citizen1 (David Reynolds)

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Letter to the editor: Deadly equation

In a recent LJW article regarding the Las Vegas Shooting I commented in part the following: “The real issue here is not the instrument of death. The real issue is the state of mind of the person & the societal environment. I would propose that societal break down of values and norms combined with the political tactics used to divide the country are the real issue causing anger and hate...constant arguing. 

I believe the discussion should not be pointed outward to an inanimate object. I believe the discussion should be pointed inward, and with some self-introspection ask how each of us can make our discourse and interaction environment better.

Outlawing guns doesn't change human nature or the environment in which society lives.”

In support of the above there are two articles with relevant information.

The American Enterprise Institute ran an article titled: “More guns, less gun violence between 1993 and 2013”. It can be found at the following site: http://www.aei.org/publication/chart-...

The article studied gun ownership & gun violence over a 20 year period, using data from the Centers for Disease Control, Congressional Research Service, and found privately owned firearms increased 56%, while in the same time period gun homicide rate went down 49%.

Bottom Line: Even if you’re not convinced that increased gun ownership reduces violent crime and gun homicides, you should be totally convinced of this indisputable fact: Gun violence has been decreasing significantly over time, not increasing as you’ll frequently hear from anti-gun politicians and progressives. 

Secondly the Washington Post ran a column by Leah Libresco.

The article can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...

Leah says: “My colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence.” 

In part, she concluded: “Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States every year are suicides. Almost no proposed restriction would make it meaningfully harder for people with guns on hand to use them.” Paraphrasing: “1 in 5 aged 15 to 34, killed in gang homicides; 1,700 women murdered usually via domestic violence. Far more people were killed in these ways than in mass-shooting incidents, but few of the popularly floated policies were tailored to serve them.

Her conclusion: ...We save lives by focusing on a range of tactics to protect the different kinds of potential victims and reforming potential killers, not from sweeping bans focused on the guns themselves.

October 5, 2017 at 11:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

At least 59 killed, 527 wounded as gunman opens fire at Las Vegas concert; worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history

I's amazing reading these blogs. Always blaming guns, and promoting banning them. Always pointing the finger outward.

Mass murders occur with various items such as firearms, cars, trucks, knives, a persons hands used as weapons, blunt objects like hammers, asphyxiation, fire, narcotics, drowning, poison, explosives.

Why just try to outlaw firearms? If firearms are outlawed are we next going after cars, a persons hands...?

The real issue here is not the instrument of death. The real issue is the state of mind of the person & the societal environment. I would propose that societal break down of values and norms combined with the political tactics used to divide the country are the real issue causing anger and hate...constant arguing.

The political tactics used are: personal destruction, identity politics, pitting members of society against each other based on color, ethnicity, economics, religion, political affiliation, and whether one disagrees with the latest "PC" issue or micro-aggression, or political issues like existence of global warming, or fanatical assault on President Trump. Social media is one of the worst offenders where people are abused by nameless/false identity individuals. Social media also isolates people from each other. Before social media people actually talked with each other. People are social animals and need face to face personal interaction. We don't talk with and discuss issues with each other any more, we just argue past each other.

There are some that just keep society in a constant state of churning and turmoil.

Our society is strained to the limit, and some can't take it and just lash out.

I believe the discussion should not be pointed outward to an inanimate object. I believe the discussion should be pointed inward, and with some self introspection ask how each of us can make our discourse and interaction environment better.

Outlawing guns doesn't change human nature or the environment in which society lives.

October 2, 2017 at 8:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Kansans who install solar panels may soon pay higher electric bills

I find this absolutely hilarious!

This was the exact same language used by the Lawrence City Commission & citizens supporting the commission when they implemented "Impact Fees/Development Fees" on new homes in Lawrence..."..higher rates in order to make sure they pay their fair share of the cost of maintaining the power grid." (Just insert water/sewer system).

The net result then was to increase the cost of housing & new businesses by thousands of dollars.

