Friday, December 14, 2012
Why Does God allow evil?
There are multiple layers worthy of discussion when mass human tragedies occur. I've linked to two layers above which speak to a political discussion on "gun control" and "evil". Two very hot buttons in American politics today which have very divergent audiences. Here are my observations.
The first is gun control. As Mr. Levin so ably notes, the bodies of the victims of this senseless attack were still lying in the school when political attacks on gun ownership began in the usual quarters of the American Left. (See David Frum, Mayor Bloomberg, et al.) No sense of propriety for the families of the victims from the likes of these. No waiting for the full story to emerge before shooting their mouths off. "Shoots first, aims later" much? For what purpose? To motivate people when their emotions are rawest and elicit emotional responses for their own politics, regardless of the scale of the human tragedy. This is a common tactic on the Left, BTW. The name I use for these kinds of people are ghouls. I believe their most honest spokesman in this regard is the former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel who famously stated "You never want a serious crisis go to waste". Apparently Progressives were listening. This demonstrates an utter and callous disregard for the victims and their families who are just beginning to deal with the scope of this tragedy at the personal level. I believe this serves two purposes. First, it promotes the political goal of curtailment of the Second Amendment by attempting implementation "reasonable" encroachments on American's right to bear arms as enshrined in our Constitution. The second purpose is to redirect blame from the actor to the tool. If the media chorus all proclaim the universal evil of civilian gun ownership as the root cause of this act, it masks the true cause, that of evil in the heart of the killer. When we look at garden variety murderers, there are usually the same common motivators, greed, lust, envy and hatred. The act of murder itself is generally accompanied by the actor's ingestion of mind-altering substances and/or alcohol. The victims are generally known to the perpetrator and there are usually indicators that violence is in the making before the act occurs. Parracide is in a class of its own as is child murder. For someone to commit these acts alone, much less simultaneously, demonstrates that they are either very high on mind altering substances or they are insane, or both. Insanity has a variety of causations from genetics, to brain damage, to disease and medication and one which gets scant attention from the MSM today, evil. I'm not prepared to get into a theological exegesis on the culpability of a human being with respect to their actions from insanity versus evil. I am prepared to discuss the overarching reason that events like this massacre occur at all. See the second link above for background. God "allows" evil because if he didn't we humans would not truly have free will. We were created to be independent actors with free will and free choice, with the hope that we would see the infinite wisdom of loving and worshiping Almighty God. As there exists infinite love, there must also exist infinite hate, or what we humans perceive as "evil". What was demonstrated at that schoolhouse today was pure evil, regardless of the human causation we attach to it. The destruction of innocent children is rarely enjoined by theological authority. While there are exceptions in the Old Testament, these were rare and for very specific transgressions by the whole society. Thou shalt not kill (murder) is one of the Ten Commandments. Transgression of this rule is, by definition, evil. What can America "learn" from this random act of evil? Several things, the foremost one being that "gun free zones" are merely a liberal created free-kill zone. The military calls these soft targets because they are defenseless against attack. These zones should be eliminated immediately and school staff should all be required to be proficient with firearms and required to possess them while on school grounds. Second, America has a morality problem and we have strayed from the tenants which made us the greatest force for good in the 19th and 20th Centuries. In the 1960's we lost our way and now we are reaping the fruit from abandoning God's law. Unless/until we, as a People, turn back to the Lord, we will continue to see evil grow in severity and frequency in our great land. May God have mercy on our souls.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
As has been stated in the past, they are the Ten Commandments, not the ten suggestions. They are there for a reason. These basic rules to living are the best ones which humankind can ever hope to achieve on this terrestrial plane. All else is folly. There is a tipping point upon which God deems a nation unredeemable and His wrath pours out: Paging Mr. Sodom, red courtesy phone. I don't believe we're quite at that point...yet, but we are definitely starting to get warning signs that we're on the wrong path. Hello, Sandy, hello Katrina, hello floods and fires galore! Glo-bull warming is about the last thing we'll need to worry about if God withholds His grace from us. But hey, we've all got four more years of Hopenomics now, so who needs God anyway.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Government can't be "too big", just ask them.
Remember the War on Drugs? How is the war going? How did we fight this war in the 80's? Asset forfeiture. Due to the extreme profits available in the drug trade, governments decided to allow the most successful law enforcement agencies to retain some of the equipment and profits seized from drug dealers. This allowed the law enforcement agencies to maintain parity with their ultra-rich criminal elements. Asset forfeiture is alive and well in America today. In 2011, DOJ statistics revealed the US obtained over six billion dollars in asset forfeiture across the Nation. I have personally seen this money used to train many state and local law enforcement professionals in many criminal investigative fields who would not have had the opportunities to learn without this valuable program. This led me to conjecture on other possibilities of this powerful tool.
