Saturday, December 15, 2012

Newtown: Tragedy strikes and America mourns (+Video)

By Jodi Fowler / Editor, Conservative Nexus / jodifowler

Editor’s Note: The editorial staff and writers at Conservative Nexus extend our deepest sympathy to the community of Newtown, CT, but especially to the families who have lost their children and family members to this horrific act of violence.

Yesterday, citizens of our nation wept and our hearts stood still as we learned of the tragic loss of 20 innocent young children, all ages six and seven, and six adults shot and killed by a 20-year-old young man allegedly suffering from a mental disorder. (See names and ages of those who died.) Prior to his murderous rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother as she lay in bed. After this mass killing, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. And we ask ourselves, “Why?” How does one make sense out of this senseless act? It is simply impossible.

As a nation these acts of violence seem to be increasing more frequently and with the recent shootings at a theatre, a mall, workplace violence, and now a Connecticut grade school; however, violent acts such as these are mostly carried out by a single person often with a history of mental problems and having reputations of being ‘loners.’ Mental disabilities of all types from bipolar disorder to schizophrenia to depression have always existed, not just in America but all around the world. And, the fear is that our federal leaders will capitalize on these recent tragedies to further erode our rights and freedoms as stated in the United States Constitution.

[See list of school shootings in the United States.]

People should have the right to protect their selves against an act of physical harm.

Listen to Mark Levin's comments on the Connecticut shooting here:

As one media outlet stated:
“Our shooters are creatures of the media, not the NRA. A media that turns killers into celebrities and then warns that the only way to stop more shootings is by cracking down on firearms.
“But no amount of media coverage ever stopped a man with a gun. It only encouraged him. It takes a gun to stop a man with a gun. That is the hard truth of human affairs. It is why we have a Second Amendment, it is why we have armies and police, and it is why people own guns.
“There is no going back to a time before people owned guns. There is no going back to a time when violence did not exist. There is only the reality that killers stalk the streets and that we can either defend against them or take comfort in empty outrage.
“Guns stop shootings. Not all the time and not every time, but they do. Gun control does not.”
As a result of this tragedy, Democratic lawmakers and other government leaders are already taking an aggressive stance. For example, long time Democrat, Rep. Jarrold Nadler said yesterday, “These incidents, these horrible, horrible incidents … are happening more and more frequently. And they will continue to happen more and more frequently until someone with the bully pulpit, and that means the president, takes leadership and pushes Congress,” adding, “I think we will be there if the president exploits it, and otherwise we’ll go on to the next incident.”

Bully pulpit? Exploit? This is an outrageous suggestion.

When President Obama addressed the nation yesterday after the shootings, he emphasized the increase of these recent violent acts and that action will be taken:
“As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”
And, on today’s weekly radio speech, President Obama again echoed many of the same words of yesterday’s comments emphasizing the need for, “…meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this. Regardless of the politics.”

Regardless of politics?

The tragedy of yesterday should not be used as a political tool for the goal of promoting an unwanted and unnecessary agenda, for this will only dishonor and disrespect those who perished and those who mourn. President Obama, Senators, Congressmen, and main stream media…take a step back.

This is a time for love and compassion and unity, not Politics 101.
Words all the more important today after yesterday's tragedy...

We mourn with you...

Don't Cave GOP, This Time Deficits DO Matter

Do deficits matter? Conservatives have sometimes claimed that they don’t. Dick Cheney has said on more than one occasion that, “Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter.” In fact, he said that to me personally once.

Supply-siders like me have often downplayed the importance of deficits, arguing as George Gilder and Jack Kemp argued in the 1980s that we can ‘grow our way out of it’. But we can only grow our way out of it if we actually grow. And if we don’t grow, there comes a time when debt grows to the point where it really is unsustainable.

That’s what is so insane about the compromise choir’s siren call for House Republicans to cave on raising taxes on upper income brackets, and on the debt ceiling. I think caving in on either of those issues would be a mistake, of course. But the idea of caving on both is utterly indefensible. If we’re going to engage in even more public debt accumulation, the only possible hope we have to deal with that problem is to ‘grow our way out of it’ like we did before. But we’re not going to grow our way out of anything by raising taxes on the upper income brackets, which are most adaptable to incentives.

