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Monday, August 5, 2019

The Best of Times



Friends, I recommend to you this great article that parallels what I've been saying for a long time: in an objective sense, there has never been a better time to be human than right now.  War, hunger, disease, and tyranny are all at a low ebb.  Life expectancies have surged.  Life in the developing world has made huge strides in the last few decades.  None of this is in dispute.  And yet we feel sorrier for ourselves than ever before, and we overwhelmingly seem to believe that civilization is going off the rails.  Why?  This article gets to the heart of it: the media misleads us, and, to an extent, we mislead ourselves.  Give it a read and see if you agree.

https://reason.com/2019/08/03/impending-defeat-for-the-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse/

In other news, I naturally condemn the horrific mass shootings that occurred recently in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.  Nonetheless, I believe that Americans' Second Amendment rights are inviolable, and we must resist the urge to solve every problem by granting even more authority to the federal government.  Better law enforcement at the local, state, and federal levels, and better detection and treatment of extreme mental illness, are the best solutions to the problem of mass shootings.  We should not lose sight of the fact, moreover, that such shootings are rare, and far more Americans are killed by the drug-related and gang-related violence that plagues many inner city neighborhoods.  The media may not care about this kind of violence, because it can't be weaponized against Trump, Republicans, or whites, but it is infinitely more prevalent than anything that white supremacists inflict on innocent Americans.  We should keep a sense of proportion, therefore, and attack the problem of violence rationally rather than hysterically.  Easier said than done, perhaps.

30 comments:

  1. I've been sitting here for about an half hour trying to decide how to form my words without sounding melodramatic. I will be the first to tell you, Dr. Waddy, I have been a tad exasperated over the latest news and political nonsense. Common sense does not behoove these people, no, they are too busy not pledging allegiance, that way they won't have to defend this great country. I'm not sure if I am willing to give up my unalienable rights (and some would argue that word unalienable is moot) to more law enforcement or to a doctor to decide my mental capacity. More laws do not in fact make a person safer, it is indeed the opposite. I might just add, that for those who follow the law such as myself ought not worry about it, but I am worried. Now, I am all for universal background checks and that info should be shared throughout the U.S. Let me tell you a little story about that...I am a proud gun owner. I followed all the rules and laws by the two states I legally lived in (Florida and Alabama), I was background checked (intensely I might add), fingerprinted by the FBI, went to classes and so on. Florida shared with Alabama and do you know that info is not shared to NY? I really took offense to this. NY is simply anti 2nd Amendment. Oh the rules we had to jump through to get guns registered here, ridiculous and somewhat insane. Oh, but I suppose we could of just said the heck with it, and lived "illegal" but no, since we are law abiding citizens we did it the right way. And for what it is worth, the enemy is not a foreign invader, it is the progressive government (stepping off the soap box now, grin).

    Onward to the article;
    "Human beings still have the capacity to mess it all up. And it may be that our capacity to mess it up is growing," claims Cambridge political scientist David Runciman in The Guardian. Indeed, I am one of those that believe this. Indeed, the media and dare I say those people in government often mislead. Social disintegration, I believe, is becoming an issue. Yes, indeed, we have it way better than our predecessors did. In general, I just think people have forgotten that we are all human beings and it takes all of us to sustain the environment and everything else that goes with it.

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  2. Linda and Dr. Waddy: Last things first, as usual for me. These recent shootings weren't school shootings but they remain a prime concern. They could be stopped overnight in all but those areas in which guns are considered "icky". In the real America most of us have guns and are responsible owners. I know we could immediately recruit volunteers from our communities to guard the schools. Anyone who is trained in self defense knows you defend at the point of attack. OK, we are under attack potentially anywhere from madmen released by liberal moral relativism from any misgivings about acting out their insane fantasies. That's reality. We can defend the schools tomorrow IF we have the political will and that includes the will to defeat such as Cuomo, who, in his "New Yawk" wisdom, dictatorially forbids teachers to be armed and would surely attempt to block LOCAL volunteers in the schools, who know far better than he what they are doing. Injunctions against such presumptuous contempt for our way of life upstate in NY must be sought from any source. These leftists will go all the way to Hawaii to find judges who will thwart Presidential directives. Surely we can find courts willing to put halters on leftist dictators like Cuomo and Newsome!

    Real America, you are so lucky to be free of totalitarians like we real Americans imprisoned in NY and CA have to suffer. Help us if you can, at the national level; I know you already do through NRA, which we do back as individuals.