What if we extended the concept of asset forfeiture to economic crime (EC)? One of the continuous refrains from our government is the amount of waste they will “recover” by eliminating fraud waste and abuse. If this were so, then why do we still have so much of it in government programs? It is estimated that 20 percent of every Medicaid dollar goes to fraud.1 The total spending on Medicaid in 2009 was $375 billion, 20% of that is $75 billion of potential fraud. Why hasn’t the federal government gone after this money? My personal belief is they don’t want to. The more money pulled from the private sector and siphoned off to the public sector the better, in their opinion government can’t be “too big” even if it’s bad government. But that’s another story. Medicaid fraud is just one of the programs which could benefit substantially from my proposal. I believe that intelligent application of a version of asset forfeiture would provide a self-sustaining loop of correction to this or any other economic criminal activity. In theory, if a criminal investigation resulted in a recovery of funds from the defendants, including fines and/or asset forfeiture, I would allow the criminal investigators involved, as well as the organization and the prosecutor’s office to share a percentage of the assets recovered. Including the prosecutor's office in this is key, the government's constant refrain is the case backlog compels the release of so many "non-violent" offenders. The government claims they can't afford more courts to address this issue. My proposal woud allow the capitalist spirit to be channeled through law enforcement and provide the means for further investigation and prosecution of more criminal acts. Libertarians will howl that this will corrupt the police and increase malfeasance in their ranks. Perhaps, but with this new paradigm we could also include an independent oversight mechanism based on the inspector general system, but with even more autonomy. We must do something; the current head-in-the-sand approach is not going to work in the looming budget austerity all governments are facing. This approach is tried and true, is self-funding and has the potential for saving billions of dollars of your and my money. In America, if you want more of something, incentivise it, we did it for Medicaid fraud, let’s do it for law enforcement to combat this self-same fraud.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Read the following article, then my commentary.
Hold fire, earn a medalBy William H. McMichael - Staff writer
U.S. troops in Afghanistan could soon be awarded a medal for not doing something, a precedent-setting award that would be given for “courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives.
The proposal is now circulating in the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, a command spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
“The idea is consistent with our approach,” explained Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis. “Our young men and women display remarkable courage every day, including situations where they refrain from using lethal force, even at risk to themselves, in order to prevent possible harm to civilians. In some situations our forces face in Afghanistan, that restraint is an act of discipline and courage not much different than those seen in combat actions.”
Soldiers are often recognized for non-combat achievement with decorations such as their service’s commendation medal. But most of the highest U.S. military decorations are for valor in combat. A medal to recognize a conscious effort to avoid a combat action would be unique.
Consideration of such an award, first reported by an Associated Press reporter in Afghanistan, doesn’t mean that, if approved, troops would be pressured to prevent such casualties at risk to themselves, Sholtis said.
“We absolutely support the right of our forces to defend themselves,” Sholtis said. “Valuing restraint in a potentially dangerous situation is not the same thing as denying troops the right to employ lethal force when they determine that it is necessary.”
A spokesman for the 2.2 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars, the nation’s largest group of combat veterans, thinks the award would cause confusion among the ranks and send a bad signal.
“The self-protections built into the rules of engagement are clear, and the decision to return fire must be made instantly based on training and the threat,” said Joe Davis, a spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “The enemy already hides among noncombatants, and targets them, too. The creation of such an award will only embolden their actions and put more American and noncombatant lives in jeopardy. Let’s not rush to create something that no one wants to present posthumously.”
Giving a medal for restraint was proposed by British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, ISAF’s Regional Command South commander, during a recent visit to Kandahar by Army Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hall, the top U.S. enlisted member in Afghanistan, Sholtis said.
U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the ISAF commander, has placed a premium on preventing civilian deaths, having last year tightened the rules of engagement for air strikes and other combat operations in an effort to prevent fatalities. Such deaths build resentment among a populace the U.S. is trying to win over as part of its counterinsurgency strategy to simultaneously drive out the Taliban and strengthen Afghan government.
According to the United Nations, more than 2,400 civilians were killed last year, although estimates vary widely. From March 21 to April 21, 173 civilians were killed in Afghanistan — a 33 percent increase over the same period the previous year — according to the Associated Press, citing Afghan Interior Ministry figures.
So in addition to peace-keeping, nation-building, gender-norming, alternative-lifestyle embracing and culture-bridging, American troops are now going to be judged and awarded on their ability to avoid conflict. Read that again: American MILITARY members are going to be judged by their ability to AVOID CONFLICT in a COMBAT ZONE. If you've never been exposed to left-wing moonbattery before, welcome to the modern statist's utopia. With this in mind, I've got to say I believe our military leaders are suffering from a paucity of vision on this issue. If restraining from using legal, authorized levels of force to protect civilians from any possible harm is laudable, I have a better solution. I have come up with a fool-proof 100% guaranteed way to prevent ANY civilian casualties. I'm amazed none of these highly trained and educated leaders have come up with this solution before, it's so simple. To completely ensure that NO CIVILIAN CAUSALITIES ever occur again, and as an added bonus, every servicemember currently in theater can obtain the coveted medal to be awarded by the Commander-in-Chief, namely the Leftwing Order of SurendER, or LOSER award. All this by simply unilaterally withdrawing all of our troops immediately! The calculus is simple: No troops = no causalities! The resulting bloodbath of civilians by Taliban/Al-Quaida, once American troops withdraw would be irrelevant at that point because we would not be responsible, so who cares, right? Although the article above states that "British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, ISAF’s Regional Command South commander" suggested the brilliant idea behind the LOSER award, my guess is he got the idea from the French.