From the files of clippings I've saved over the years, one of my favorite headlines -- "Prison populations, costs climbing: $40b a year spent on inmates despite falling crime rate," as published in The Boston Globe on July 28, 2003.
Yes -- "despite".
Not the only time I've seen a headline along these lines, though less often nowadays, its idiocy becoming too obvious to ignore.
As if to fill the void, a variation on the theme has appeared, especially in the wake of the Tucson shooting. It goes like this -- gun ownership rates climb despite falling crime rates. With any luck, this too will be consigned to the dustbin, but don't hold your breath.
Best recent example -- agitprop filmmaker Michael Moore appearing on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show Monday and saying this --
[Video clip after page break]
MOORE: Why do we, more than any other country, do this? I think it's more than just the laws. There's a reason why we want to own these guns. You pointed out last week that we're number one in gun ownership and then, Yemen ... (laughs)
MADDOW: ... Is a distant number two. Yes, that's right.
MOORE: ... a distant number two! So why us, why do we have this? And the majority of these guns, I mean, the vast majority of these guns are owned by people who live in safe parts of town or mostly in suburbs and rural areas, places where there are very few murders. And your sane producer was saying to me backstage here that he was talking to people there (in Tucson), they said everybody's packing there, I mean, the surgeons there at the hospital, they said they have guns, everybody has a gun, yet they all said we have a very low gun murder rate here in Tucson. So why do you have a gun then? Why do you have a gun? What are you afraid of? What is that thing that we're afraid of that we want to have a gun in the house?
"Yet" taking the place of "despite" -- "everybody has a gun, yet they all said we have a very low gun murder rate here in Tucson." But how can that be, liberals insistently point out?
Here's how, as described in a National Rifle Association fact sheet from last September titled "Gun Ownership Rises to All-Time High, Violent Crime Falls to 35-Year Low" and abundantly footnoted --
Coinciding with a surge in gun purchases that began shortly after the 2008 elections, violent crime decreased six percent between 2008 and 2009, including an 8 percent decrease in murder and a nine percent decrease in robbery. Since 1991, when violent crime peaked, it has decreased 43 percent to a 35-year low. Murder has fallen 49 percent to a 45-year low. At the same time, the number of guns that Americans own has risen by about 90 million. Predictions by gun control supporters, that increasing the number of guns, particularly handguns and so-called "assault weapons," would cause crime to increase, have been profoundly lacking in clairvoyance.
As to be expected from Moore, he couldn't let the discourse pass without playing the race card --
I am loathe to bring up what is in our head because we don't like to talk about it so much. But on this particular day, on Martin Luther King Day, I think this needs to be said. That imaginary person that's going to break into your home and kill you, who does that person look like? You know, it's not freckle-faced Jimmy down the street, is it really? I mean, that's not what really, that's not what really people, we never really want to talk about the racial or the class part of this, in terms of how it's the poor or it's people of color that we imagine that we're afraid of. Why are we afraid? What is that, and it's been a fear that has existed for a very, very long time.
Who is Moore kidding? "We don't like to talk about it so much ... we never really want to talk about the racial and class part of this ..." There is nothing liberals want more than to talk about "this," preferably as soon as their feet hit the floor in the morning. Given the chance, they'll weave it into chit-chat about the weather, such as when dark clouds form on the horizon ... clearly the tea partiers' fault for the forecast, dontcha see?
Just out of curiosity, does Moore include Second Amendment advocate Gabrielle Giffords among those trigger-happy racists eager to execute impoverished people of color?