Ego and petulance: Our chief hypocrite

Posted by Tom Camfield

Like it or not, this is real news. The 27 times Donald tweeted about Obama playing golf while President epitomized his obsessed enmity to that Black man in the White House. See them all here: https://www.sbnation.com/golf/2017/3/27/15073086/donald-trump-tweets-barack-obama-golf  According to this web site, Trump has tweeted about golf at least 460 times since getting his Twitter account in 2009.

“President Trump's extensive Twitter history — 35,300 tweets and counting, stretching back to 2009 — virtually guarantees that there's a past tweet to serve as an ironic exclamation point for just about any moment of the Trump presidency. It happens so often that there's a running Internet joke that Trump is actually ‘a time traveler sent to warn us about himself'.”—Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post, July 18, 2017. During his first year of presidency, Donald sent 2,568 tweets, averaging a little more than 7 a day.

Despite Donald’s ranting, his hypocrisy in the matter of presidential golf soon became obvious after his own inauguration. And he has since undertaken 100 days of golfing during his 407 days in office, hitting that milestone with a March 3 round at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida. That total was amassed with 40 trips to the Trump national course in New Jersey, 36 to West Palm Beach. 23 to his national course in Sterling, Virginia, and one at his course in Jupiter, Florida. See: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/03/donald-trump-spends-a-lot-of-time-golfing-for-a-president/  Also: https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/03/politics/trump-golf-100-days/index.html

Obama golfed often but couldn’t hold a candle to Trump. Obama played 333 times over 8 years, less than once a week. Trump’s piling up links time at a rate of about twice a week that would total around 768 if he survives two terms in the White House. In the 13 months it took Donald to amass 100 outings, Obama would have logged about 44. 

“We pay for Obama's travel so he can fundraise millions so Democrats can run on lies. Then we pay for his golf.” Donald tweeted on Oct. 14, 2014. Sounds more like some of Donald’s own fund-raising pep rallies and golf outings to me. 

GUN DEATHS—With extra space today, I’ll turn here to some of the real news on a spotlighted subject at which some may want to throw verbal rocks—but which remains steadfast in its reality.

According to one source, in the United States, the death rate from gun homicides is about 31 per million people — the equivalent of 27 people shot dead every day of the year.  (Although another source, see following, lists an annual total even higher.) Sounds like something that could be dismissed in many minds because of the long odds in the average person’s favor.  But we shouldn’t have to gamble. Multiply that daily average of 27 by 365 and you get 9,715 homicides in a year. That makes the odds to start looking a little scarier. Multiply that by a life expectancy of 80 years and you get 777,200 people shot to death in your lifetime. Sort of adds up, doesn’t it. A person surviving to 80 has to wonder—having been a target on the shooting range all those years. 

What I’m saying is the effects of guns on the scene in our society is something that has caused misery far beyond the point of reasonable acceptance. Government statistics on firearm deaths haven’t  readily shown up for recent years, and I do not find that surprising. Financial discouragement on the lobbying side is emasculating various governmental agencies originally charged with informing and protecting the public. The Dickey Amendment (look it up) actually prevents the Center for Disease Control from conducting public health research on gun violence.

We now have occupying the Oval Office (now and then at his convenience) someone who is working ceaselessly to denigrate the Justice Department and the FBI while pandering gun owners who make up a large portion of his “base” support. He hasn’t even made a major move against the high rate of street shootings in major cities such as Chicago and Baltimore.

The Congressional Research Service in 2009 estimated there were 310,000,000 firearms in the U.S., not including weapons owned by the military. Of these, 114 million were handguns, 110 million were rifles, and 86 million were shotguns.In that same year, the Census bureau stated the population of people in the U.S. at 306,000,000.

Gun violence in the United States results in tens of thousands of deaths and injuries annually.In 2013, there were 73,505 nonfatal firearm injuries and 33,636 deaths due to "injury by firearms".These deaths consisted of 11,208 homicides, 21,175 suicides, 505 deaths due to accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm, and 281 deaths due to firearms use with "undetermined intent.” The Gallup organization has been performing similar polls for the same interval, and finds that household ownership of firearms was approximately the same in 2013 as it was in 1970 - 43%, and individual ownership numbers rose from 27% in 2000, to 29% in 2013.

It’s not unusual for dozens of Americans to be killed by guns in a single day. Gun homicides are a common cause of death in the United States, killing about as many people as car crashes (not counting van, truck, motorcycle or bus accidents). Some cases command our attention more than others, of course. 

Its level of violence makes the United States an extreme outlier when measured against the experience of other advanced countries. Around the world, those countries have substantially lower rates of deaths from gun homicide. In Germany, being murdered with a gun is as uncommon as being killed by a falling object in the United States.

In Poland and England, only about one out of every million people die in gun homicides each year — about as often as an American dies in an agricultural accident or falling from a ladder. In Japan, where gun homicides are even rarer, the likelihood of dying this way is about the same as an American’s chance of being killed by lightning — roughly one in 10 million.

MEANWHILE, as many of you know, I like to send small campaign contributions around the country. My philosophy is that if enough commoners such as I get a small dog into the fight this way, it could really add up, I’m working on about seven out-of-staters right now, included three times to Conor Lamb, running in a March 13 special election in Pennsylvania. And, of course, my horses in the race all are Democrats.

The thing is: a couple of them have voted pro-gun where they have served in the past. 

So my decision has been to compromise for the best result I can get, rather than expecting people to think just like me, right down the line. I would rather have such Democrats in Congress, even if they’re packing a gun, than a Republican casting his/her vote on all manner of other things—women’s rights, a budget in which the President has proposed to defund a wide range of social and environmental agencies and programs (such as food stamps, the EPA, medical and other science research, etc.), the right to vote . . .

MISCELLANY: Gun rights advocacy groups, of which the NRA is the  kingpin, spent more than $135,000,000 on lobbying from 1998-2017. Gun manufacturers spent other $21,000,000. Gun control advocacy groups mustered only about $19,000,000.

SOLIDARITY AND RESISTANCE: “Have we finally reached the tipping point for halting appalling gun violence against children in America? The increasingly fed-up younger generation thinks so, and in Seattle, high school students and supporters will protest en masse against the lack of legislative action taken against gun violence. Join March For Our Lives to show solidarity with the survivors of the Parkland shooting and declare that safety in schools is more important than the NRA's interpretation of the Second Amendment.” The March will begin in Cal Anderson Park [in Capitol Hill] at 10 a.m March 24 and culminate in a rally at KeyArena.—The Stranger

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