The Real Tragedy Of Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech. Tucson and Columbine

The continuing drumbeat of the political assault on the Second Amendment suggests a disturbing increase in the direction of government authority. It should make every free American citizen quake in his boots. The stated goals repeatedly parroted by Joe Biden and Dianne Feinstein to the media and the public almost on a daily basis are disingenuous and false.

In 1997, following several massacres in Australia like those at Newtown and Columbine, the government issued a ban on firearms. It systematically confiscated and destroyed guns and rifles in the hands of private citizen. Within a short time, robberies, assaults and homicides escalated against people made defenseless by government fiat. Those citizens who defended themselves against the intruders with knives and clubs found themselves arrested and jailed.

In the United Kingdom, a massacre in a school gymnasium in Dunblane in 1996 resulted in a kneejerk reactive gun ban. The firearms of the ordinary law-abiding citizenry were confiscated and an immediate increase in violent crime occurred. To date, there has been no decrease in violent crime and no reevaluation by the government of its mistaken policies in either country.

The most egregious and frightening example of the motive and outcome of banning firearms was in Weimar Germany. Hitler banned the private use of firearms then systematically slaughtered more than seven million helpless citizens.

David Kopel notes that it was the British ban of firearms and gunpowder in 1774on the colonies and their confiscation the following year that precipitated the American Revolution. General Gage arrogantly marched his troops into Boston discovered to his chagrin that the American colonists disagreed.

The Founding Fathers wisely understood the importance of guns in the hands of private citizens as their only means to defend themselves against tyranny. Their memories fresh with Britain’s attempt to usurp their sovereignty, the Founding Fathers drafted the Second Amendment was drafted as the guarantor of Liberty for all future generations of Americans.

Mental health has been an abysmal failure in identifying the potential mass murderer and educating the public about the nature and limits of psychiatric treatment. Freud clearly stated in his writings almost one hundred years ago that not everyone can be a patient and not everyone can be treated. That is as true in America today as it was in Vienna in the late 1800’s.

Psychiatrists need to relearn a needed skill set that will better enable their diagnostic antennae to distinguish between normal, neurotic, asocial and evil. They are vastly different. Danger should be as easily recognizable to the skilled clinician as it is to our animal cousins.

Organized mental health needs to explain to the public in PLAIN ENGLISH that psychotherapy does not fix people. It gives people tools, and sometimes tablets, to ease symptoms and to better understand themselves. No more, no less.

Moreover, the mental health establishment must separate its own private ambitions for power and more funds for research from its greater responsibility to the public. Professional organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association have the responsibility to alert the public that there is no treatment for the asocial psychopath who is consumed with anger and hates humanity.

Young men like Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Seng-Hui Cho, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are savages that walk among the unsuspecting civilized populace. They need to be identified, apprehended and isolated. They are examples of normal human psychosocial development run amok for a myriad of reasons. It is naïve and dangerous to think any of them might have benefitted from rehabilitation and remediation. Their hearts and minds are immune to all human goodness, much less therapeutic insight.

What to do with the mass killers? Veterinary medicine offers one option. Vicious animals are routinely euthanized. The human equivalent is capital punishment. It should be used just as routinely without guilt or ambivalence. It may be the most humane treatment we can offer them.

The banning of firearms would be the height of insanity. As Wayne Lapierre succinctly put it, the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

America is perhaps the most decent nation in the world. We have, however, a unique history. As befits our Christian heritage, we are tolerant and slow to react. When we do, however, we have vanquished monarchs and tyrants.

Liberal politicians need to understand the defense of Liberty is in the American DNA. King George learned the hard way not to take away our guarantors of personal liberty. We’ve done it once. We can do it again!

WSJ: What Mitt Learned at Bain Capital

From the WSJ

Mitt Romney: What I Learned at Bain Capital

My business experience taught me how to help companies grow—and what to do when trouble arises. When you see a problem, run toward it before the problem gets worse.

The back-to-school season is here, and as parents take their children to shop for school supplies, I suspect that many of them will be visiting a Staples store. I’m very familiar with those stores because Staples is one of many businesses we helped create and expand at Bain Capital, a firm that my colleagues and I built. The firm succeeded by growing and fixing companies.

The lessons I learned over my 15 years at Bain Capital were valuable in helping me turn around the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. They also helped me as governor of Massachusetts to turn a budget deficit into a surplus and reduce our unemployment rate to 4.7%. The lessons from that time would help me as president to fix our economy, create jobs and get things done in Washington.

A broad message emerges from my Bain Capital days: A good idea is not enough for a business to succeed. It requires a talented team, a good business plan and capital to execute it. That was true of companies we helped start, like Staples and the Bright Horizons child-care provider, and several of the struggling companies we helped turn around, like the Brookstone retailer and the contact-lens maker Wesley Jessen.

