I am very passionate about reading. It is one of my favorite hobbies, if not the most favorite. The good habit of reading was created at very young age seeing my grandfather to mark off the articles he’s read in daily newspaper so he did not read them again on his cover to cover consumption of information. The fact he read Communist Party daily called Rude Pravo (Red Right) was not important. He did not have access to anything else. Propaganda newspaper, propaganda books, propaganda radio, propaganda TV programming. The good habit of reading was instilled early in my life.
We are very fortunate to have choices. Good, bad and the ugly. It’s our responsibility to sort through them and decide for ourselves. The other morning I went to my favorite news web site (not published in U.S., less bias) and the headline said “Obama to ask Congress for more money to battle Ebola”. The following morning, it was Monday and the weekend was full of real events that could fill newspaper from front to back but there was a half page article in the front section of USA Today about one of the staff writers finally meeting Brad Pitt on Red carpet. Are you kidding me? I know there are lots of Brad Pitt fans out there but half page article in the main section on Monday? Where is the in depth coverage of the job market, the financial situation, the military-industrial complex (air war against ISIS), naming more Tsars in last decade than Russia has had in three hundred years or another incompetence of large Federal agency called CDC? In depth coverage means asking questions we might not like the answers or the administrations will try to avoid answering. I never see enough of it. Yet we know what our “celebrities” had for breakfast.
I have mentioned in previous blogs government taking advantage of any crisis to squeeze more money out of the people. The Ebola incident is no different. President Obama immediately takes advantage of the situation and “creates a crisis”. Is Ebola dangerous? Yes. Is it an epidemic? No. Just another reason to scare people and reach into their wallets. If Nigeria can handle Ebola so can we. I believe the Center for Disease Control has their own budget of billions of dollars a year and part of it is to have the country, hospitals and infrastructure ready for these kind of events. Well they did not. The reason? It is a bloated federal agency with absolutely no feel with what is happening on the ground. I have two proposals for most of our federal agencies. We shrink their budget or eliminate them completely. Hand over the authorities and funds to states. They know much better what is good for their citizens than bunch of private sector failures employed by the federal government. If the event, crisis or epidemic reaches proportions Feds need to get involved then you can ask Congress for authorizing financial aid. Otherwise let states do what they need to do to keep their people happy, healthy and productive. This strategy would apply to health, education, transportation or any other department. The problem I see many “Statists”(liberals, big government worshipers or socialists) have is regression to pre Civil War America. I’ve been told by many leftist we can not go back to stronger state rights because of what happened then. I on the other hand believe we evolved as a country to a point where more responsibility to individual states and individuals in general is the only way out of this mess. How many more examples of federal government incompetency we will have to live through?
I do not choose my reading material on whether I’m going to agree with the author or not. I base it on whether the article, blog or a book will make me think about the issue, whether it will open my mind to other options and possibilities. The book I most recently read was Deer Hunting with Jesus (Dispatches from America’s Class War) written by Joe Bageant. West Virginia native, web columnist and self proclaimed left wing liberal. I do not agree with his liberal points of view but he did a great job explaining America’s gun culture. He believes the Second Amendment is not going anywhere and the leadership of the Democratic Party should focus more on creating an environment where our working poor can better compete for the manufacturing jobs in the increasingly global economy.
Here are few examples a liberal understands the Right to bear arms is not going anywhere.
The guns were brought to North America by European settlers long time before the United States were founded. They have been part of daily lives for over three hundred years. People used them to provide meat for their families, protect their loved ones or for recreation. I understand the time and the world were quite different. Never there has been so much discussion or disagreement about how much gun control do we need as a country until the government decided to make it part of their agenda to tighten the grip/control on population in the last couple decades. You can not change hundreds of years of tradition just to gain some political points.
The author talks how many generations of kids grew up around guns without any formal “firearms safety classes” and never witness accidental shooting. He credits gradual introduction by family members, fathers, grandfathers, uncles or older brothers and cousins. They were first allowed to come along to hunt just to watch. Next time it was being able to help find the game by crawling through thick brush or dense Forrest. The appreciation grew each time the kids were part of the process. Cleaning the guns after the hunt or range session was considered reward. Shooting small gage shotguns or 22 rimfire was the next step. ” The gun control” or being responsible gun owner was up to the family not government. When the time came to participate in actual hunt it was tremendous confidence and self esteem booster for a young man given to him,a gain,by father or grandfather. The last thing he wanted to do is to let them down. These things make better men. I speak from experience.
The family heritage of gun ownership is actually policy influencing matter. These responsible, tax paying people cross political lines.
Another well made by the author after visiting and interviewing many attendees and gun collectors is rarely discussed in the media. Many of them said they watch out for each other and rarely there is criminal purchasing guns at these shows to commit violent crimes. There is a lot of self policing, because they do not want the government to crack down or completely shutdown these events that provide opportunities to pursue their passion. Many of them are lifelong members of historical societies recreating battles from Revolutionary war to WWII.
The bottom line is the Second Amendment makes this democratic country safer. Freedom is work, some people do not want to put the effort in. They would rather have the government limit their right, choices and potential just to follow like sheep. I am not one of those people and I believe I have a good company of many millions of others who would rather depend on themselves, family or their local community than feel helpless. It is very demoralizing and it will erode the society very quickly.
The last note. The last fifteen to twenty years taught me a lesson in foreign policy. We can not help people around the world to create better world for themselves. It has to come from within, the people themselves need to be the leaders in overthrowing the tyrannical regimes. It is not up to western country (as powerful as we think we are) to initiate revolutions. We don’t share the same values, we don’t share the same expectation from life and these differences make us complete outsiders. Our goal has been to curb or completely destroy the Islamist extremism, the Jihadist or Muslim terrorist. Whatever your favorite term is. It seems to me the dictators in that part of the world were doing pretty good job. We decided to “help” and the world’s changed in an instant. Our role should be to defend our shores, our borders and our way of life. And our government is currently failing in all three.
I did not always have this opinion but recent history taught me a lesson. I hope our “leaders” can do the same.