And please don’t give me any of that nonsense about how we’d just be going back to the same taxes we had when Clinton was president. We would not. Far more people are above the $250,000 income level now than there were when Clinton raised taxes on them in the early 90s, and leaving the lower income cuts in place while rolling back the higher ones would make our tax code much more steeply progressive than it was then. Finally, Clinton did not have the Obamacare tax hikes, nor any of the other ‘taxes’ in the form of extremely high levels of regulation and dollar devaluation policies. If you want to go back to Clintonomics, be my guest, but take the whole winning formula.

But America is not currently taking the whole JFK/Reagan/Clinton/Bush II’s first term growth path. We’re taking maybe the worst anti-growth path since Hoover/Roosevelt, and that means that deficits matter quite a bit.

Yes, deficit hawks were wrong about the Reagan era, but U.S. debt levels at that time were below 50% of GDP during nearly all of both Reagan terms, rising only slightly above that level at the end of his second.  Now, Gross National Debt as a percentage of GDP is over 100% and rising rapidly. Reagan’s annual borrowing hovered in the 3-5% of GDP category, while for the past few years the deficit has hovered around nearly 10% of GDP. Furthermore, Reagan’s much more limited borrowing was much more palatable to conservatives because a rather large component of it was being used to finance victory in the Cold War.

Let’s do a quick refresher on deficits and debt, the differences and the similarities. Deficits are temporary shortfalls in revenues relative to expenditures. Typically, they’re measured in annual increments. They’re an element of budgets. They’re associated with current operations. In accounting terms they’re similar to Profit and Loss Statements.

National debt, on the other hand, is the accumulated effect of operations during the whole life of the entity. In accounting terms it’s more of a balance sheet entity. Frequently in public discussions the terms ‘deficit’ and ‘debt’ or ‘national debt’ are used interchangeably. This is a serious mistake. They’re very different things which represent very different dangers. Failing to make this basic distinction helped lead to serious errors in outlook during the late 1980s, during which many observers who generally share sound presuppositions about the nature of the economy were given to histrionic predictions of national default, debt monetization, and hyperinflation. These predictions led to seriously ill-timed recommendations to overweight gold in investment portfolios.

On the left side of the spectrum, such focus on deficits, as opposed to national debt, led to a wave of hysteria in the early 1990s which helped create the political pressure to which President George H.W. Bush succumbed when he reneged on his “read my lips” pledge not to raise taxes. The fact of the matter is that, though deficits were high at the time, the national debt was roughly 50% of GDP: a concern, but hardly an emergency. The proper response would have been a focus on long-term spending control and pro-growth policies, not a panic-based, growth-discouraging tax hike.

Debt at the levels which we see now is far more dangerous than anything we saw in the 1980s. They’re at levels generally only seen during wars of existential import, such as our Civil War and World War II, or Britain’s Napoleonic Wars. At such times in history capital markets tolerated high levels of borrowing, at least for the victorious side. Such wars defeated long-time enemies, leading to valuable ‘peace dividends’ afterward. Such wars had very limited time spans, after which there was typically some sort of ‘return to normalcy’ (the phrase used to describe America’s economy after WWI).

Our current situation is not as sanguine. Though the Iraq War has in some sense come to a close, and the Afghan War is scheduled to end, it’s hardly clear that the results have been victories which leave enemies decisively vanquished. In fact, ideological movements sympathetic to the causes we defeated seem to be gaining, rather than losing, influence through the ‘Arab Spring’.

Furthermore, current spending and borrowing levels are more the result of domestic campaigns rather than foreign ones: to subsidies for solar and other green energy proposals, to structurally higher levels of spending on higher education, health care, and social services, as well as on Keynesian attempts to boost ‘aggregate demand’ (whatever that is). History has shown that wars on nebulous enemies like poverty or stagnation do not end with victory, but with capitulation, because the means which government employs for fighting such wars actually create more of the thing the government is fighting against. Poverty never surrenders; stagnation never surrenders; in fact, these things are strengthened by the methods governments use to oppose them.