My presidency would make it easier for entrepreneurs and small businesses to get the investment dollars they need to grow, by reducing and simplifying taxes; replacing Obamacare with real health-care reform that contains costs and improves care; and by stemming the flood of new regulations that are tying small businesses in knots.

My business experience confirmed my belief in empowering people. For example, at Bain Capital we bought Accuride, a company that made truck rims and wheels, because we saw untapped potential there. We instituted performance bonuses for the management team, which had a dramatic impact. The managers made the plants more productive, and the company started growing, adding 300 jobs while Bain was involved. My faith in people, not government, is at the foundation of my plan to strengthen America’s middle class.

I also saw firsthand through these investments how energy costs impact the ability of a business to grow. Today, energy costs are weighing on job creators across America because President Obama has limited energy exploration and restricted development in ways that sap economic performance, curtail growth, and kill jobs. I will take a sensible approach to tapping our energy resources, which will both create jobs and make energy more affordable for every sector of our economy.

In the 1990s, when the “old-technology” steel industry in the U.S. was failing, Bain Capital helped build a new steel company, Steel Dynamics, which has grown into one of the largest steel producers in America today, holding its own against Chinese producers. The key to its success? State-of-the-art new technology.

Here are two lessons from the Steel Dynamics story: First, innovation is essential to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. We are the most innovative, entrepreneurial nation in the world. To maintain that lead, we must give people the skills to succeed. My plan for a stronger middle class includes policies to give every family access to great schools and quality teachers, to improve access to higher education, and to attract and retain the best talent from around the world.

The second lesson is that we must have a level playing field in international trade. As president, I will challenge unfair trade practices that are harming American workers.

Running a business also brings lessons in tackling challenges. I was on the board of a medical diagnostic-laboratory company, Damon, when a competitor announced that it had settled with the government over a charge of fraudulent Medicare billing. I and fellow Damon outside board members joined together and immediately hired an independent law firm to examine Damon’s own practices.

The investigation revealed a need to make some changes, which we did. The company, along with several other clinical-laboratory companies, ended up being fined for billing practices. And a Damon manager who was responsible for the fraud went to jail. The experience taught me that when you see a problem, run toward it or it will only get worse.

That will be my approach to our federal budget problem. I am committed to capping federal spending below 20% of GDP and reducing nondefense discretionary spending by 5%. This will surely result in much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Washington. But a failure of leadership has created our debt crisis, and ducking responsibility will only cripple the economy and smother opportunity for our children and grandchildren.

I’m not sure Bain Capital could have grown or turned around some of the companies we invested in had we faced today’s anti-business environment. Andy Puzder, the chief executive of CKE Restaurants Inc., which employs about 21,000 people at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, has said that the “current unfriendly economic environment perhaps best explains why American companies are sitting on over $2 trillion which they could invest.”

President Obama has piled on excessive regulations, proposed massive tax increases, added more than $5 trillion in federal debt, and failed to address the coming fiscal cliff—all of which is miring our nation in sluggish growth and high unemployment.

I know what it takes to turn around difficult situations. And I will put that experience to work, to get our economy back on track, create jobs, strengthen the middle class and lay the groundwork for America’s increased competitiveness in the world.

Three Reasons to Have Hope

From the Flashreport:

CA Reps. McClintock, Royce and Campbell Named Club For Growth “Defenders Of Economic Freedom

The Club for Growth, the nation’s leading free-market advocacy organization, announced that from California, three members of the 53 person delegation had received their coveted Defender of Economic Freedom Award — Reps. Tom McClintock, Ed Royce and John Campbell.  The award honors Members of Congress who have a strong, consistent voting record on economic growth issues. 11 U.S. Senators and 34 U.S. Congressmen received the award this year.

“The Club for Growth values Members of Congress who vote based on principle for pro-growth policies that will restore America. The people of the 48th congressional district of California are lucky to have him fighting for them in Congress,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola.

To see how all Members of Congress did in the Club’s 2011 Scorecard, visit www.ClubforGrowth.org/projects.

 

A Battle the President Can’t Win

This declaration addresses a hidden danger with Obamacare (PPACA and ACA) and HHS.

President Obama’s decision on Catholic charities makes Romney’s big gaffe look trival.

Here is a very insightful declaration by Peggy Noonan from the WSJ.

Here is Noonan’s best line: “There was nothing for the president to gain, except, perhaps, the pleasure of making a great church bow to him.”

From the Declaration by Noonan, here is the crux of the problem.

The president signed off on a Health and Human Services ruling that says that under ObamaCare, Catholic institutions—including charities, hospitals and schools—will be required by law, for the first time ever, to provide and pay for insurance coverage that includes contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization procedures. If they do not, they will face ruinous fines in the millions of dollars. Or they can always go out of business.

In other words, the Catholic Church was told this week that its institutions can’t be Catholic anymore.