    All other locations are

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  3. Dr. Waddy and Linda: If we were to install a magic button which eliminate 95% of all American privately owned guns, there would still be more than enough left for sociopathic monsters to avail for their rampages. It is not a problem of reckless availability guns in our country;that is proven by the paucity of such chaotic, anarchic, insane outrages in the decades preceding the '60's and those times yet polluted by the '60's and their malignant consequences. It is a MORAL problem and those monsters who think themselves freed to do what monsters do, have been released from the "Pandora's Box" of unendurable strictures on their depravity by perceived widespread approval of their fevered dreams. They must be met!

    In the general public setting, outside of the schools, defense for the public is more difficult but it is very ill served by reflexive reactions against private possession in public of defensively intended arms (as they surely are in 99.999% of carriers). Frankly, this is common sense and what does it say against the Cuomo and Newsome types who oppose it:that they oppose the defense of the lawful against the, to them, politically correct, criminal. And this stance lays bare a further conviction on the part of the totalitarian left of which these men are convinced defenders: you who resist us for any discredited atavistic "reason" will be beaten down! "Democratic standards are of little moment to us; we are materialists and only results matter to us". They must be met with material repulse.

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  4. Linda, I quite agree with your perspective on government power. More government doesn't make us safer or better off. Ultimately, it will make us slaves to bureaucratic micromanagement -- a fate, some would say, worse than death! Government always expands, after all. Its laws and regulations always proliferate (except when Trump is in charge). We can count on the fact that our freedoms will constantly shrink, unless and until we take positive action to defend them.

    As for the roadblocks that were placed in your path as a responsible gunowner, that is an unconstitutional outrage. Jack is right that we New Yorkers put up with far more restrictive gun laws than the vast majority of Americans. You can count on the fact that the Cuomos and the Bloombergs of this world are also plotting AS WE SPEAK to make the legal environment even more harrowing for gun-owning citizens. We can thank the NRA for doing some great work in holding these hostile forces at bay, but even the NRA can't work miracles forever. Hopefully Trump will win a second term, and in the process we'll tilt the Supreme Court more or less permanently in the direction of upholding the 2nd Amendment. That's our best hope. The public's commitment to gun rights is inconsistent at best, and our political elite would gladly go the way of Europe and ban guns, if they thought they could get away with it.

    Jack, you make an excellent point about the senselessness of banning guns from schools and many public spaces. Walmart, I believe, has a policy of forbidding guns to its employees and customers. Can you imagine how many lives would have been saved if the victims in El Paso could fire back? Many!!! You're right -- it's pie in the sky to suggest that we can prevent mass shootings by restricting gun rights. The genie is out of the bottle: there are PLENTY of guns in America, if you wish to do harm to others. What we must do is meet force with force. An attacker must be neutralized as quickly as possible, and we must stop romanticizing and publicizing their despicable conduct. If every would-be shooter knew he'd be rapidly blown away, and promptly forgotten by society, he might just think twice.

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    1. Indeed, Dr. Waddy. I haven no doubt that the governor and others are working towards more restrictive gun laws. Unfort. with the current environment on this subject, I simply do not have trust in the President--he has his daughter and others who are pushing more restrictions. I am a little disheartened at this point in time. Sad to say.

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  5. Dr. Waddy and Linda: This thing has gone back to erasing my comments again so I'lI keep them short. Considered in the last NY legislative session was a proposal to enjoin the state police to examine the on line traffic of NY gun owners for suspicious searches and apparent antisocial proclivities. I believe it was not enacted.

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    1. Jack, Blogger at times has issues with comments posting (I have that same issue with my own blog and no sense in changing sites--Wordpress has the same issue). Nonetheless, I do believe that will be the next push, Jack. "So called suspicious search and antisocial posts". My main concern is WHOM will be in charge and WHO will be the deciding this and how far will this go? What about due process? I'm not liking this.

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  6. Dr. Waddy and Linda: I expect it to come roaring back now with these recent shootings and with the rise to prominence on the left of the concept of "white supremacy" as a belief engrained in most white people. It follows for them that "white supremacy terrorism" is simply an extension of this "widely held" conviction.

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    1. Jack, we were just discussing this while watching Biden speak from Iowa (I believe it was Iowa). Be afraid, be very afraid of what is coming down the line (again, sad to say).