In short, we will lose our current war on whatever (Stagnation? Inequality? Injustice? Despair?) because our government is really waging a war on reality, and reality always wins.
Rampage Shootings: It's the Moral Decay of Society, not Guns

Rampage Shootings: It's the Moral Decay of Society, not Guns

By: Rachel Alexander / Townhall Daily

It should come as no surprise that the rate of mass shootings at schools and in other public places is increasing. The surge has nothing to do with guns, which have been widely available in the U.S. for years. Gun control laws have been increasing. Instead, there is a direct correlation between the increase in violence and the gradual degradation of morals, ethics and parenting. We are cultivating mental illness in our society.

Parents are allowing television and video games to increasingly babysit their children, even though both have become full of gratuitous violence. A New York Times study of rampage killers found that six of them were into violent video games. Research shows that violent video games and television desensitize people and promote aggressive behavior, despite claims to the contrary. A research scientist at the University of Michigan found that television was responsible for 10% of youth violence. Parents today are neglecting their children, and when things don't go well, rushing to get divorced instead of trying to work things out first. Children suffer emotionally when their parents fight or split up. Parents are ignoring their children so much they don't even see the warning signs that something might be wrong. The New York Times study found that
63 of 100 rampage killers had made threats of violence before the event.

Parents are no longer taking their children to church, where they would learn stability and morals. Fewer than 20% of Americans now regularly attend church. Every year there are 3000 fewer churches across the U.S, even though the population is growing. God and morality have been taken out of the public schools and replaced with political correctness and non-judgmentalism. “Public virtues” are no longer taught in today's schools. People who do not attend church are more likely than churchgoers to have stress and to be less optimistic about the future. When parents split up and there is no father to take the children regularly to church, the children are much less likely to become regular churchgoers than if their mother regularly takes them.

The New York Times study found that at least half the killers in 100 rampage attacks showed signs of serious mental health problems. 48 killers were formally diagnosed with mental illness, often schizophrenia. The mentally ill used to be kept in hospitals, where they were not a danger to others. Beginning in the 1950s in California, the ACLU successfully filed lawsuits to take the mentally ill out of hospitals, known as “deinstitutionalization.” By the 1980s, most state-run mental health hospitals had closed.

Now, most of the mentally ill are out on the streets or in prison. The laws have been changed to state that the mentally ill cannot be hospitalized until they've already attacked someone. As a result, more mentally ill people are incarcerated than in hospitals, with the seriously mentally ill three times more likely to end up behind bars than hospitalized. More than half of all people in prison report that they have mental health problems, and more than 40 percent of the seriously mentally ill have been in jail or prison. A study at the University of South Florida found that the highest users of criminal justice and mental health services were 97 people who had been arrested 2,200 times. It is ludicrous that those 97 people are not contained for their safety and others in mental health hospitals.

The 22-year old Oregon shopping mall gunman who killed two people earlier this week is sadly typical of the rampage murderers the decay of society has spawned. He had this written on his Facebook page, "I'm the conductor of my choo choo train. I may be young but I have lived one crazy life so far." One of his friends said he raised himself; his mother died at childbirth, he never met his father, and he left his aunt's home at age 14.

The left will use the high level of emotion stirred up by this past week's two rampage killings to push through new gun control laws. Liberal New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called upon President Obama to enact tougher gun control laws immediately after Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.

Yet demanding more gun control laws will not solve anything. Gun control advocates have already increased the number of laws around the country requiring background checks, waiting periods for purchases, and tracking of firearms. Many of the rampage killers obtained guns illegally. If they can't obtain guns, deranged individuals will find other ways to commit mass murders – by setting fires, making bombs or running people over with vehicles. One day after the shootings in Connecticut, a man in Beijing stabbed 22 primary school students with a knife.
The left should not be allowed to dominate the dialogue after these tragic events with a red herring argument for gun control, in order to sneakily distract Americans from blaming them for what they have wrought. 
Americans who believe in traditional values must speak up and denounce the degradation of society's morals as the root of the problem behind these rampages, or the tragedies will continue to escalate.

