CARTER, BUSH SR, & OBAMA
Republicans would love to paint Obama to be as this generation’s Carter – and limit him to one term. They float comparisons of the economy in Carter’s and Obama’s fourth years. But let’s add in the other recent one term President - Bush Sr. – who also had a bad economy in his last year.
Is there anything the three administrations have in common? Yes, they all followed eight year terms of Republican Presidents. To whit – Nixon/Ford, Reagan, and Bush Jr. Interesting coincidence or does eight years of Republican economic policy doom the economy?
THE REAL WORLD
Mitt Romney gave his analysis of Barack Obama: “We have a president who I think is a nice guy, but he spent too much time at Harvard, perhaps, or maybe just not enough time working in the real world.”
Here are some facts. The President was at Harvard for three years; Romney was there for four. Obama worked as a community organizer; Romney was a Mormon missionary in France. Obama was a civil rights attorney; Romney was CEO of a venture capital firm. Who do you think was more in the ‘real world’?
And exactly where would Romney like our Presidents to be educated – community college? Or perhaps he would prefer them to have no college at all.
CAN WE AFFORD THE DEATH PENALTY?
In 1978 Proposition 7 passed in California, re-instituting the death penalty. This year there is another proposition on the ballot to overturn it; not on moral grounds but financial. In the 34 years with the death penalty California has spent $4 billion to execute 13 people. The state spends $185 million a year to keep 700 inmates on death row and paying for their legal representatives.
Ron Briggs, who was instrumental in introducing the original proposition and is a leading proponent of its repeal, put it pithily: ”I tell my Republican friends ‘close your eyes for a moment. If there was a state program that was costing $185 million a year and only gave money to criminals and lawyers, what would you do with it?’”
GOD AND MAN AT YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL
The Bellingham School District has succeeded in angering both the “keep God in the public square” crowd and the “separation of church and state” folks. The local elementary school was going to sing the song “God Bless the USA’ except with the lyrics changed to “We love the USA”.
Predictably, those who want God in school were upset. The school board then decided that it was OK to mention God in patriotic songs and let the original lyrics stand; which irked the ‘separatists’.
Both sides are missing the point. Public school is for secular education, if you want your kids to recieve a religious education send them to a religious school, expose them to their faith at home and take them to a house of worship. If you want to keep religion out of school don’t waste your time on sing-a-longs, focus on keeping bogus science out of science class.
SHOOT ‘EM DEAD TED
Ted Nugent weighed in on the Trayvon Martin case, specifically the ‘stand your ground’ provision of Florida law, of which Nugent is particularly fond. In fairness he claimed he wasn’t taking sides but he made his feelings clear, saying: ”in England, by law, if someone breaks into your house, you have to retreat, like a cowardly sheep, out the back door. [...] That’s anti-human, it’s absolutely repulsive, and it encourages crime.”
I’ll take his word on English law and he is entitled to his opinions; but what of his claim: “it encourages crime”. Is Nugent right?
The FBI collects crime stats and by state; do they reveal a correlation between burglary rates and gun laws?
The burglary rate in the US is 700 per 100,000 people. New York, despite some of the country’s toughest gun laws has a rate half that at 335. In contrast Florida, home to ‘stand your ground’, has a rate of 900.
Geographically burglary is concentrated in an area that starts in the Carolinas, runs through Tennessee, down into Mississippi and Louisiana and across into Arkansas and Oklahoma. What might be called the ‘burglary-belt’ is contiguous with the ‘bible-belt’.
However, other states with few gun laws and high gun ownership – specifically the northern plains and mountain states – have low burglary rates.
Ted Nugent is wrong.