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In a recent letter to the Concord Monitor, Bernard Ash of Concord (NH) writes:

What can the idiots in the Legislature be thinking about when they want to okay guns in schools?

The Second Amendment was written at a time when the United States was little more than jungle with bandits, savage Indians and wild animals that we needed to protect ourselves from. Yes, and to hunt food. We have long outgrown that kind of life. According to a recent survey, in Japan where guns are prohibited, there were 97 murders. In the same year here in the United States there were 163,000 murders. Go ahead! Justify that if you can.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan is reported to have once said: “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts,” but Mr. Ash (may I call you Bernard?) certainly seems to be providing his own facts in this piece. To start with, the New Hampshire legislature is not proposing to allow guns in elementary schools. In fact the bill (H.B. 334) is simply a statewide preemption law which basically states that rules regarding gun ownership, carrying, taxing, etc. will now be set by statute instead of (in the case of state colleges and universities) by bureaucratic fiat. This bill will have the effect of allowing law-abiding permit holders to carry on campus but that’s not its primary purpose.

Bernard, in also rolling out the tired old saw about the Second Amendment being outdated, presents an argument that has been hashed over and shredded repeatedly. But let me summarize: the Second Amendment no more applies only to flintlocks than the First only applies to quill pens.

That’s when Bernard starts making stuff up. A “recent survey” said “there were 97 murders” in Japan? Well according to this article from 3/2010 in Japan Today (a source that is perhaps a bit more credible than “a recent survey”) there were not ninety-seven but one-thousand and ninety-seven murders in Japan in 2009, down 200 from 2008. And according to this table (which tracks close to but does not exactly correspond with the CDC’s data) from The Disaster Center, in the U.S. there were 15,399 murders in 2009 and 16,442 in 2008.

So Bernard was off by two orders of magnitude; one low for Japan and one high for the U.S. (but I’m sure it was an honest mistake). Keep in mind, however, that these are raw numbers, not rates. To convert them to murder rates per 100,000 we’ll have to do a little math.

According to Google Facts, in 2008 and 2009 the population of Japan was 127,704,000 and 127,558,000 respectively, compared to the U.S.’s 304,375,000 and 307,007,000. So, doing a little averaging, we get populations of 127,631,000 for Japan and 305,691,000 for the U.S.. Next we divide by 100,000 and then divide the total number of homicides by that number to get the real rate. This yields homicide rates of about 0.94 for Japan and 5.21 for the U.S..

Wow, Bernard’s right, that’s pretty bad. But wait, don’t the antis generally include suicides in their gun violence numbers? Why yes, yes they do. According to Wikipedia, in 2009 there were 32,845 suicides in Japan which gives us a rate of 25.75 suicides per 100,000, and according to the CDC there were 34,598 suicides in the U.S. in 2008 which gives a rate of 11.37 suicides per 100,000. So putting those together, we get (roughly, I know, but still a heckuva lot closer than an order of magnitude or two) violent death rates of 26.69 for Japan and 16.58 for the U.S.

Wait, what? I thought evil guns made violent death rates go through the roof in the U.S. while Japan’s virtual ban on guns made it an oasis of peace and serenity. But here Japan has an overall violent death rate 1.6 times that of the U.S. I guess Bernard has it backwards, doesn’t he? He told us that the strict gun laws and low ownership rates (as in Japan) cause lower violent death rates, but it looks like the loose gun laws and high ownership rates here mean lower violent death rates.

Of course it could be that matters aren’t quite as simple (simplistic?) as Bernard would have us believe. That’s about when Bernard issues his call for civil war:

We need to outlaw firearms in the hands of all civilians and start to collect every one of them and melt them down for railroad track. Yes. It would be a big job, but the longest journey begins with but a single step, in the right direction. The military and the police are the only people who should have them. No more guns!

It might surprise Bernard to know he’s not the first to come up this idea. In fact, shortly after the VA Tech massacre, a piece espousing a similar view was published by the Toledo Blade. It’s no longer available on their website, but through the magic of the Wayback Machine I found a copy and posted it here.

Once you’ve read Dan Simpson’s piece, I’d commend this response to Dan’s Modest Proposal written by Sipsey Street Irregulars blogger and Fast & Furious investigator Mike Vanderboegh. Now some folks find Mike a bit controversial; heck, a lot of people find him bug$h!t crazy. But here, he’s reasonably articulate and manages to clearly express feelings that a lot of us (myself included) have difficulty getting across. Like his response to these confiscatory suggestions. Mike lays out just what sort of unintended consequences this country might face if Dan Simpson, Bernard and their ilk get their way.

