Thursday, January 4, 2018

January, 2018, Part 4, Political Class Insanity: Kicking People Out Of Their Homes, Fruitlessly Searching for UFOs and Wanting UN Peacekeeping Troops In Chicago

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.

Let's get started:

1) If California is the worst state to be in now from just a depressing stand point, e.g. high taxes for low or no benefits, high levels of poverty and homelessness, substandard schools, skyrocketing state government debt, etc., then Chicago is likely the worst city to be in now. High debt, horrible schools, and worst of all, a murder rate that is out of control due to criminal and gang violence.

We have reviewed the death and maiming toll in Chicago many times in this blog. We have pointed out that the killing and gang/drug violence has been out of control for a long time and the local, county, state, and Federal politicians seem to have no concept on how to solve the problem. Because if they did, then the problem of criminal violence and death and maiming would have been solved long ago.

How bad have things gotten, how desperate have locals gotten to find a solution, any solution to the killing and wounding? Consider a recent report by CBS News:

  • Cook County (Cook County includes Chicago) Commissioner Richard Boykin has put forth the radical suggestion that the United Nations send in peacekeeping troops from other countries to fight the violence.
  • He says foreign UN troops are needed to fight the “quiet genocide.”
  • Boykin actually made a trip to New York City to meet with Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina, the U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Support, to seek UN help with “horrific levels of shootings” and other violent crime in West Side and South Side Chicago communities: “I’m hoping to appeal to the U.N. to actually come to Chicago and meet with victims of violence, and maybe even possibly help out in terms of peacekeeping efforts, because I think it’s so critical for us to make sure that these neighborhoods are safe.”
  • He correctly pointed out in a news conference just prior to his trip that, “leaders in Chicago and Cook County have failed to protect many communities from violent crime.”
  • He went on to explain that, “There is a quiet genocide taking place in too many of our communities. Eighty percent of those who are being killed by gun violence are African American, and often killed at the hands of another African American. So we must protect these population groups, and that’s what the United Nations does. They’re a peacekeeping force. They know all about keeping the peace, and so we’re hopeful that they’ll hear our appeal.”
I appreciate his thinking outside of the box to try and resolve this violence issue and I also appreciate his frustration and desperation to get something done. But really, the United Nations and peacekeeping troops? Name one spot in the world today, or ever, where UN peacekeepers ever did a good job at keeping the peace? The UN is a bloated, ineffective and inefficient organization that cannot get out of its own way. 

Plus, the reality is that the country in no way whatsoever is going to allow foreign troops to occupy an American city. It is a total waste of time to even try and make that happen. While I feel Boykin’s frustration, maybe his energy would be better spent reforming our drug laws which give rise to violent drug cartel gangs who openly battle for turf on Chicago’s streets. 

Maybe his energy would be better spent finding ways to bring jobs and economic opportunities to the residents of Chicago to help people more easily and more safely avoid a life of crime. 

Maybe his energies would be better spent ousting long term politicians from their jobs, politicians who have proven over time they have neither the will, the brains, or the desire to fix the violence.

UN peacekeeping troops in Chicago? Insanity.

2) One of our favorite pastimes in this blog is to report on stupid uses of taxpayer wealth by all levels of government and politicians. We once reported on how the National Science Foundation used over half a million dollars to create a video game that simulated “Prom Week.” We reported on how the Department of the Interior used taxpayer wealth to replace all of the windows in a government park building that had been closed for years and no plans were in place to ever reopen the building again despite all new windows. Another government agency wasted thousands of dollars to determine that in bars men generally prefer younger, thinner women. Insanity.

Which brings us to the latest wasting of $22 million in taxpayer wealth:

  • According to New York Times reporting, the Pentagon has spent at least $22 million of taxpayer wealth investigating reports of UFOs since 2007.
  • The program was super secret and hidden deep inside Pentagon accounting budgets to hide its existence. 
  • And while the Pentagon now admits to the program and says that it ended in 2012, there are reports that investigations are still going on within the budgets of existing Pentagon organizations.
  • The program started at the insistence of former Nevada Senator Harry Reid.
  • Oh, just be “coincidence,” much of the research and money went to an aerospace research company headed by a long time friend of Reid’s, Robert Bigelow who just happens to be located in Reid’s home state of Nevada.
  • Reid proudly stated that he did not regret blowing $22 million chasing UFOs, a chase that netted nothing: “I’m not embarrassed or ashamed or sorry I got this thing going. I think it’s one of the good things I did in my Congressional service. I’ve done something that no one has done before.”
A few questions and observations Mr. Reid:

  • Nothing came of this program so why are you so proud of it? If the objective was to prove UFOs exist, you failed.
  • Just because you have done “something that no one has done before” is no reason to be proud. No one had previously gassed to death six million people like Hitler did and that is nothing to be proud of. Or as the old saying goes, “just because you can does not mean you should.” Just because you spent and wasted $22 million on a failed idea does not mean you should have.
  • During this time frame we know now that it was highly likely that thousands and thousands of veterans were not getting the prompt and needed professional medical care that they were promised and yet you were wasting $22 million chasing bogus UFOs. Terrible waste of money and terrible priorities.

3) Let’s finish up today’s insanity and government out of control review with some local political class insanity from Denver, Colorado, as reported in the February, 2018 issue of Reason magazine:

  • Cynthia Lopez owned a house in Denver that she wanted to sell.
  • She had a found a buyer that wanted to pay $265,000 for her home.
  • But just days before the sale was to be closed, the local political class and the bumbling government apparatus it runs got involved, much to Ms. Lopez’s dismay.
  • Denver government workers told her that her home was part of an affordable housing program, unbeknownst to her, and that she could not sell the house for over $180,000 even though she had found a buyer willing to pay $85,000 more.
  • The local government officials readily acknowledged that Ms. Lopez had not been told or made aware when she bought the property that it was low income designated.
  • Nevertheless, the local government officials told her tough beans and not only did she have to sell the house for far less than market value but she also had to sell it quickly since she did not qualify for low income housing, given her higher than allowed income, of which her home was designated as, and she needed to get out of the neighborhood and program and her home as quickly as possible.
This is a prime example of government and common sense being out of control. Through no fault of her own, a poor citizen is being forced out of her home and is being forced to take a substantial financial hit at the same time. Pure insanity.

So let’s review what our politicians have wrought on us today: kicking innocent people out of their homes, wasting money chasing UFOs, and wanting foreign combat troops via the United Nations to come to Chicago to do what Illinois and Chicago politicians cannot do, stem the violence. Three stupid solutions courtesy of the American political class. More insanity to follow.

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