Friday, September 16, 2016

September, 2016, Part 10, Political Class Insanity: More Chicago Violence, The Destruction of Freedom, Undcer Education Our Kids and Moe

It is the beginning of another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us.

The current monthly record for the number of days needed to cover one month's worth of insanity is ten. We almost equaled that record last month when we needed nine days to cover one month’s worth of political class insanity. There is a very good chance that the ten day record could fall this month since as we get closer and closer to the election, the volume of ineptness grows almost exponentially. 

But today and for all of the posts this month, let’s start off with a welcome piece of honest political dialog. It comes from a State Department spokesperson. Mark Toner, who is about to start the daily State Department press briefing. In a joking matter, he makes the following quote: "Welcome to the State Department. I think we have some interns in the back. Welcome. Good to see you in this exercise in transparency and democracy." 

He then burst out laughing at his own quote, indicating he also knew what a joke the Obama administration has been, especially Mr. Toner’s State Department, when it comes to cover ups, lack of transparency, denial of Freedom of Information Act requests, the prosecution of whistleblowers, etc. But at least it was a little refreshing to finally hear some actual honesty out of Washington as we see from the actual clip of the news conference:

Let’s continue on with this month’s political class insanity, Day 10 for September, 2016:

1) We have already discussed the drug and gang driven violence going on in the city of Chicago where dozens of citizens of that city are shot every week which leads many of them to die from their wounds. We have pointed out that since the city possibly has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, obviously having strict gun control laws and restricting the ability of innocent citizens to protect themselves is not working.

The other thing that is not working is the political class, from the local politicians to the Washington politicians. Not a single politician has come up with a comprehensive plan and strategy for reducing the violence, especially in the area of our failed war on drugs. To give you an idea on how not only is the political class impotent in resolving the issues in Chicago, consider the following facts and realities on the ground in Chicago as pointed out by an article by Aaron Bandler on the Daily Wire website on September 7, 2016, “7 Facts You Need To Know About Chicago's MASSIVE Shooting Wave:”
  • Over 500 Chicago residents have already been homicide victims this year compared to 480 for all of 2015.
  • At this rate, CNN predicts that close to 700 will die violently in the city by the end of 2016.
  • 70% of 100 Cook County jailinmates who were surveyed said that obtained their weapons from fellow gang members, friends, and family members, meaning that tightening anyone’s ability to obtain a gun legally will have little impact on the ability of a criminal to get their hands on a weapon.
  • Writing recently for the Chicago Tribune, Anita Alvarez explains how busted the criminal justice system is in Chicago: “Under our current statutes, a felon who is convicted of carrying a firearm in public serves less than half of the sentence imposed by a judge or jury — about 15 months. When a violent street gang member is arrested on the streets of Chicago with a loaded gun, he or she typically serves just 12 months, also a fraction of the sentence imposed. To be very frank, these criminals know and understand our system. Gang members themselves tell our prosecutors that Illinois gun laws are "a joke."
  • 63% of Chicago parolees will commit another crime within 12 months of their release from prison.
  • Nykea Aldridge, a Chicago resident who was recently killed by gun violence and who is a cousin of NBA basketball star Dwayne Wade, was murdered by two brothers who combined had been arrested 24 times, had spent only a combined total of 11 years in jail despite having been sentenced to over 26 years in jail in 2009 but somehow were on parole when they murdered Ms. Aldridge.
  • The Obama administration has done little to help Chicago apprehend, prosecute and keep violent offenders in jail which is especially sad since Chicago was his hometown before moving to Washington.
  • According to the article: “The rise in gun violence is also due to the police being hamstrung by the Left. As Heather Mac Donald explained in a column for The Wall Street Journal in June, members of the Chicago Police Department have become handcuffed to false charges of racism after the Laquan McDonald shooting as well as the American Civil Liberties Union forcing the police department to fill out forms that the ACLU has to approve of. Consequently, police stops have declined by 90 percent in Chicago, and now the city is in its deadliest year in 20 years.”
  • More than half of Chicago kids live in single parent households, making them much more likely to drop out of school, join a gang, and become criminals, a far more likely life path vs. kids that have been raised in two parent households.
More gun control, if that is even possible in Chicago, is not going to cure the root causes such as gang violence, a failed war on drugs, a hamstrung police department, lenient judges and lenient sentences, and single parent households. Address those issues and then maybe the people of Chicago will finally get a respite from the violence.