Of course, stuff like this gets the VPC and their spiritual brethren all up in a lather, calling us hateriots and insurrectionists and all sorts of bad things. But here’s the thing: I don’t hate my country. I love the ideas of limited government and fundamental rights laid out in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I am, however, less fond of the Leviathan that the federal government has become.

Furthermore, I will never rise up in rebellion against legitimate authorities. But if push ever comes to shove (and I pray that it doesn’t) I’ll have a choice: to meekly crouch down and lick the boots of my oppressors or to stiffen my sinews, summon up my blood and disguise my fair nature with hard-favored rage. I leave it to the reader to figure out which course of action I favor. But before that happens –  before letting slip the dogs of war – it behooves me to do everything in my power to warn those oppressors what may come of their oppression.

So to the Bernards and Dans of the world, be careful of what you ask for, you just might get it…along with a whole heapin’ helpin’ of unintended consequences.

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    • I’d argue that he meant going from almost one hundred to just over one thousand, so only one order. But I can’t speak for him.

        • “Politicians prefer disarmed peasants.”
          This was on a bumpersticker a friend of mine had for years. It came with the truck she bought used. Wish I knew who said it, but it’s definitely worth repeating.

  1. Liberals who refuse to see facts cannot be negotiated with. Negotiating with an anti-constitutional liberal is a futile task on par with asking a tornado not to wreck your house.

  2. I think you’re doing a little playing with the numbers too.

    The main point I would like to present though is the difference between suicide in the US and suicide in Japan. There, it holds none of the stigma it does here, in fact it’s considered honorable in many situations.

    So, suicide comparisons are unfair. That leaves you with the more than 5 times higher murder rate for the US. Now, let’s not forget this is the United States of America we’re talking about, the greatest country the world has ever known. How can such a shameful stat stand?

    • Yes, Mikey, but not all murders involve guns. Quite a few involve other weapons.

      Not to mention the murder rate is still about 1/3 of the number of deaths per year due to car accidents. If your actual intention was to save lives (we know it’s not), then you would spend your time lobbying for better crash regulations, more rigorous requirements for drivers licenses, mandatory yearly testing of people over 60, lower speed limits, etc.

      I truly don’t know why the guys continue to let you post. I 100% support allowing differing opinions and discussing things with people who disagree. But you’re not interested in discussion, you’re just trolling with your “submit to the mighty government, or else!” mantra while inventing “facts” left and right.

      • MikeB is not trolling. He thinks he has the right solution to fix a terrible problem in our country, which is itself a noble action. With that said, his reasoning may be misguided. Allowing him to post his opinion either allows us to prove flaws in his reasoning or will eventually show us why parts of our reasoning is flawed. No matter what, it is a win-win situation.

        • He is trolling. He routinely makes up utterly bogus claims, he ignores any counterpoint, and he’s not even a US citizen (or at least hasn’t lived in the US in two decades).

          His “terrible problem” is people having access to easy means of self defense. It’s been covered quite often if you read his garbage. He doesn’t care about “saving lives”, he cares about increasing government power over citizens – nothing more.

          As I said in my previous post, I’m all for having opposing views and discussion. His posts have zero worthwhile content and are merely absurd propaganda that even a child could easily see through.

    • I think that the most honest comparison does leave the US with 5x the murder of Japan.

      This is what happens when you compare an ethnically homogenous society with one that has created multiple ethnic underclasses. The number of murders in the US not tied to drug gangs and inner cities is roughly similar to the number of murders in Japan.

      Somehow I don’t think those guys are going to stop murdering people if they don’t get to use guns.

      • Good post, Mike. I have no idea how to study it sociologically, but I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the U.S.A. “melting pot” has a lot to do with higher violent crime rates. You take the bad with the good.

        • Not sure I would agree. Look at murder rates through history. In medieval and early modern England, the murder rates were astronomic compared with modern US rates, yet they had a much more homogenous society than ours. That murder rate also calls into question the “An armed society is a polite society” claim of Heinlein’s.

          • You could also argue that modern Sudan and Rwanda are homogeneous societies with astronomical violent crime rates. But I was talking about 1st World, Westernized societies. Sorry to not be more clear.

          • You should also note that the weapons of those times depended on physical strength and dexterity, built up over years of training and practice, something generally only the very rich (nobles), or dedicated soldiers, could afford in currency or time.A handgun takes considerably less strength to use than a sword or bow, and much less training time.

