Open thread Dec. 8, 2015 Dan Crawford | December 8, 2015 8:23 am Tags: open thread Comments (23) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
David McWilliams, Ireland’s most visionary (also most entertaining) international economist writes:
“Consider the fact that in 2012, American multinationals made $100 billion profit here on which they are supposed to pay 12.5 per cent tax, or $12.5 billion.
“But in fact they only paid $4 billion. So they ought to pay $8.5 billion more than they do.”
The ‘little boy who cried wolf’ is a standard fable used by American parents. In my parent’s home ‘making a mountain out of a mole hill’ was also likely to get a lecture. Judging by the news media, other parents were not so diligent about banning exaggeration.
So in the last few days we have the news media warning of “mass shootings” in a way that they are likely to be confused with ‘mass murders’, or terrorism. The Washington Post informs us that there were 203 mass shootings in 2015 if we define them as 0 deaths and at least 4 wounded. And there were 2 mass shootings in 2015 if we define them at least 10 deaths and 0 wounded. And they note that there were 354 ‘mass shootings’ by SOME counts.
None of these mass shooting were particularly interesting until the mass murder in San Bernardino California where 16 people were murdered. Then I began reading about very large numbers of events when people were injured or killed with firearms. (Over three hundred.) I wondered how I could have missed reading about an unusual onslaught. It turned out that I had not.
Why are the mass media looking to make our current situation look worse than it really is? Why the deceptive exaggeration?
And the same thing seems to be going on with the San Bernardino murders. This couple accumulated 4 firearms and a large amount of ammunition. Then they did nothing until after the husband went to a holiday party, and left early. Then they went to the holiday party with firearms. Why did he go unarmed the first time? Was he interested in some particular person? Maybe we should be a little careful in assigning his motivation?
These 2 people murdered 16 and wounded 22. This is horrific to those people and their families. But would we exact some international revenge over the deaths of 16 people? Really? If not, then this is just another exaggeration.
We are starting to define terrorism in a way that I most certainly would not have defined it, even after 9/11/2001. It took the deaths of almost 3,000 people before we were prepared to inflict death and injury on people other than those directly involved! Before 9/11/2001 we treated these sort of deaths as criminal acts.
I saw a very short interview with a muslim yesterday morning. He remarked that we all have our nuts. I smiled at the comment because it was so unexpected. I immediately recognized the truth of what he said, and the predicament that he found himself in. If he had asked us to recognize the practically nonexistent Christian terrorism, it would have been easy to write him off.
Why the exaggeration? Politics or an anti-gun agenda favored by a minority. An agenda which the majority of Americans will not adopt unless the perceived problem is much much worse than it really is! But aren’t these exaggerations harming completely innocent Muslims?
Writing off multiple woundings as what? Negligible? Weird point of view. As to requiring 10 deaths before considering them a mass killing? “Figures lie and liars figure.” Mark Twain.
JackD wrote:”Writing off multiple woundings as what?”
Writing off multiple woundings as attempted murders, I suppose. Something to be punished as a crime.
We are a nation of over 300,000,000 people. Over 30,000 people are killed in traffic accidents each year and we haven’t banned automobiles.
Wounding several hundred or even several thousand of us would not be earth shattering except to those wounded or their families. Our criminal courts could deal with those sort of crimes.
Murdering several thousand was treated quite differently and probably would be again.
I think it is the terrorism angle. There are two parallel narratives going on that are bringing up that large number of shootings though, one is using it to frighten, basically implying that there is a muslim uprising going on and that the number of mass killings is a sign of that (without specifically saying that muslims were responsible, because in 90+% of cases it was probably white libertarians off their medication), and the second narrative class is trying to either leverage this particular crime as a way to raise awareness of the overall problem of gun violence in the US, or simply to contextualize it in order to counterprogram the “muslim uprising” narrative.
I have difficulty telling, because I only look at news on the internet, but it seems like there is wide and persistent coverage on the order of the OJ Simpson trial. Useless repetition, stories being rerun with minor “new facts” that are irrelevant to the story…etc.
I don’t think the assertion that the “anti-gun agenda” is representative of a minority is correct. In my experience, nearly all states have a substantial gun-toting population that votes, largely from non-urban districts. Those people do not represent the majority of voters in the country.
J.Goodwin wrote: “I don’t think the assertion that the “anti-gun agenda” is representative of a minority is correct.”
I do share your concern about those “off their medication.” But otherwise our conclusions are different.
