Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Weekend wrap-up 7/7/15

Over the weekend, Cincinnati decided to jump back into the fray of racial tensions despite significant progress since the April 2001 riots.  Initial reports talked about a "mob" (translation, group of African-Americans) who punched a Cincinnati police officer (translation, "white" officer).  The mob had been rioting and police arrived on scene to deal with the situation.  Now reports indicate the "mob" was in response to an prior altercation between one of the mob and a white male.  Immediately whites began to question why the police were not calling this a "hate-crime" or "anti-white crime".  Info Wars published today a post showing the original police report identifying the incident as "anti-white" but official CPD and city hall are not calling this a hate crime.

To some, this affirms the bias in media reporting.  To others, this affirms Cincinnati's rampant crime problem (even though during this same period, Chicago had over 50 shootings resulting in 9 deaths).  From what I can tell from the reports, it appears the white "victim" was running his mouth and using vulgarity towards one of the blacks.  I'm assuming since this was at Fountain Square, either alcohol and/or drugs had been consumed by both resulting in punches being thrown and the victim being choked.  Racial tensions not being the best (especially after the media's coverage in the last year), the fight resulted in multiple people engaging in violence.  As politicians, city officials and the media try to assess blame one thing remains constant…people are afraid Cincinnati is more dangerous than ever.

Over the weekend, my favorite former CNN Anchor, Lynne Russell, and her husband were attacked by a would-be robber in a hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  A gunfight resulted in which the robber was killed and her husband was shot three times.  Gun control advocates see this as a call for more stringent laws while gun rights advocates see this as proof why concealed carry should be allowed in all 50 states.  However whichever side of the argument you fall one thing is the same…more fear that the world has become more dangerous.

I hadn't really planned on writing about either event until reading the latest Rasmussen poll.  According to a poll published yesterday, fifty-two (52) percent think the US is a more dangerous place today than it was before 9/11.  John Mueller at the Ohio State University and the Cato Institute published a report back in April 2015 looking at all of the terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11.  There have been 61 cases resulting in 15 deaths (12 soldiers killed at Ft Hood and 3 civilians killed at the Boston Marathon).  That's it, 15 deaths according to the report.  The rest of the "attacks" were either unsuccessful or thwarted in advance.  Yet people are convinced the US is more dangerous than before.

Let's look at 9/11.  There were 2,997 victims (246 on the four aircraft that crashed, 2,606 in the World Trade Towers, and 125 at the Pentagon).  These deaths sent US troops into 2 different wars that lasted longer than any other US wars.  In comparison, 2001 there were 17,448 fatalities due to drunk drivers yet people are more afraid of a terrorist attack or random armed attacker than they are from a drunk driver.

If crime and terrorism aren't your thing, then the economy could be giving you sleepless nights.  The Greek economy has defaulted and may mean the end of the European Union.  Depending on how Anglica Merkel navigates this mess, the US may or may not be drug into keeping the EU afloat.  Things don't look better if Merkel is successful for China (yes, that up and coming economic superpower) just had a stock market crash seeing $3.2 wiped from the value of Chinese shares.  It makes the Greek crisis look infinitely more manageable.

And of course the US has its own economic crisis in Puerto Rico.  Even if the crisis is successfully mitigated (note I said mitigate, not avoided), Mr. Obama has set the stage for more economic woes with his mandatory overtime for salaried employees and support for raising the minimum wage to $15.  Employers are not going to be able afford mandatory health care + mandatory paid overtime + a $15 minimum wage.  Looks like more part-time employees, contractors and robots in our immediate future.

What all of this means is we are not going to be able to look to our government and elected officials to fix these problems.  We need to remind ourselves of the family and friends around us that aren't shooting holes in one another or planning to blow something up.  Keep those family and friends safe and focused on doing good.  No, this isn't some type of self-help psychobabble.  It is a practical strategy for weathering the next several years.  If we watch too much news or listen to too much talk radio, we will become paralyzed with fear and become incapable of action.  And that my friends is how they plan to win.

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