            Hence, more people more effectively armed for defense, and lower murder rates.

    • To your point on cultural differences, Japan is a homogeneous population where neighbors feel more connected to each other. The United States, in contrast, has huge issues between different cultural groups and a strong culture of individualism. Also look at Switzerland. It has a low murder rate as well, but every home has a full-auto assault rifle in it. The Swiss are also a relatively homogeneous group. Therefore, the most effective way to reduce murder is to make a population feel unified (still a very hard task for the US).

      • The Swiss population consists of German (65%), French (18%), Italian (10%), Romansch (1%), and our old friend Other (6%). That makes Switzerland more diverse than that garden of peace and civility, Mexico.

        There are a lot of reasons why places are violent, but diversity doesn’t appear to be one of them.

        • Clearly, its a matter of economics which tends to trend along ethnicity in this country.

          But the point is still valid. Guns aren’t the correlating factor to our homicide rate. Just the scary thing to people who don’t know any better.

        • Being of heavy Swiss or Schweiz descent and having a Grossmutter from Schweizerland, I can say that the people are a little more closer of a community nation than what the language differences state. The Swiss have somewhat of a democratic mountain culture and they think themselves a little bit more civilized than the surrounding countries.

      • I have quite a bit of Swiss-American and just pure Swiss ancestry and grew up around a Swiss-American Community ( Berne Indiana ) which had very low crime and wall to wall firearm ownership. Berne does have a very well developed Swiss Community atmosphere with many Swiss festivals. Many of the folk in the town go to the same Mennonite Church or Apostolic Christian Church.
        Everyone usually sort of knows the other person. In Berne, you are sort of on the honor system, and if you commit a crime, everyone will probably know it was you who did it. Commiting crime wil also make you and your family look bad.

      • I currently live in Southern Indiana near Batesville Indiana and while it is a German-Catholic Community, it still has many of the same attributes as does Berne Indiana. The crime rate for Batesville Indiana is much lower than the norm for rural Indiana ( which is actually very low compared to Indy or Cincy). Batesville has wall to wall guns as well.

    • So, suicide comparisons are unfair. That leaves you with the more than 5 times higher murder rate for the US. Now, let’s not forget this is the United States of America we’re talking about, the greatest country the world has ever known. How can such a shameful stat stand?

      Why should such a shameful stat be assumed to be in any way connected to gun control policy when you’ve just demonstrated yourself that such assumptions are misleading in the case of another category of violent death?

    • I have heard that in Japan, murder-suicides are counted as suicides. So if dad goes nuts and kills his wife and two kids, then himself, it’s counted as 4 suicides, not 1 suicide and 3 murders. Even if that’s not true, Japan has a serious problem with homicide (self or other). I sometimes wonder if the Japanese were trusted with guns, they might not find life so unbearable. Living in a repressive, high-population-density culture takes its toll. I know I always look forward to going to the range. I feel good knowing that in my state, I am trusted to buy a gun and carry it immediately, concealed or not, without so much as a license.

      This is something the Japanese cannot enjoy, and given the number of high-quality gun photography magazines, airsoft guns from Japan, and ranges in Hawaii catering to Japanese tourists interested in guns, we know there is a pent-up demand for that experience among the Japanese.

      Would they kill themselves less if they felt they lived in a country whose government trusted its citizens, and allowed them to take agency in their own self-defense? Or even just recreation? Who knows. But I think we can say with certainty that something is seriously wrong with Japanese culture given the amount of death it brings. Americans should be very hesitant to use that repressive culture as a model for anything. Including gun control.

      • I saw first hand the pent up demand for firearms in a Tokyo airsoft gun store. Yeah, they want guns bad.
        I bought a number of these toys there and made a tidy profit selling them here.

    • “There, it holds none of the stigma it does here, in fact it’s considered honorable in many situations.”
      And you my friend have seen too many movies. I’d even go so far as to say it stereotypes Japanese unfairly. A college student who takes their own life over failed grades is not acting honorably, they are depressed and ashamed.
      Maybe if you knew a family who’s child killed themselves you would wise up a bit.

      • And you my friend are blinded by your biased need to defend everything to do with guns.

        Japan has a little thing called Hari Kari, perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s in their history and has tainted even the present day college students you spoke of.

        It’s not unlike the violent episodes have tainted our modern day vigilantes and macho gun owners.

    • Mike:

      I will remember this posting the next time you include suicide in the number of people killed by firearms in the US.