However, given the history of the political class in this area, from the streets of Chicago to Washington DC, do not hold your breath.

2) The really scary part of the violence in Chicago is that on a per capita perspective, at least five cities in the country are more violent than Chicago when you base it on a ratio of violence to the size of the population. Newark, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit are more violent than Chicago. And the political class in those cities are not doing any better job than the useless politicians in Chicago to get things under control. 

Just an observation: these five cities have ALL long been ruled by politicians from the Democratic Party, just saying.

3) One of the biggest problems in this country today, as we have pointed out many, many times is the failure of the public education system. Despite spending more per student than any other country in the world, America’s kids constantly score far below the test scores of kids from dozens of other countries. 

In addition, we spend tens of billions of dollars a year on a Federal Department of Education, probably having spent over a trillion dollars on this lame Cabinet Department since it was formed almost four decades ago and we have nothing to show for this taxpayer investment. 

This was proven again via a recent Politico article that summarized a survey from an Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania:
  • Thirty five percent of those polled could not name a single branch of the U.S. government.
  • Not name all three branches, they could not name a SINGLE branch.
  • Only 27% could correctly answer the question on many votes are need in Congress to override a Presidential veto.
  • Sixty one percent could not successfully answer the question of which political party controlled the House of Representatives today.
  • Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center issued a statement with the results: “Although surveys reflect disapproval of the way Congress, the President and the Supreme Court are conducting their affairs, the Annenberg survey demonstrates that many know surprisingly little about these branches of government.” 
Very depressing news. How are we as a people going to fix what ails this country when a large number of people do not even know our country and government is supposed to work? Thanks to the political class and their mishandling of yet another aspect of our lives, the education of our kids.

4) I have never been any kind of fan of Obama. In my opinion, he has been the worst President in my lifetime. His economic policies have been failures for the most part, Obama Care was a horrid experience and failure, he gets no respect from most world leaders, his meddling in the Middle East has destabilized Iraq, given mostly free reign to the Taliban in Afghanistan, and made Syria a much bloodier mess while facilitating the rise of ISIS.

Under Obama, we have seen a substantial drop in the level of freedom and liberty in this country. He allowed the NSA to spy on every electronic communications of every American without due process and warrants. He has gone after more government whistleblowers than all previous Presidents combined. He has hidden behind executive privilege relative to the illegal and immoral Fast and Furious gun running operation. He has delayed, ignored, and sabotaged legitimate Freedom Of Information Act requests. He turned the IRS into a political suppression weapon which denied First Amendment rights to millions of Americans. 

But while Obama had been destroying liberty in this country over the past eight years, world leaders have been following his freedom destroying lead around the world, as discussed by Washington Post writer, Fred Hiatt:
  • China, Russia and Iran have beaten down freedom in their own countries while expanding their sphere of influence over others around the world.
  • Allies of the U.S. have also been busy beating down freedom in their own countries of Turkey, the Philippines, and Thailand.
  • Many oppressive countries that experimented with freedom, e.g. Egypt, Bahrain, and Malaysia, have regressed back to oppressive ways.
  • Freedom House, which tracks freedom around the world, estimates that over the past decade, the level of freedom has declined in 105 countries and improved in only 61 countries. 
  • Mr. Hiatt puts a lot of the blame on Obama since “human rights were never a priority” for him and that “in his dealings with Iran, Cuba, China and other authoritarian countries, Obama has prioritized stability , and overlooked those countries brutal suppression of dissent.” 
So much for Obama’s initial preening world wind and world wide tours early in his Presidency when he tried to convince the world that he was their salvation. In reality, he turned out to be just another politician whose first priority was himself, and freedom and liberty for the masses, both domestically and internationally be damned.

That will do it for today’s and this month’s political class insanity. Unfortunately, we tied the record, ten, for most posts needed in one month to review all of the idiocy, wasteful spending, ineffectiveness, and freedom destruction that the political class constantly cause. More insanity next month where again we will try to break the record for most days needed to review the latest political class insanity.

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