I believe that there are two ways to interpret the power of the NRA.
One is the cynical explanation that this small non representative organization uses its money to intimidate politicians.
The other explanation is that the NRA speaks for many more people than pay dues. Especially anyone who has actually put a couple of hundred rounds thru a semiautomatic rifle. That would include a very large number of men who served in the US Army before 1973. That also would include many many hunters east of the Mississippi River and a smaller number in the west. And it would include most of those groups’ families. Added to those groups are people who have lost any trust in the federal government, for whatever reason, and they see gun control as one more power grab. (I have given up trying to understand their various rationals, but I believe they vote.)
Whatever the reasons, voting for gun control in the United States is a good way to get you thrown out of elected office. And it takes a majority of voters to do that!
On the other hand, neither do I hear a demand that automatic rifles be made more readily available. My interpretation is that the majority of voters believe that we have the correct amount of gun control already.
I am not a member of the NRA and never have been. But I did put a few hundred rounds through semiautomatic rifles while I was in the US Army.
Why are you and others indicting the mentally ill? You are laughing at these people which I find irresponsible and at the same time not true. It also appears you and others seem not to care about a “thorough” background check of the buyer of a lead-spewing-weapon of mass destruction.
You have no proof of who the NRA speaks for and they are a well funded organization. Since the majority does not vote and the NRA depends upon such, it does not take a majority of voters to throw someone out of office. It just takes a well funded minority of voters to throw someone out of office, which the NRA represents.
This Vietnam and Cuba X-Marine Sergeant does not believe in open or concealed carry as I can not tell if you are f**king friendly or a f**king enemy. I do not like it either. Why does the same problem exist in the US as existed in Vietnam? Good guys and bad guys all look alike to me and when you are packing and I can not ascertain who is who. You are doing so for a reason which does not make the practice safe. I do not trust you or anyone else packing. Besides you do not look like “Mighty Mouse, Here to save the day” either. Best bet is no carry in public and if you do, you are a criminal and open to challenge by the police. Let’s cut to the chase and disallow all avenues to mass destruction.
Keep what you want to keep; just do not involve me.
Sleep with your lead-spewing WMD if you are of that persuasion; but, “Do not take your ‘gun’ to town.” It is not needed and you are not a good guy if you do so.
“….Many Americans fervently believe that our policies represent “American exceptionalism” — democracy, freedom, generosity, and a willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of mankind. They accept the notion that we have a responsibility as the world’s policeman to thwart evil. The recipients of our “largesse” and interventions don’t see it that way. They understand exactly what encroachment of empire means to them. It is understood that our presence has nothing to do with spreading humanitarian American goodness and values. Instead, the people of the region see us as invaders: stealing their oil, while corrupting and bribing puppet dictators to serve our interests. The response should never surprise us. Blowback and unintended consequences should be easily understood and anticipated….”
“The influence and profiteering of the military-industrial complex is never criticized by the neocons. Never do we hear an honest debate by the politicians regarding the immorality of the Bush/Cheney doctrine of pre-emptive war that was soundly repudiated in the 2008 election. Memories are short, and demagoguery is a team sport by politicians.
Transparency — and a little history — should convince the people that the clash of civilizations rhetoric is only war propaganda…..”
American exceptionalism: the God imposed duty to kill anyone, anywhere for the defense of oil producers threatened by the poor saps they have been slaughtering for centuries.
That and mass murder by assault rifles shooting pea round .223 are less than 5% of the atrocities committed by the NRA.
If we really want to worry about mass murder. We need to under stand the only class of people who have murdered more citizens than terrorist or a few disturbed Americans’ are our police. Now where is the out cry to stop law in force meant from self evaluation of their actions?