      (I can’t believe that Robert and TG missed that one.)

        • Mike:

          In the past you have included suicides by gun in your statistics on gun deaths. It’s a legitimate if somewhat meaningless number given that guns aren’t the only path to suicide. So, I expect that in the future when you count US gun deaths you will exclude suicides from your statistics. If you don’t agree then I would have to say that Bruce’s comparison is valid and that Japan has a higher violent death rate than the US.

          • You should get a job as a carny barker. That’s the best double-talking twist-around I’ve ever heard.

            I include suicides in gun deaths in the US because I believe many gun suicides would not happen if the depressed person had to use another method.

            I don’t compare Japan to the US when it comes to suicides because there are cultural differences that make the comparison unfair.

            As another commenter said, the fairest way to compare the US to Japan is to say we have 5 times the gun deaths, give or take.

            The reasons are up for grabs. I say gun availability is one of them.

            • Mike:

              You want it both ways but you can’t have it both ways. Either you include suicides or you don’t. I think it is fair to include suicides from all sources in the stats. Your supposition that “some’ suicides won’t happen because guns aren’t available is unproven. The Japanese have more suicides than we do and don’t have guns. If a person wants to kill themselves they will.

              You argument about guns and murder rates is also cherry picking. I will pick a cherry that was already mentioned. Switzerland has about the same murder rate as Japan but unlike Japan the Swiss own guns. Not garden variety hunting rifles, semiautomatic pistols, and rifles that are black and look scary. No, they are armed with select fire, fully automatic true assault rifles.

              The reason that the US has a high murder rate is not because of the availability of guns. It is high because of an entrenched gang culture that has reduced large parts of urban America to the state of nature. The worse examples of this phenomenon are found it he places that effectively ban guns. The violent crime rate in DC is five times that of Northern Virginia. We have lots of guns and are safer than the citizen of London.

            • LOL, Yeah, Mikey has sure proven that an inanimate object can affect the brain patterns and feelings of the mentally ill by esp or voice commands forcing said person to commit suicide.

              Then again mikey forgets to address the left overs of suicide attempts, the hidden cost to society.

              Suicide by firearms is roughly 90% lethal in all attempts by this method.

              Suicide by falls is 70% lethal in all attempts by this method.

              Suicide by strangulation 50% lethal in all attempts by this method.

              Suicide by overdose is 2% lethal in all attempts by this method.

              So does the 10% of survivors of 16,000 suicides by firearm, out number all the survivors of all the other attempts resulting in the 16,000 other deaths?

              Falls approx 50% of remainder (8,000 deaths, 8,000 survivors approx)
              Strangulation 30% of remainder (4,800 deaths, 11,200 survivors)
              Overdose approx 15% of remainder (2,400 deaths, 13,600 survivors)

              Survivors of gun suicides 1,600
              Survivors of all other suicide methods 32,800.


              In fact were someone to do a proper research, how many of those survivors now have diminished capacities by oxygen deprivation to the brain or chemical damage?

              In fact all those survivors by the “other methods” compound each year by a factor of approximately 20 times exceeding survivors of suicide by firearm.

              So guess mikey prefers brain damaged drooling ones who are then a larger and larger financial and social cost drain on first their families and then society, rather than a person who incurs a one time cost for dying.

              Sad but true.

              • LOL, stand corrected on numbers used, approximate total survivors are, 1,778 by firearm, 3,429 by falls, 4,800 by strangulation, 120,000 by drug overdose for total of 128,229 approximately. Also changes the rate of probable brain damaged survivors by other suicide methods to a factor of almost 80 times more than suicide by firearm.

                Many opinions on the % of lethality or the % of attempts using said method (we are referring to US). But the fact remains, the antis argue guns are the most lethal, we agree.

                U.S. Suicide Statistics (2001)

                Survivors of Suicide

                Each suicide intimately affects at least 6 other people. (estimate)

                Based on the 742,000+ suicides from 1977 through 2001, it is estimated that the number of survivors of suicides is 4.45 million (1 out of every 64 Americans, avg. 297,000 per year so survival rate versus firearms used is actually 2 to 3 times higher than what we stated above).

                Since, on average, a suicide occurs every 17 minutes, then there are about 6 new suicide survivors every 17 minutes as well. Wow, 90% of those are the other suicide methods, such a cost to society of never ending care (extreme sarcasm but reality).

                In UK, Germany, 10% of al suicides are by train. Survivors are badly physically and brain damaged, so we should ban trains!