Now Lawrence has an "Affordable Housing" problem. Now it comes from the city mandating increased costs on housing & the Kansas Corporation Commission increasing costs of electricity for those trying to save money on their electricity by implementing "Green Energy!"

Impact fees were implemented by a liberal city commission & green energy was thrust on society by those liberals claiming Global Warming.

Seems to me the green is flowing to city hall & the utilities due ill conceived policies, and not considering the consequences, and all payed by the home owners.

There were many in the city & at meetings telling how Impact Fees would hurt the cost of housing, we were ignored then & now.

Those saying, forcing green energy solutions were not going to work and end up costing more were not listened to by the Climate alarmists. The only reason solar & other green items even exist today is because of subsidies payed by everyone to compensate the few.

So, now those bad policies are coming due. My oh my, what will those promoting increased costs on housing & home owners do to help lower costs?

September 22, 2017 at 5:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Free individuals

Steve, I would also like to add further comments regarding how the Big Government social programs from the Great Society, are not helping any demographic, but in fact, are worsening their plight.

Quoting from the above article:

"The most devastating by-product of the mushrooming welfare state was the corrosive effect it had (along with powerful cultural phenomena such as the feminist and Black Power movements) on American family life, particularly in the black community. As provisions in welfare laws offered ever-increasing economic incentives for shunning marriage and avoiding the formation of two-parent families, illegitimacy rates rose dramatically.

For the next few decades, means-tested welfare programs such as food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, day care, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families penalized marriage. A mother generally received far more money from welfare if she was single rather than married. Once she took a husband, her benefits were instantly reduced by roughly 10 to 20 percent. As a Cato Institute study noted, welfare programs for the poor incentivize the very behaviors that are most likely to perpetuate poverty."

"The marriage penalties that are embedded in welfare programs can be particularly severe if a woman on public assistance weds a man who is employed in a low-paying job. As a FamilyScholars.org report puts it: “When a couple's income nears the limits prescribed by Medicaid, a few extra dollars in income cause thousands of dollars in benefits to be lost. What all of this means is that the two most important routes out of poverty—marriage and work—are heavily taxed under the current U.S. system.”

The aforementioned FamilyScholars.org report adds that “such a system encourages surreptitious cohabitation,” where “many low-income parents will cohabit without reporting it to the government so that their benefits won't be cut.” These couples “avoid marriage because marriage would result in a substantial loss of income for the family.”

A 2011 study conducted jointly by the Institute for American Values’ Center for Marriage and Families and the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project suggests that “the rise of cohabiting households with children is the largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children’s family lives.” The researchers conclude that cohabiting relationships are highly prone to instability, and that children in such homes are consequently less likely to thrive, more likely to be abused, and more prone to suffering “serious emotional problems.”

Thus, it is imperative, if a person is to be "free" from "Totalitarian Socialism facilitated by Big Government", they must take “individual initiative”.

September 12, 2017 at 4:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Free individuals

Steve I believe you are so self-absorbed & myopic in your views, you do not see the reality of the world around you. There are millions of more stories like I quoted if you would look. The two I quoted were to show all the government intervention in the world doesn’t matter if the individual doesn’t act to improve their own situation; and to say that big government solutions don’t necessarily solve problems, they can perpetuate them.

Terry McCann, is a black man who, thru his efforts, became a school teacher in the south. He evidently knows first-hand the negative effects of the victimhood promoted by liberals. Terry is saying, if you want to improve your lot in life look inward, not outward for help.

Matthew Delmont is asking, what have minorities gained by aligning themselves with just one political party. It's gotten them Detroit, Chicago, LA, etc, with poverty, no opportunities, crime, and death on their doorsteps. He is asking what has changed for the better for minorities?

There is an interesting article titled: "HOW THE WELFARE STATE HAS DEVASTATED AFRICAN AMERICANS". It still rings true today. Please see:
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/vi...