Guns do NOT kill people...people kill period, period!

School slaughter triggers push for gun control

Twitter explodes with calls to ban firearms

by Chelsea Schilling / WND

In the wake of the horrific Connecticut kindergarten massacre today, gun-control advocates are taking to Twitter and the media to blame firearms for the murders of 28 people, including 20 children.

“Too soon to speak out about a gun-crazy nation? No, too late,” tweeted “Bowling for Columbine” Director Michael Moore. “At least THIRTY-ONE school shootings since Columbine.”

He also wrote, “The way to honor these dead children is to demand strict gun control, free mental health care, and an end to violence as public policy.”

CBS News reported that the shooter was found with two handguns: a Glock and a Sig Sauer nine millimeter. Police reportedly located a .223 caliber rifle in his car.
CNN’s Piers Morgan tweeted:  “Another day, another horrific shooting. America’s gun culture has to change. When will America deal with its gun madness?”

Morgan added, “Any moment now, a gun nut will tweet me saying, ‘If all the kids in that school had been armed, the shooters would have been stopped…”
One person reminded Morgan that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, while there is a day to talk about gun-control policy, “today is not that day.”

But Morgan countered, “White House spokesman Jay Carney’s right – today’s not the day to debate gun control. YESTERDAY was the day to debate it.” He also said the tragedy led to what is “now President Obama’s biggest test – will he have the courage to stand up to the American gun lobby?”

In a statement today, President Obama told the nation, “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics.”

But New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg demanded Obama take “immediate action.”

“The country needs him to send a bill to Congress to fix this problem,” Bloomberg said in a statement this afternoon. “Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress.

That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response.”

Anti-gun groups planned rallies outside the White House on Friday evening., according to U.S. News & World Report.

The attack has ignited debate on the White House website, where at least six petitions demand gun-control measures.

“Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress,” states one petition with more than 25,000 signatures at the time of this report.

Current TV host John Fugelsang called for tightened restrictions on gun ownership.

He tweeted: “America likes guns the way the rest of the world likes soccer. Guns don’t kill people. People in states without gun-purchase background checks & waiting periods kill people.”

“Across the Universe” actress Evan Rachel Wood tweeted: “What is it going to take? #guncontrol”

Singer-songwriter Michelle Branch tweeted: “Gun control people!!! My heart is breaking. As a parent this is my worst nightmare.”

“Parks & Recreation” star Rashida Jones concurred:  “Gun control is our only road to freedom. Freedom from the fear of senselessly losing children. I’m so saddened. WE NEED LAWS NOW.”

Actress Mia Farrow took to Twitter to declare: “gun control is no longer debatable – it’s not a ‘conversation’ – It’s a moral mandate.”

Comedian Patton Oswalt added: “Yeah, I’ll wade right the f–k into this: MORE gun control, MORE mental health services. It’s no longer a debate. Never was. #newtown”

Actor Alec Baldwin tweeted: “One storm after another…. #GunControlNow.”

David Frum, former speech writer for George W. Bush, cracked: “Shooting at CT elementary school. Obviously, we need to lower the age limit for concealed carry so toddlers can defend themselves.”

In a column posted on the Daily Beast, Frum refused to apologize for his tweet, adding: “A permissive gun regime is not the only reason that the United States suffers so many atrocities like the one in Connecticut. An inadequate mental health system is surely at least as important a part of the answer, as are half a dozen other factors arising from some of the deepest wellsprings of American culture.

“Nor can anybody promise that more rational gun laws would prevent each and every mass murder in this country. Gun killings do occur even in countries that restrict guns with maximum severity.

“But we can say that if the United States worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be many, many fewer atrocities like the one in Connecticut.”

New York Times media columnist David Carr said, “If any other plague was leaving piles of dead bodies all over the country, including children, our country would figure it out.”

