This post, by my friend Billy Beck, is best referenced without comment…other than to say read it.
Archives for January 2004
Alternately titled: Who the Hell Are These People?
I was interrupted from my evening review of favorite blogs to refresh my cocktail. In the briefest of passing, I noticed John Kerry on Fox News giving what I assume must have been a victory speech — but that’s not what I find disgusting.
What I find disgusting is the throngs who are gathered round him, looking up to him with the sort of adoring look that would be reserved for the Second Coming of the Messiah Himself.
Get a life, people. If you think for one second of your miserable lives that any politician is going to make any difference in your daily path, other than to perhaps influence it for the worst, then you suffer from the most pernicious form of self-delusion.
Furious and outraged doesn’t come close to describing my personal feelings over the story of Hale DeMar. In a letter to the Chicago Sun Times entitled Village Trustees … Stick to Parade Schedules & Planting our Parks, Mr. DeMar describes his experience of being prosecuted for violating handgun laws after shooting a burglar who broke into his house for the second consecutive night, and, after having already been arrested thirty times in the past by the "Village Trustees!"
I had made a commitment to myself to not go off the deep end with uncivil language in this Blog (rather, my wife gets to attend my verbal outbursts), but this particular injustice is so far beyond the pale that I am quite beside myself.
Here’s an excerpt:
"Fifteen minutes after bedtime, the alarm went off. Three minutes after the alarm was triggered, the alarm company alerted the police to the situation and 10 minutes later the first police car pulled up to my home, but only after another call was made to 911, by a trembling, half-naked father. I suppose some would have grabbed their children and cowered in their bedroom for 13 minutes, praying that the police would get there in time to stop the criminal from climbing the stairs and confronting the family in their bedroom, dreading the sound of a bedroom door being kicked in. That’s not the fear I wanted my children to experience, nor is it the cowardly act that I want my children to remember me by.
Until you are shocked by a piercing alarm in the middle of the night and met in your kitchen by a masked invader as your children shudder in their beds, until you confront that very real nightmare, please don’t suggest that some village trustee knows better and he/she can effectively task the police to protect your family from the miscreants that this society has produced.
This career criminal had been arrested thirty times…"
If you can stand to read this Blog regularly, then you probably already saw John Stossel’s 20/20 special last night. Lies, Myths, and Downright Stupidity. In what we have come to expect from Stossel, an excellent job.
Here are some highlights:
– Running contrary to the common hobgoblin who’s stealing all of our time and running us ragged, we actually have more free time now than ever, work less, and spend more time with the kids.
– The average family does not need two incomes. In fact, average income has trippled in the last 50 years, after adjusting for inflation. Most families have two incomes simply because there’s so many more things to do and stuff to buy, and Americans want them.
– Money does not buy happiness. Turns out that money only "buys happiness" if your income is under $30k, which makes sense, since under $30k, you’re probably going without a lot of basic stuff and are clearly living below "minimum standards" in America. However, above $50k, more money does not seem to matter.
– This one’s for all you well-meaning, value-cherishing Republicans out there who think you have principles. Well, I’ve got news for you. You have no principles, at least not when it comes to politics. Republicans do not shrink government, never have, never will. In the last 75 years, no Republican president has ever reduced the size of the FedGov one bit. Rather, they have all increased it, and usually, they increase it to larger proportions and more rapidly than do Democrats (that’s true since Nixon, at least). Spending is up 25% since G.W. Bush took office, and since the Republicans won the House and Senate majorities 10 years ago, in the 1994 "Republican Revolution," (don’t make me laugh) the size of the federal government has doubled.
– The rich pay far more than their fair share of taxes. The richest 1% (over $300k) pay 34% of all income taxes, according to the IRS. The top 5% (over $125k) pay about 55% of all income taxes. It was funny when Stossel asked Al "Tawana" Sharpton his thoughts and he said that the rich "pay much less than 10%, much less than 5%" and then added that they "should pay 15%." When Stossel told him they already pay 34%, he changed the subject.
– Chemicals are not killing us. Cancer death rates are declining. 2-3 million also die each year because of DDT. Not because of it’s use, but because of its non-use and the consequent rise of malaria. It’s the only really effective mosquito eradication method known. In spite of the way DDT used to be used indiscriminately, there are no documented instances of any problems caused to humans — only thinning egg shells in birds. Oh, and for all you "natural is better and man-made sucks" nutbars out there, both cerlery and brocolli contain known carcinogens (naturally). It’s the dose that’s important.
– Guns do not lead to more crime. CDC can find no evidence that background checks, waiting periods, and bans on certain guns have had any effect on crime. 36 States now allow anyone in good standing to get a concealed carry permit, and there is no detectable upsurge in crime.
– We’re not drowning in garbage. Landfill capacity is increasing, and there is stiff competition for garbage. Some communities put parks and golf courses on top of old trash sites. There’s adequate capacity with no adverse effects for the next 1000 years and more.
One of the very few Blogs I read in its entirety is Improved Clinch. John does me a great service by locating and posting lots of interesting tidbits from lots of other Blogs, and I thank him, here, in plain view, for that.
He’s recently discovered or re-discovered H.L. Mencken, one of the most quotables of all time. John has been posting daily notables that I’ve not read in many years. So, I had to go an get a larger dose myself. Alright, here, let me beat John to the punch just a little. :)
“I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.”
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed–and hence clamorous to be led to safety–by menacing with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
–H. L. Mencken
“I have long been convinced that the idea of liberty is abhorrent to most human beings. What they want is security, not freedom. Thus it seldom causes any public indignation when an enterprising tyrant claps down on one of his enemies. To most men it seems a natural proceeding.”
–H. L. Mencken
“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.”
–H. L. Mencken
“It seems to me that society usually wins. There are, to be sure, free spirits in the world, but their freedom, in the last analysis, is not much greater than that of a canary in a cage. They may leap from perch to perch; they may bathe and guzzle at their will; they may flap their wings and sing. But they are still in the cage, and soon or late it conquers them.”
–H. L. Mencken
“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule–and both commonly succeed, and are right… The United States has never developed an aristocracy really disinterested or an intelligentsia really intelligent. Its history is simply a record of vacillations between two gangs of frauds.”
“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”
–H. L. Mencken