The following is an excerpt from that article saying what "Big Government" has gotten some minorities: "The rise of the welfare state in the 1960s contributed greatly to the demise of the black family as a stable institution. The out-of-wedlock birth rate among African Americans today is 73%, three times higher than it was prior to the War on Poverty. Children raised in fatherless homes are far more likely to grow up poor and to eventually engage in criminal behavior, than their peers who are raised in two-parent homes. In 2010, blacks (approximately 13% of the U.S. population) accounted for 48.7% of all arrests for homicide, 31.8% of arrests for forcible rape, 33.5% of arrests for aggravated assault, and 55% of arrests for robbery. Also as of 2010, the black poverty rate was 27.4% (about 3 times higher than the white rate), meaning that 11.5 million blacks in the U.S. were living in poverty."

I would also add the current efforts by the establishment, on both sides of the political spectrum, to grant amnesty to immigrants, is also hurting minorities, by taking jobs minorities could have.

So please explain again how “Big Government & Liberal Victimhood” are improving the lives of minorities?

Steve, your childish references, to cherry picking stories, wake up, self-pity, etc. trivialize a very big problem. They also display, for all to see, your lack of sincerity, and ignorance to the realities of minorities, and how “Big Government” is not helping!

September 12, 2017 at 3:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Free individuals

Steve & Ken, sorry for no response, I have been out of town recently

I believe you both suffer from the idea that individuals only succeed thru liberal big government victimhood. It takes individual initiative to achieve, despite the odds. Look at all the successful minorities in the USA.

Free individuals are those who take initiative and, despite obstacles, achieve personal success. The liberals thru there over reaching activities stifle individual initiative. The following people explain what I am saying.

Terry McCann, in a Durham News Observer LTE titled: “Liberal dogma perpetuates black victimhood”, 9/3/2015, in part says: “The liberal narratives…portrays blacks and minorities as victims that need to be rescued and government as the institution that will bring forth equality for all.”

"Liberal policies put individuals with fingers pointing outward instead of inward. Many in the black and minority community need to look at the man in the mirror and see that the enemy is staring back at them. …If black people in today’s America are victims, the bad guys are no longer just members of the KKK and their riffraff but rather also are liberals that exaggerate inequality and unfairness in American life in order to justify overreaching public policies or programs. Liberalism undermines the spirit of self-help and individual responsibility.” Terry is a Durham mathematics school teacher.

Matthew Delmont in an article titled: What Black Americans Lost by Siding with Democrats, in the Atlantic 3/31/2016, says basically starting with providing the majority of their voting support to Democrats since President Kennedy, they have gained little. But most of all they lost leverage with the Democrats who basically ignore them until election time, making promises deliver little to nothing.

In part, he says: “While the passage of the Civil Rights Act helped Johnson earn…94 percent of black voters in 1964, there is a gulf between what black Americans hoped the legislation would achieve and what Democratic politicians actually delivered. Although… helped end apartheid conditions in the South, …the legislation did little to address the structures of racism that shaped black lives in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. This was an intentional consequence of how the bill’s sponsors, largely liberals from the North, Midwest, and West, crafted the legislation.”

After the initial impact of The Great Society programs of the 1960’s the poverty rate in America has bobbled along, but net out basically unchanged.

It’s Free Individualism, self-initiative, that makes a person successful, not liberal victimization & big government.

September 11, 2017 at 11:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Free individuals

Steve, “callow philosophy”? I do not believe Individual freedom without dictatorial oversight is an “immature” idea. The individual has always sought freedom from dictatorial oversight by overlords, monarchs, various totalitarian governments & now political ideologies. Please see the Magna Carta, William Penn’s Charter of Privileges, the USA Bill of Rights.

In my post, I should have made one further point: I was never told: I couldn’t do something; I was unworthy, I was a victim of my ancestors being persecuted for their religion or we were dirt poor thus I couldn’t achieve in life. On the contrary: “My mother said: “The Lord Helps Those That Help Themselves”. No victimhood, that was just the situation.

This is contrary to victimhood advocated today using the past versus today via the “Ad Misericordiam fallacy” argument where victimhood & dependence is promoted and, in fact justified.

There was an interesting article in the New York Times, in 2014, titled: What Drives Success?
The authors basic argument is “It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.” By impulse control the authors mean, what are you willing to give up today to have a better tomorrow?