Actor and director Adam Shankman reminded America about the bloodbath in Aurora, Colo. in his tweet: “This year: CO movie theater, OR mall, and now CT school. How many innocents must die before we enforce more gun control! Prayer for #newton”

The killing spree at the Connecticut elementary school came just months after July’s “Dark Knight Rises” massacre in an Aurora theater.

Following the school shooting today, a father of a victim killed in the Aurora shooting is also demanding tighter gun-control laws.

As WND reported in July, that theater was called a “gun-free” zone and reportedly had a strict policy against firearms on its premises – even for patrons with concealed handgun permits.

In reaction to the wave of calls for gun control, former presidential candidate Herman Cain tweeted: “I am disgusted by those who want to get into the politics of today’s violence. Shame on Michael Moore & MSNBC.”

In his appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Geraldo Rivera declared, “I want an armed cop at every school. … We have to protect these children as if they were gold, as if they were the fissionable material in atom bombs.”

He added, “This is the worst thing ever. … It is so unconscionable, it is beyond description. ‘Evil’ doesn’t do it.”

Host Bill O’Reilly replied, “There is an evil in the universe. You can’t stop it. We just have to deal with it. … There’s nothing we can do.”

Tears, horror, and sadness on a beautiful day in December 
By: Diane Sori
December 14, 2012...another day of infamy in our beloved country as a madman took the lives of at least 28 people...20 of which were children...5 and 6 year olds whose lives had just begun. 
Today and for days to come all across America we join the angels in crying for all those lost, especially for the littlest innocent souls...the souls of the children...may they Rest in Peace in God's embrace forever and a day. 
And then the tears must stop...they must stop to honor the seek revenge for set things right for them.
A madman was set lose yesterday to do the unthinkable and do it he did before taken his own life. And while I want to damn him to hell it is NOT my place to do so for he will stand before God who is the judge of us all, and God alone will decide his fate.

Twenty year old Adam Lanza woke up yesterday at his mother's house and shot her in the face then continued on to whack carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. What he did brought the first responders, men and women who see the worst of the worst, to tears when realizing that most of the dead were sweet innocent children.

Bathed in blood and tears they covered the dead and asked as we do...why?

And though blame was quick to come and be placed on guns...on the NRA...on everything and everyone but the shooter, this is NOT going to do any good for people need to step back and think clearly...think rationally...and realize that the blame for this insanity must be placed on the one who did this...on Adam Lanza...and also on those who knew him...knew he was unstable...and chose of their own free will to look away and do nothing.

His parents knew there was something wrong...they knew their son was 'not quite right'...for all parents know when their children are not well...they knew and yet they did nothing. His brother Ryan knew and he too looked away. His friends looked away...his teachers looked away...they all looked away.

Mental illness claimed Adam's mind...claimed his soul and turned it dark...yet mental illness has symptoms, has signs that are recognizable if only those around him had opened their eyes to see what was there in plain sight, for to do what he did was NOT a thing done on a whim but was brewing inside him for only God knows how long.

Too much violence has been happening in our country of late...violence not really heard of before...violence against innocents yet blame is placed on those who deserve NO blame for what happened yesterday, as what has happened throughout this year in Colorado, in Oregon, and now in Connecticut, is the act of madmen and madmen alone.

Guns did NOT kill all these killed these innocents...flesh and blood men possessed by inner demons and by hate who lashed out in ways that the sane do not do, and they alone should be damned...for they alone are the guilty.

And last night America watched as our president once again spoke words that even he doesn't believe, because the sadness that truly touched our hearts...our spirits...was missing in the emotionless words said by this shell of a man who has NO room for God in his heart. Instead of crying for those lost this man's first words were, “We will take actions...” and America knew what he meant for he has NO true compassion for those lost at the hands of a madman.

We patriots know well this man's agenda, and watch as our beloved America slips further into the dark abyss of evil...evil at the hands of madmen who are absolved of blame because the 'bad gun' and the 'bad gun' alone did the unspeakable, including yesterday in a small town in Connecticut.

And the angels cried...