                Another factor is what medical experts ascertain as the method and the level of agony to the suicide. Funny how guns are rated as the least agonizing, and quickest here, hence the most humane. Yeah we can see how the progressives dont want the least painful and agonizing method of suicide available to ANYONE. Otherwise the progressives would be committing suicide by that method alone as they are all about easy!

                Wow, here is a study showing insignificant differences in suicides (successful) by those who have bee treated for mental illness versus those who are.

                Geez, another study showing suicidal tendencies are repeated, and this in a country where guns are banned. How can that be Mikee when guns are not available to use their esp or voice commands to alter the brain waves and thought patterns of those loveable suicidal people eh?

                Care to talk about guns being the only factor in suicides Mikee?

                Oh yeah, any study where Kellerman is involved is at best academically fraudulent and not included here!

              • The Jarhead said, in his typically misleading and mendacious way, “Care to talk about guns being the only factor in suicides Mikee?”

                This would infer that I had claimed that guns are the ONLY factor. I did not.

    • mikeb says “The main point I would like to present though is the difference between suicide in the US and suicide in Japan. There, it holds none of the stigma it does here, in fact it’s considered honorable in many situations.

      But mikeb, you can say exactly the same thing with regards to crime in the U.S. Here in many demographics crime holds none of the stigma here that it does there. In fact crime is considered honorable in many situations such as “He dissed me so I had to shoot him.” My point was that, when convenient, the antis lump together suicides and homicides as gun deaths. Yez cain’t have it both ways!

  3. Perfect example for where guns are prohibited “Mexico” 34,612 Deaths in 2011, With a population approximately 111,211,789 in 2011. Here in the United States there were 163,000 murders With a population approximately 310,500,000,000+. By the way in Japan where guns are prohibited, there were 97 murders with a population approximately 126,986,667. Anti gun liberals who refuse to see all the facts. Go ahead! Justify that if you can.

    • Might want to check your numbers, that is 310 billion. Which is like 50 times the number of people in the world.

    • Mexico is suffering from our misguided “War on Drugs,” which keeps prices of illegal drugs high and feeds the cartels (who, of course, launder their cash on Wall Street). The Mexican government response has been far worse than even the cartels. The army and Federales have run amok, kidnapping and torturing young men at random. Jaurez, a city I used to visit on every cross-country trip, has the highest murder rate in the world. Our tax dollars and drug snorting dollars are funding the out-of-control oppression and violence in Mexico. It is true that they have stupid, restrictive gun laws, but that’s not the problem. Mexico also has an extremely high level of economic inequality, though we’re doing our best to catch up.

  4. US there were 12,996 murders Of those, 8,775 were caused by firearms.
    Japan 1097 murders with a population approximately 126,986,667,000

  5. Just outlaw crime.

    Seriously though, people like this are the biggest psychopaths of all. They don’t want peace or less violence, they just want their unbalanced mentality and need for security, probably due to childhood trauma, sated by forcing their will on a free nation. They WANT a war, they don’t care if people – especially gun owners – die, because it’s all for the sake of HIS will and security. Such people are closet-tyrants who, if fate had played them another hand, would have grown up to sport a little mustache and a swastika arm band.

  6. Simply comparing US and Japan homicide rates based strictly on gun ownership is a farce right off the bat. It ignore the social and cultural differences and relies on the myth that no guns translates to peace loving kumbaya all of a sudden. The reasons are far too numerous to go into, it’s required to live there to truly understand how different it is and our friends on the left have no desire to learn the truth. Switzerland is armed to the teeth and has similar crime rates to Japan yet the left offers all kinds of reason we shouldn’t look at that.

    Liberals are fun to watch just don’t let them get in charge.

  7. Benard, Benard, Benard…..This says so much about you…
    “The Second Amendment was written at a time when the United States was little more than jungle with bandits, savage Indians and wild animals that we needed to protect ourselves from.” We are still little more than a jungle with bandits and wild animals. Have you never heard of Ottis Toole, Gerald Stano, Anthony Sowell, Ted Bundy, or the other 160 serial killers that once lived among us? Or the other 30 or so that’s never been identified? and what exactly is your problem with Indians?

    “Yes, and to hunt food. We have long outgrown that kind of life.” Negative ghost rider, there are some parts of these here hills where we hunt the woods fer some viddles.

  8. Bernard is everything we’ve come to expect from the American university system.

    The Soviet Union did not fall. It merely moved.