After one of their examples they say: “The point of this example is not, “See, it’s easy to climb out of poverty in America.” On the contrary, Justice Sotomayor’s story illustrates just how extraordinary a person has to be to overcome the odds stacked against her…But research shows that perseverance and motivation can be taught, especially to young children. This supports those who, like the Nobel Prize-winning economist James J. Heckman, argue that education dollars for the underprivileged are best spent on early childhood intervention, beginning at preschool age, when kids are most formable.”

They also say: “The United States itself was born a Triple Package nation, with an outsize belief in its own exceptionality, a goading desire to prove itself to aristocratic Europe (Thomas Jefferson sent a giant moose carcass to Paris to prove that America’s animals were bigger than Europe’s) and a Puritan inheritance of impulse control.”

The article also says many minority groups are more successful than whites, due to their striving for success.

Thus, the article is saying if we promote success from early in life we can have “individuals” grow up believing they can succeed. If, we would promote success more than victimhood/dependence we would see broad success of everyone in society.

If those promoting victimhood quit telling people they are victims, and instead promote a positive “can do” attitude, we help individuals/people be Free to succeed.

September 6, 2017 at 2:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Free individuals

Ken, you make a great many assumptions about me & the opportunities I may or may not have had. I will give you a little bit about my background. The point to understand as you read this is that regardless of the many obstacles in my life, thru personal perseverance, I and my wife overcame them. Thus, demonstrating that no matter what, by having a goal in life, it doesn't matter how many times one gets knocked down. What matters is how many times you get up and continue to persevere.

Contrary to your biased opinion Ken, it doesn't take "privilege" to succeed in life, it takes resilience, personal goals, and stick-to-itiveness!

That is the lesson life has taught me, and so many others who have overcome their share of adversities to achieve their personal goals.

My story started 6 weeks before I was born when my father, who was a police officer, was shot twice, and killed. The first 7 years of my life I lived primarily with my grandmother & step-grandfather. My grandmother suffered from severe depression after losing 2 children and her husband who died resulting from their home burning down. My older brother and sister lived in an orphanage off and on for 2 years. In those days, there were no social programs for financial help. Everyone helped each other person to person, and took initiative to better their own lot in life.

When I was ten my mother said, she couldn't afford to buy my clothes or pay my tuition for school so I went to work delivering 2 different newspapers, getting up at 4:00AM, & worked at a soda fountain. I worked thru grade school & high school.

I married my wife right out of high school, worked in various jobs for 6 years, some of that time unemployed. I will say I never once filed for nor took unemployment compensation. I used my unemployment as motivation to get a job and provide for my family. After being married for 6 years I attended KU with a wife & 2 children. I graduated 6 years later with a degree in engineering. During that time, I worked 40 hours a week during the school year & 80 hours a week during summers when I wasn't going to summer school. Yes, I had student loans, but they came from a private bank, not the government. There was no one to help me.

My wife & I busted our buttons to make a life and I always went the extra step at work where they eventually sent me to school where I earned and Executive MBA. During that time, I became registered as a professional engineer in 4 states.

My wife & I risked everything opening our own company. While we owned that company, we worked 24/7/365. Yes, we provide everything for ourselves.

The problem with the Progressive’s “Equality/Justice” agenda today is it never promotes self-sufficiency, just victimhood/dependence. Why do Asian’s perform so well in school, and get great jobs as a minority, yet American women & other minorities are always complaining about being repressed?

September 5, 2017 at 10:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Free individuals

Ken, the "Equality & Justice" movements are great examples of "Victimhood".

You need to reread my posts & brush up on your history.

August 30, 2017 at 10:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Free individuals

Sorry Paul, for the misspelling. It's interesting your militant attitude, trying to demean the message. It's also interesting you weren't able to discuss/debate the facts of the blog.

Thus your typical leftist trick of trying to destroy the facts by obfuscating with let's say, colorful commentary tells us all you have nothing constructive to say.

August 29, 2017 at 8:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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