, in no small part, is due to our government organizations which offer the sop of welfare as a way to insure a poor quality of life and to buy their votes.  The Prez has proven the master of expanding the welfare rolls and enslaving even more to become dependent on the state rather than on their own initiative.

As an exercise, I recently went to www.benefits.gov, input a little information about myself as a single, non-parent and found that there were 22 different programs for “assistance” for which I might qualify.  I returned to the site and claimed to be a single mother of three and found that I was eligible to apply for over 56 different programs.  This is pure insanity.

But government is not the sole reason for the horrifying conditions in our black and Hispanic communities.  Look at (I’m holding my breath as I write this even knowing that I’m going to use quotation marks), look at the “culture” of those at the low income end of those communities.

My first exposure to “rap music” was about twenty years ago.  It was gratuitously offered by some picnickers in the park across the street from my apartment.  It was hard to miss because the volume was so loud, I could clearly hear the lyrics from the boom box a half block away.

I also use the term “lyrics” in its broadest sense.  This was before the evolution of “gangsta rap” – and yet there was no lack of the usage of “nigger” and “Mo Fo” and “ho’s” in this particular piece.  That has only gotten worse.  And if you don’t think that constant exposure to that sort of negative, demeaning language has a role in why those who listen commit crimes, you need to go back and take a remedial course in human behavior.

Of course, those on the left will consider this music as “expressive” of the community which has authored it.  In this I would agree – which is exactly my point.  I’m sure that the press, which has no difficulty overlooking the conservative voices in this country, would be horrified if someone were to classify this “expressive music” for what it actually is – toxic waste.  And you can throw in most of the garbage that spews from Hollywood and on our televisions into the mix as well.

This may seem like the greatest work of prejudice that you have seen me write.  And you are correct.

You see, I am prejudiced in favor of anyone, white, Asian, native American, black or Hispanic who has worked his butt off to get an education, become a businessman or a doctor or a mechanic and who has endeavored to raise a family based on old fashioned principles of responsibility and doing what we all know, though few choose to admit, is the “right thing”.  It pains me that they are sadly painted with the broad brush strokes of bigotry because so many others didn’t have the willpower or the gumption to take their lives and make something of them.

So how does a law abiding citizen who works, pays taxes and tries to be an asset both through personal example to his family and as a member of the community deal with people who have never been exposed to, let alone practiced, any sense of morality?  I guess the answer to that for many is that they go out, buy a gun and have the confidence to be able to defend themselves if one of these thugs encroaches on their civil rights and liberties.

And there is good precedence for this – which comes to us from the Bible.  Before that document goes into PC revision, there is one story that I recall – and this is the way I read it.

David and the Israelites were confronted by the Philistines who had a “secret weapon” in the person of the giant, Goliath.  In the original version (1 Samuel:17), David, on seeing his fierce opponent did not say, “Well, hello, Goliath.  My you’re a truly vertically challenged person and you have a countenance of anger, probably as a result of not being breast fed by your Mother.  Come on over to my place and I’ll give you a nice hearty bowl of Range-free chicken soup with some lovely organic whole wheat noodles in it.  Then we can hug and everything will be fine between your people and mine.”

(Sorry, I got the PC version first – but back to the original).

48
”And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.”

49
”And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.”

If you like this piece, please don’t hesitate to leave a reply.  I promise never to share any personal reader information with the Thought Police.  But then, if you do like it, they probably have your name, IP address and more personal information than you would ever willingly give out, in their files already.

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