    • And speaking of the Reds, look how their gun control worked out. Russians just took to stabbing and beating the Holy Hell out of each other instead.

      • Yep. And the neo-nazis they have over there like to beat the crap out of immigrants….AND they even train with live firearms. I thought Russian citizens couldn’t have guns…more proof that gun control is a myth. I’ll bet if you asked Bloomberg where they’re getting them he would probably say Virginia or something

  9. I used to believe in Gun control. And that so called assault weapons ban. After the LA shootings and Columbine, which were committed by using guns that were outlawed, that changed it. I support the NRA and the jpfo I learned. Too bad there people don’t except it when they are wrong. But willing to do anything to make themselves not have to face the facts and repent..

  10. Having lived among the Japanese for several years and having also married into a Japanese family, I can safely say that there is no lingering aspect of the honor-bound seppuku tradition. Japanese kids aged middle-school to college commit suicide for the same reasons people everywhere do–they’re hopeless. From the time they’re in middle school they begin taking on schedules similar to grad students in the US. There’s an entrance exam just to get into middle schools, and if you don’t do well enough to get into a good middle school, you can’t go to a good high school, which means you probably won’t even go to college. You’ll be stuck learning some trade with no hope of financial stability or success. You’ll never be able to take out loans, purchase a home or a car, or even rent an apartment without someone to co-sign for you.
    Also, in Japanese they have a saying which translates to “The nail that sticks out is the one that gets hit.” So if you’re not smart enough, you fail at life. If you’re too smart or different, you’re ostracized, bullied, or disowned by your family. Literally. Bullying in America has become a popular topic in the media lately, but it is far worse in Japan. Oh, and you’re on an island the size of California. Leaving is somewhat frowned upon. Add all these factors up and it’s a miracle so few commit suicide.
    *This is an extremely negative post. I love Japan and its people, but these are the realities of adolescent Japanese life.

    • Is that peer pressure the reason why so many young Japanese once they hit their first job, go party crazy?

  11. I try to avoid wading into the swamp of statistics, preferring to stick with lies and damn lies, but I will posit that there is a direct relationship between social/economic inequality and violence. Pro-gunners, myself included, love to point out the high level of violent crime in Great Britain, a country which now rivals the U.S. in terms of wealth inequality. A lot of emphasis on this site is placed on ethnic/cultural/religious differences, and maybe there’s something to that, but I think economic issues are at the heart of the problem.

    • Providing thugs with the benefits of middle class life will just leave you with well-off thugs. Artificially making housing cheap and easy to get didn’t improve the lives of the lower middle class or upper level poor. Once the government-fed bubble popped, it hurt the very people the government claimed to be trying to help. Want to fix income inequality? Take a bath and get a job. This country was founded on the concept of equality of opportunity. We’ve gotten away from that with cronyism, and should return to it. You can still make something of yourself if you’re willing to sacrifice to get it. The ability to delay gratification is the mark of true civilization.

      In the meantime, shouldn’t you be occupying DC or some other such leftist paradise?

      • Bob, for the record, I did take a shower this morning, and I own a business. Small, mind you, but a money-making business. I’m not occupying anywhere, except my own skin, although I do identify with most (not all) of the “occupy” message.

        The government was not the primary cause of the housing bubble, although they sure didn’t help. The problem is, most of the shady stuff Wall Street does is perfectly legal, because Wall Street, via lobbyists, writes the laws. Regular working folks and Main Street business owners barely have any say – we just get the choice between two crappy candidates who both take large amounts of money from people who’s interests are not ours.

        I’m not sure who these “thugs” you speak of are. Are all poor people “thugs?”

        I agree that this country was founded on the concept of equality of opportunity (setting aside the whole issue of slavery and women). Let’s live up to that concept.

        Finally, D.C., Leftist Paradise? Really? I live in Portland, OR, arguably a Leftist Paradise, but still pissing me off in a lot of ways.

        Maybe you should tell me to go live in Russia? Wait, their oligarchs are even worse.

        • “The government was not the primary cause of the housing bubble. . .”

          Yes, they were. The government writes, enforces, and decides how to apply the law. If the government is corrupt, it’s an even bigger problem. It shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers, nor should it be in the business of providing goodies to one class at the expense of another. In the case of the housing bubble, it was doing both. The fact that business/corporations/people will do whatever they can legally get away with is nothing new under the sun. Don’t be angry at them, be angry at your/my reps in OR (I’m from Grants Pass) that help foster the culture of federal/state/local corruption.

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