Wednesday, March 27

Why Gun Makers Fear the NRA

Every time I read about the situation with guns in USA it just bewilders me. It's not logical. But then fear is a funny old thing son. Look at nearly an entire nation is debating if normal people can buy a war capable assault rifle with 15 or 30 rounds. Wtf? 

That's what American civilisation has been reduced to? 

But watch this space son, these people are slowly becoming extinct. Wrong side of history. Wrong side of civilisation. Wrong side of religion. Wrong side of ethics. Wrong side of right. Wrong side of just being a good nice human being. 




Why Gun Makers Fear the NRA - Businessweek

In the days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre on Dec. 14, executives with a half-dozen major U.S. gun manufacturers contacted the National Rifle Association. The firearm industry representatives didn’t call the NRA, which they support with millions of dollars each year, to issue directives. On the contrary, they sought guidance on how to handle the public-relations crisis, according to people familiar with the situation who agreed to interviews on the condition they remain anonymous.

While the Obama administration had reacted meekly to mass shootings in Tucson and Aurora, Colo., Sandy Hook would be different. Twenty first-graders were dead. The president, a gun control supporter who previously had avoided the radioactive issue, wiped away tears when talking on television about the “beautiful little kids.” As a nation, the normally stoic president added, “We have been through this too many times.” In crass political terms, he was newly reelected and had less to lose in confronting pro-gun forces. The NRA’s leadership faced a choice: Go to the mattresses as usual, or acknowledge the special horror of Sandy Hook and offer an olive branch.

Tuesday, March 26

The Things They Leave Behind

War is one of the most stupid activities to be carried out by humans son. It rarely helps. Once you get a chance, read up on the concepts of just war. Then you will realise how rare are 'good' wars. Just in your lifetime from 1995, we have seen almost 25 wars of various kinds. And I've yet to find something good in any of those. 

Worse, after the war, everybody moves on other than the dead, the injured, their families and some historians. 

Pointless. Utterly pointless. That's why I look at people who profess war with the deepest suspicion. They are usually very selfish or are playing with other's lives. A teacher is braver and more creditworthy than somebody who professes war. 

Vietnam was such a pointless war. What was achieved? 60,000 Americans died. For what? A memorial which has panties and ashes?

The sheer stupidity just pisses me off. 



The Things They Leave Behind: Artifacts From the Vietnam Veterans Memorial | People & Politics | Washingtonian

Six white votive candles are left burning at the base of the wall after everyone has gone. There are only the candles and the flickers of light that dance above them. Lit from below, the names carved into the face of the wall don’t stand out as words. Instead you see fingerprints where a name has been touched, marked by the oils from living skin.

It’s almost 2 in the morning on Memorial Day 2012. Usually the Vietnam Veterans Memorial would have a carpet of mementos and letters in front of it on this, the eve of Rolling Thunder, when thousands of veterans, motorcycle riders, and onlookers congregate in Washington. Indeed, they thronged to the wall earlier and left hundreds of cards, grandchildren’s drawings, and teddy bears plus one rolled-up canvas that might have been a tent or a tarpaulin. But tonight the rangers have cleared everything away by order of the Secret Service. The President will speak here tomorrow.

All of these items are, officially, suspect.

Monday, March 25

Do Republicans Need a Conservative Version of the Welfare State to Win?


Here's an interesting article on what's a welfare state from the perspective of conservatives, left and libertarian. First off all, ignore the illiterate terminology that Americans use to say liberalism is something that only the left can use. That exhibits such a shocking Lack of knowledge of history and political philosophy that its surprising. Everybody should be proud of being a liberal and as soon as somebody says that he isn't a liberal, smack his ass and call him a Neanderthal. 

But go back to the concept of welfare state. You will notice, son, that people frequently forget that there are 3 elements to a welfare state. The recipients, the administrators and the people who pay for it. If one just looks at one part of it, like this article does, then one is missing the bigger picture. 

Nobody really disputes the need for a welfare state. What people complain about is the size, shape, length of support of a welfare state. That in turn drives the size of the organisation which is required to manage this. And that in turn drives the cost of it which the taxpayers, (both now and future) pay for it. 

Then you have the issue of democracy. Remember this son, a party which robs Paul to pay Peter will always count on the support of Peter. Which is why I hate Robin Hood. He was a thief. Him robbing the taxes meant that sewers in Nottingham weren't maintained. But I digress. 

So because of this the welfare state has always expanded over the past 100 odd years, govt has expanded to administer this and the range of taxes has grown immeasurably to pay for this tottering edifice. 

Till Paul said, hold on a cotton picking second. Just how long and how much do you want me to pay? That's why there is a debate about the welfare state. Given the general lack of productivity in western nations, the only way to pay for this giant welfare state is no longer taxation but to borrow from you, our children. 

Which is why, son, my advise is for you to either make so much money that you really don't care about taxation or move to a country like Singapore or HK where tax rates are low, welfare states under control and have learnt from the shocking mistakes of the west. 

Something to think about son. In the meantime, the conservatives in the uk and republicans in the USA will continue being the stupid party. 



Do Republicans Need a Conservative Version of the Welfare State to Win? - Hit & Run :

My friend Matthew Continetti has an interesting piece in the Weekly Standard explicating the “double bind” that Republicans face in trying to become electorally competitive again. He explains:

The domestic proposals that have the greatest chance of making the Republican party attractive to the “coalition of the ascendant”​—​immigrants, members of the millennial generation, single white women​—​involve far more government intervention in the economy than the GOP coalition​—​married white people, Wall Street, the Tea Party​—​will allow. And we haven’t even mentioned changing the GOP approach to social issues, which would drive the Republican base of religious conservatives out of the party. Pursuing such proposals would break the coalition that puts Republicans close to a majority.

Continetti is not the first conservative to argue — falsely as I note in an upcoming piece for Reason magazine — that courting new constituencies such as Hispanics, Asian Americans and other minorities will require the party to give up even its pretense of limited government. Still, Continetti’s basic point that the GOP does not have a coherent ideology that will allow it to court new constituencies while hanging on to its old ones is well taken. After all, how does the party appeal to the “millennial generation” that includes gays, young foodies and indie-music listening hipsters without losing the meat-and-potato social conservatives in, say, Charleston, South Carolina?

Continetti’s answer, dusted off from a 1975 essay by Irving Kristol, is that what the GOP needs is an authentically conservative version of the liberal welfare state. To fashion such a state, Continetti argues, would require:

Republicans to revisit some of the assumptions they have held since the end of the Cold War. Maybe the foremost concern of most Americans is not the top marginal income tax rate. Maybe you can’t seriously lower health care costs without radically overhauling the way we pay for health care. Maybe a political party can’t address adequately such middle-class concerns as school quality and transportation without using the power of government. Maybe the globalization of capital and products and labor hasn’t been an unimpeachable good.