Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Micheal Brown & Ferguson Missouri: Its Not Black and White...

Time limits my comments on last night's Grand Jury decision to not find enough probable cause regarding officer Darren Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014.

Generally speaking, I think far too many people are speaking without the facts. From both sides.

Here is the actual Grand Jury report.

Only those 12 people knew all of the facts. They took two days to deliberate the matter and came back with a unanimous decision that Officer Wilson acted reasonably that night out of a fear for his life.

Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories, so you can try and convince me these twelve members of the Grand Jury were somehow all "in on it," but you will probably fail.

This may still be one of those "right but wrong" cases where law enforcement technically acted in a legal and reasonable fashion throughout the incident, but looking back, had the officer made different choices that night, perhaps the young man would not have been killed.

To be crystal clear, the same absolutely holds true for Mr. Brown, of course...

Additionally, the riots and looting we're watching do nothing to address whatever problem really needs attention here. It is highly counter-productive, to say the least.

I can't seem to go onto social media these days and not see a report of police abuse. I understand that it is the minority of all law enforcement professionals but their actions are casting a dark cloud...an unfair one, I should say, over America's police. That's a problem that law enforcement is correct to address via training, technology, etc.

If the argument, "the cop didn't need to do this or do that" is a fair one, then so too is the argument "Brown didn't need to do this or that" as well. Maybe both men made mistakes that night. I don't know for sure if Wilson did. I'm pretty damn sure Brown made several mistakes that evening. Its not entirely black and white to me.

The sooner the outside agitators, the media, the "I'm here to help squad" which included people like Rev. Al Sharpton all leave and move onto the next big thing, the better for Ferguson, MO. The better for the families of both Brown and Wilson.

The better for all of us...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

If You Read One Thing About Jonathon Gruber, Let It Be This....

Recently, MIT Economist and Health Policy Expert Jonathon Gruber has come to the media fore front for remarks he made describing the American voter as "stupid," that a lack of transparency allowed the Bill to survive and the Bill was written in such a way that the CBO wouldn't score the "mandate as taxes."

Statements plucked out of various old You Tube videos often lead viewers down a path that really isn't there.

In Gruber's case, he's been held up as proof positive that President Obama was hiding secrets all along and intentionally set out to dupe the American people. I have little time for those voices who seem a little too worked up with the realization that politicians were less than 100% forthcoming to every voter in the land. Nothing about the Affordable Care Act was "snuck in." Media coverage of this reform produced millions of thoughtful words about this entire affair. Take your crocodile tears elsewhere, please..

But, what are we really to make of Gruber's remarks and his actual role in the ACA? Is he "tight" with President Obama and coached him every step of the way or something less so?

Jonathon Cohn has an absolutely terrific article on the whole matter and takes us through the entire involvement of Gruber with the ACA, It is highly worth your time and attention. If you read one thing about this story-make it this piece in the New Republic:

You can read it here: What Jonathon Gruber's Quotes really Tell Us About Obamacare - and American Politics...

Three Bases, 450 Nuclear Missiles and Just One Wrench?

Last week we heard some amazing information on how three missile bases in the Western United States, forced to share a single unique wrench, would Fed-Ex it to each other.

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel revealed that tidbit during a news briefing last Friday where he announced some major changes to our nuclear forces. The attention is long overdue for this area of the military where moral issues, performance issues, allegations of cheating on tests and reports of unprofessional conduct of a upper level officer all have received attention of late.

The wrench is, it seems, well, a "special" wrench that attaches the warheads to the missiles. The three bases in question, in Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana, where over 450 ICBM weapons are stored, had but one of these wrenches and would ship it around to each other as needed.

CBS News has this report:

That's just incredible to me...