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  7. Dr. Waddy and Linda: We have seen the left's reckless misuse of the terms Nazi, racist, sexist, bigot as automatic, intimidating, "self evident condemnations of, especially, conservatives. If government officials tasked with discovering tendencies towards violence in people's expression of and search for, information and dialogue, and are ordered to see conservative expression as proof of white supremacist sympathies then the left will have found a powerful tool for the intimidation and suppression of conservative opinion.

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    1. Jack, again, we (husband and myself) were just discussing this...sadly, I have to agree.

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  8. Dr. Waddy and Linda: Since the left considers white supremacy terrorism to be an integral part of the concept of white supremacy they will deem any evidence of white supremacy belief to be justification for gun confiscation and suppressiion of the conservative movement which they hold to be be rife with white supremacy. Look to see vigorous leftist legislative and executive movement in this direction now..

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    1. Jack, I have no doubt...--we are discussing this very subject.

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  9. Dr. Waddy and Linda: It has always been the overriding purpose of the gun grabbing left to disable gun owners and NRA, who they know to be pillars of the conservative movement which so insolently bedevils them, inorder to severely wound conservatism. In this "white supremacy" concept they think they have discovered a powerful new tool for achieving that purpose. The real America must realize this intent and resolve to stand against it, four square and without apology.

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    1. Unfort. Jack, the hypocrisy is so real... I am hoping beyond hope that "real America" will stand up and say enough is enough of what is going on with these democratic candidates.

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  10. Dr. Waddy and Linda: I do think alot of these mass shooters are seeking death and wish to have some impact on this life they so disdain. But, if they feared meeting the wrath of God after death . . . . A spiritual reawakening could serve this end and it can happen.

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  11. Dr. Waddy and Linda: That article you cited advanced and supported alot of good explanations for the unwarranted pessimism about our undoubted present day very wide spread prosperity seen in the U.S.

    I have tended to blame it mostly on the far too numerous naive and unungrateful faction of the boomers and their shameful surrender to the radical left. I still think it a major factor.

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  12. Dr. Waddy and Linda: For that poisonous Marxist seduced perfectionist left, this being the best of times is not NEARLY enough. Buoyed as they are by airy presumptions of an unprovable but nonetheless illogically expected ideal future, they excoriate it and seek both its destruction and the punishment of those who seek to conserve its many positive aspects.

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  13. Dr. Waddy and Linda: No doubt Bernie and the Boomers would call the present day U.S. an "extractive civilization". But here I sit a retired librarian ( and I know the left and most spineless leftist apologist librarians would say that librarians are underpaid) with a good pension, great medical care, late model truck and cars, a paid for house with 25 acres and with my kids holding degrees from fine universities. Gee, the venal 1% must have have missed its bet in depriving me of prosperity.

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  14. For sure, these ARE the best of times (except for American kids; they had it better in the '50's, without leftist ideologues for teachers too many times, with being allowed a childhood and, in this area, being able to take .22's to school in case they saw something potable or even, gasp, an old bottle. Of course, that was just common sense, of which the left is tragically bereft but utterly unrepentant). Conservatives are on very solid ground by judging the present by the past, for the most part. We have empirical evidence, which the left blithely ignores, as they have none for their breezy future based ideals.

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  15. Linda: Re: your comment on who would judge examined on line traffic deemed to be predictive of violent tendencies. First it would be employees of the Executive branch which is dictated to by Cuomo ("nuff said). The State Police would be loathe to cooperate but they would be duty bound. Should they prove unsatisfactory they would be replaced by civilian 23 year old SUNY New Paltz graduates eager to suppress all conservative expression or policy. Meanwhile, Andrew and his avatars would be working to actually criminalize conservative expression, either by now obsequious legislative approval from unassailable NYC lala land or by casual executive fiat. I mean: conservative = white supremacist = white supremacy terrorist, which justifies both criminalization and consequent intimidation of all conservative expression and advocacy and the confiscation of the firearms of all who endorse it . Will the Supreme Court allow it? Well maybe not but we'll by the have collected enough guns (and lost alot of them) to encourage the despised owners to leave our state.

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  16. Linda: More of my blat. State gun confiscation procedure now requires the approval of, in many counties, judges. In our area judges would tend to be more understanding of gun owners' concerns and rights. One recent County Court Judge election had as its major issue the candidates' opinions on gun rights. A bill was introduced in the Legislature which would take from local judges most discretion in gun confiscation decisions and would compel them to follow statewide standards written, of course, by NYC leftists.As far as I know it hasn't been enacted . . .YET.