“in 90+% of cases it was probably white libertarians off their medication”
Wrong. Take a look for yourself at the 47 deadliest mass shootings since 1984. Of the 50 perpetrators, 26 were non-Hispanic White males:
Tashfeen Malik: Muslim
Syed Farook: Muslim
Robert Lewis Dear: White
Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer: White/Black
Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez: Muslim
Dylann Storm Roof: White
Elliot Rodger: White/Asian
Ivan Lopez: Hispanic
Aaron Alexis: Black
John Zawahri: Muslim
Adam Lanza: White
Radcliffe Haughton: Black
Andrew Engeldinger: White
Wade Michael Page: White
James Holmes: White
One L. Goh: Asian
Scott Dekraai: White
Jared Lee Loughner: White
Omar S. Thornton: Black
Amy Bishop: White
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan: Muslim
Jiverly Voong: Asian
Steven Kazmierczak: White
Robert Hawkins: White
Seung-hui Cho: Asian
Sulejman Talovic: Muslim
Charles Carl Roberts IV: White
Jennifer San Marco: White
Jeffrey Weise: American Indian
Doug Williams: White
Robert S. Flores: Hispanic
Charles Andrew Williams: White
Michael McDermott: White
Byran Uyesugi: Asian
Larry Gene Ashbrook: White
Mark Orrin Barton: White
Eric Harris: White
Dylan Klebold: White
Mitchell Johnson: White
Andrew Golden: White
Colin Ferguson: Black
Gian Luigi Ferri: White
Eric Houston: White
Gang Lu: Asian
George Jo Hennard: White
James E. Pough: Black
Patrick Edward Purdy: White
Patrick H. Sherrill: White
James Oliver Huberty: White
49 of which 28 are white and if we count Hispanic as white 30 of 49. 61% white. 12% black, 12% Muslim, 12% Asian and 2% American Indian. Guess the whites won?
Thanks Denis Drew for the very enlightening article from Dave McWilliams. I do like and agree with his thoughts and ideas to curb corporate inversions by establishing a “Sovereign Wealth Fund”. This idea makes great sense to give all stake holders the opportunity to have the same skin in the game as the “wages only” model that ain’t workin for ya. Lets “swap the taxes for shares of company stock ownership” .As part of your pay this “Sovereign Wealth Plan” looks like it would be made up of many companies that want to go “inversion” for the lower tax rates…There is another similar story on this today at Americans for Tax Fairness, Ron Eckstien on the Pfizer tax inversion problem.
JimH, they certainly are speaking for people who aren’t speaking for themselves, the question is whether they are saying things that those people would say if they were speaking, and indeed whether they are even saying the things that their dues paying members would say, and whether the dues paying members are aware of the things that are being said on their behalf.
I’ve certainly seen polls of NRA members indicating that they are not speaking with the voice of their membership.
“hunters” who have put several hundred rounds though an automatic rifle.
Gotta sight-in to make sure you are on the mark at 100, 300, and 500 yards. Take it from someone who has done so for the military. You can change a setting by rough handling of a bullet-spewing-target, hunting, or killing weapon. It makes sense to sight in occasionally dependent upon your mission. Sometimes, you only had one shot.
Our national symbol observes our national buffoon and reacts , appropriately :
J.Goodwin wrote: “In my experience, nearly all states have a substantial gun-toting population that votes, largely from non-urban districts. Those people do not represent the majority of voters in the country.”
So your story is that the majority of voters favor gun control laws but they keep electing and reelecting politicians who refuse to pass gun control laws??? (And I might add, occasionally they throw a politician out of office who favors more gun control laws.)
J.Goodwin wrote: “I’ve certainly seen polls of NRA members indicating that they are not speaking with the voice of their membership.”
And the second part of your story is that NRA members want more gun control laws but the NRA hierarchy continues to work to kill gun control laws??? (And yet those members remain in the NRA, so that it is still a large enough organization to scare politicians.)
I always have a chuckle when Democrats and Republicans insist that the voters are on their side, in spite of evidence to the contrary.
JimH, evidence! Good bad indifferent evidence is skewed by observer and retention functions. Logical fallacies are the norm for the gun debate.
ILSM wrote: “Good bad indifferent evidence is skewed by observer and retention functions.”
I think I agree with that. (Smiling) The trick is to use that information to force oneself to guard against the flaw. Instead of using it as an explanation for the perceived flaws of others.
But in any case, we have to take the voters as they arrive at the voting booth.
“49 of which 28 are white and if we count Hispanic as white 30 of 49. 61% white. 12% black, 12% Muslim, 12% Asian and 2% American Indian. Guess the whites won?”
Actually, taking Hispanics as White…
0.6% are Muslims.
Relative to their prevalence in the population, Muslims win hands down, followed by Asians. Whites are at the bottom.
You’re right. Whites win.
I just recalculated what you had listed in your chart. Everything else you have added after “won” is a different topic and a non sequitur.
And all I did was compare those numbers to the general population.
As an example, 2755 Whites committed murder in 2013. 2698 Blacks did. Did Whites “win” that?
Well, the country is 72.4% “European American”, and 12.6% “African American”. So Blacks committed murder at a rate 5.6 times the rate of “Whites” (which include Hispanics). Are the numbers of each in the population not relevant?