There was no reason to make this ruling—none. Except ideology.

The conscience clause, which keeps the church itself from having to bow to such decisions, has always been assumed to cover the church’s institutions.

Now the church is fighting back. Priests in an estimated 70% of parishes last Sunday came forward to read strongly worded protests from the church’s bishops. The ruling asks the church to abandon Catholic principles and beliefs; it is an abridgment of the First Amendment; it is not acceptable. They say they will not bow to it. They should never bow to it, not only because they are Catholic and cannot be told to take actions that deny their faith, but because they are citizens of the United States.

If they stay strong and fight, they will win. This is in fact a potentially unifying moment for American Catholics, long split left, right and center. Catholic conservatives will immediately and fully oppose the administration’s decision. But Catholic liberals, who feel embarrassed and undercut, have also come out in opposition.

The church is split on many things. But do Catholics in the pews want the government telling their church to contravene its beliefs? A president affronting the leadership of the church, and blithely threatening its great institutions? No, they don’t want that. They will unite against that.

The smallest part of this story is political. There are 77.7 million Catholics in the United States. In 2008 they made up 27% of the electorate, about 35 million people. Mr. Obama carried the Catholic vote, 54% to 45%. They helped him win.

They won’t this year. And guess where a lot of Catholics live? In the battleground states.

 

Capitalism and The Right to Rise

Here is a link to the WSJ’s article from Jeb Bush. “Capitalism and the Right to Rise”.

 

Capitalism and the Right to Rise

In freedom lies the risk of failure. But in statism lies the certainty of stagnation.

 

By JEB BUSH

Congressman Paul Ryan recently coined a smart phrase to describe the core concept of economic freedom: “The right to rise.”

Think about it. We talk about the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to assembly. The right to rise doesn’t seem like something we should have to protect.

But we do. We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise. We have to let them compete. We need to let people fight for business. We need to let people take risks. We need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions. And we need to let people enjoy the fruits of good decisions, even good luck.

That is what economic freedom looks like. Freedom to succeed as well as to fail, freedom to do something or nothing. People understand this. Freedom of speech, for example, means that we put up with a lot of verbal and visual garbage in order to make sure that individuals have the right to say what needs to be said, even when it is inconvenient or unpopular. We forgive the sacrifices of free speech because we value its blessings.

But when it comes to economic freedom, we are less forgiving of the cycles of growth and loss, of trial and error, and of failure and success that are part of the realities of the marketplace and life itself.

Increasingly, we have let our elected officials abridge our own economic freedoms through the annual passage of thousands of laws and their associated regulations. We see human tragedy and we demand a regulation to prevent it. We see a criminal fraud and we demand more laws. We see an industry dying and we demand it be saved. Each time, we demand “Do something . . . anything.”

As Florida’s governor for eight years, I was asked to “do something” almost every day. Many times I resisted through vetoes but many times I succumbed. And I wasn’t alone. Mayors, county chairs, governors and presidents never think their laws will harm the free market. But cumulatively, they do, and we have now imperiled the right to rise.

Woe to the elected leader who fails to deliver a multipoint plan for economic success, driven by specific government action. “Trust in the dynamism of the market” is not a phrase in today’s political lexicon.

Have we lost faith in the free-market system of entrepreneurial capitalism? Are we no longer willing to place our trust in the creative chaos unleashed by millions of people pursuing their own best economic interests?

The right to rise does not require a libertarian utopia to exist. Rather, it requires fewer, simpler and more outcome-oriented rules. Rules for which an honest cost-benefit analysis is done before their imposition. Rules that sunset so they can be eliminated or adjusted as conditions change. Rules that have disputes resolved faster and less expensively through arbitration than litigation.

In Washington, D.C., rules are going in the opposite direction. They are exploding in reach and complexity. They are created under a cloud of uncertainty, and years after their passage nobody really knows how they will work.

We either can go down the road we are on, a road where the individual is allowed to succeed only so much before being punished with ruinous taxation, where commerce ignores government action at its own peril, and where the state decides how a massive share of the economy’s resources should be spent.

Or we can return to the road we once knew and which has served us well: a road where individuals acting freely and with little restraint are able to pursue fortune and prosperity as they see fit, a road where the government’s role is not to shape the marketplace but to help prepare its citizens to prosper from it.

In short, we must choose between the straight line promised by the statists and the jagged line of economic freedom. The straight line of gradual and controlled growth is what the statists promise but can never deliver. The jagged line offers no guarantees but has a powerful record of delivering the most prosperity and the most opportunity to the most people. We cannot possibly know in advance what freedom promises for 312 million individuals. But unless we are willing to explore the jagged line of freedom, we will be stuck with the straight line. And the straight line, it turns out, is a flat line.

Mr. Bush, a Republican, was governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007.

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