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  17. Linda and Jack -- your ruminations on the use of the pretext of "white supremacy" to justify mass gun confiscation are intriguing. You're right that the Left is close to defining support for President Trump as a mental illness already. In that sense they are halfway there. Getting the courts and perhaps even more importantly the police to buy into this agenda, however -- that conservatives are inherently dangerous -- could be tough. "Red flag" gun laws certainly do open up the possibility that overzealous bureaucrats will trample on our rights, though. We need to be vigilant.

    Linda, I understand your wariness about President Trump. As a confirmed New Yorker and former Democrat, he's probably not "all in" for the 2nd Amendment. His judges are, though, and I think he's smart enough to know that any broadly confiscatory gun legislation is a non-starter. His proposal -- to create federal grants to support local and state "red flag" efforts -- strikes me as fairly modest and unlikely to jeopardize most fundamental rights.

    Jack, I agree that the Left would happily destroy many of the institutions and technologies that have made modern life so easy and enviable: from the corporations which employ and sustain us, to the fossil fuels on which our blessed machines run. Our only hope is to keep these fuzzy-headed idealists out of power...or, if they take power, to hope that their pronouncements were always just for show. The latter notion isn't pie in the sky. The Left is full of poseurs.

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    1. Dr. Waddy, About the so called Red Flag laws, I was discussing this with an officer/friend of the family and here is the hypothesis; say you had a agreement with your neighbor, they call the cops and file a claim against you. The officer can seize whatever weapons you have, period. There is no way to get yourself off this "list" and hence, no due process. So, that means you (in general terms) are going to trample over my other rights. Very scary thought. Very hot topic and I am afraid, clear/common sense heads in Washington are not possible at this time. I truly believe that these people want to erode our rights so we can be depended on the government. Perhaps a refresher course is needed in the U.S. Constitution and the Bills of Rights for hose in DC?

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  18. Dr. Waddy: I agree; overall, the Courts would be the gun owners' friends and President Trump makes them more so apace. Sorry leftists, its only just when you consider ALL the law, not just the parts you like.

    But people like Cuomo with his "so sue me; don't cost me nuthin",attitude, I think, expect to lose some in court but not all. And they are still hoping to get SCOTUS back.

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    1. Hmm...interesting thoughts Jack and Dr. Waddy on the Courts. I see a challenge happening between Roberts and perhaps Gorsuch on this. Roberts certainty has left me with a bitter taste.

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  19. Linda: That is ominous and I agree, I do have some misgivings about Roberts; he could be an "apologetic" conservative. But then I have read analyses by well informed legal commentators that we need to be patient with him - that he is laying a solid foundation for the ultimate rule of law.Could be(?)

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  20. Dr. Waddy: I agree that, especially with an increasingly conservative Federal judiciary and the promise of much more progress toward restoration of the rule of law after decades of totalitarian presumption, that it may be difficult for the left to establish an assumption of conservative = white supremacist = white supremacy terrorist. But consider the now fashionable leftist concept of MICROaggression. As tenuous as it is the left thinks it has some purchase. They may similarly advance the above equation, hoping that by degrees they can institutionalize it in our legal system.I'm confident they will try.

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  21. Linda and Jack, great thoughts! I'm not 100% thrilled with Roberts either, but we need to wait and see what happens with Roe v. Wade and Obamacare. Those are probably the biggest decisions coming down the pike. One or two more conservatives on the court, of course, would make Roberts an irrelevance. That's what we need to aim for.

    Linda, the scenario you lay out re: Red Flag laws is plausible, but it's not inevitable. I suspect a degree of due process will remain. Remember, the Left hates guns, but it also loves crazy people! Their contempt for the 2nd Amendment and their adulation of people with disabilities are somewhat at odds, in this case.

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  22. Dr. Waddy: I would suspect there are other Constitutional protections (eg. due process) which the left disdains and which it would surely extinguish had it the power. The Second Amendment presents for it a very rich target because of abominations which the left maintains happen because of currently corrupt interpretation of that Amendment. Strange that! They have vested very much credit in Supreme Court decisions favoring their prejudices, now haven't they?" Heads we win, tails you lose" is their totalitarian , yes PREJUDICED, model! And it assures a totalitarian future should they prevail.

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