Mort Mather Author Writer Organic Farmer Philosopher Thinker Restauranteur

How to improve your life and save the world.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Put an armed person in every school.

     Geraldo Rivera opined that there should be armed guards in every school or, at least, have someone, the principle, a janitor, a history teacher, with a gun. This is a bad idea on so many fronts but take just one.
     Turn Sandy Hook into a video game and give the principle a gun and you play the principle. You hear gun shots, breaking glass and someone coming down the hall. Do you, gun in hand, open the door? Would you be able to shoot the man with the automatic weapon before he shot you? Would you have an automatic weapon, too, and just spray bullets through the door without seeing the intruder, without any care for any other person who might be in the hall?
     Let’s change the game and give the gun to the janitor. He hears shots, grabs his gun and goes running. He sees the principle lying in a pool of blood and hears shots from a classroom. He runs to the classroom and shoots the man with the gun. Good job! Only ten kids dead instead of twenty.
     My idea is to eliminate automatic weapons, that is, weapons that fire continuously as long as you hold down the trigger. If this guy had to pull the trigger each time he fired it would have slow him down. He would not likely have put so many rounds into the principle and each of his victims. Unless he was an excellent shot there would probably have been more survivors and he would not have been able to shoot as many people. Sure demented people and/or people who have been desensitized by shoot-um-up video games will still be around and will still do horrible things. Sure we should try to keep any gun out of the hands of the demented and we should do something about the desensitizing effect of some video games but the number one, hands down, action we should take is to make it illegal to manufacture, sell or own any weapon that fires multiple rounds with one pull of the trigger.
     I have asked the members of my congressional delegation to sponsor such legislation. Now!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

US debt, defict

A letter from my sister
A few weeks have passed since the election, and what is happening is all pretty boring.  I am getting turned off from politics.  All that hype about Benghazi and now Egypt and Syria…it is so depressing, in particular with regards to America becoming involved.  America has its own problems.  America is deeply in debt.  Why the hell does America have to lend money or provide military support to other countries unless we are OK ourselves?  Gosh darn, we are not OK!  Our debt is humungous!  Now as you know I don’t know anything about economics, but I simply cannot understand why the US for example continues to lend enormous amounts of money to other countries when we are in debt ourselves. It is just so disgusting, I am about to crawl back into my shell.

 Dear Sister Chris,
Unplugging the news is not a bad idea, especially if you are getting riled up. I did that for several years and it was great. However, if you want to stay in touch there are better sources than FOX news. If you can get the News Hour on public television or news on public radio, you will get a much more balanced and intelligent report. If not on television, I'm sure you can get them on the internet.
The debt is a problem. When George W. sent taxpayers back their money because, he said, it was our money and we should get it back, he should have used it to pay down a chunk of debt because the debt was ours too. At the time I commented that he was planning to destroy the government by starving it. Then came the wars, one with some justification the other for no reason than to further bankrupt the country. Then came the recession.

There is an interesting thing about the federal government. It makes money when people make money since it taxes income. Thus when someone buys a dinner at our restaurant, we pay income tax on what is left over after expenses. The expenses include buying food and booze and paying employees. The employees pay taxes on the money we give them as do the purveyors on the money we pay them and they in turn pay money to the people who supply them and so on. This is why stimulus programs, though turning up on the expense side of the ledger, make sense on the income side.

     I have been an advocate for getting out of debt for many years. I would love to see a balanced budget amendment but, if put into place without a long range (not too long) plan to reduce the current debt load, it would probably put us into a depression. A part of that plan needs to be putting money in the hands of people who will spend it because the more money changes hands the more revenue the country gets. That is part of the President’s plan (stimulus spending) Cutting government programs that put government workers out of work is recessionary. That is also part of the Presidents plan and the Republican; it better be balanced with stimulus which the Republican plan is not. Giving money to people who will spend it will help growth.
Whenever someone talks about cutting foreign aid as part of deficit control they are either stupid or blowing smoke. Write them off. The money we give to foreign countries is minuscule, less than 1% of the federal budget. I won't go into reasons for it as you can Google US foreign aid as percent of budget to find answers.