While there are some important things that the government should be doing in the name of science (I'm still upset at the shrinking of NASA), if the political will isn't there because of high-powered lobbying by a special interest group, the best way to fight back isn't to complain to little effect. While I (probably, based on the name) don't agree with "Gun Reform Advocate" about his/her solutions, I certainly agree that talking about it can be useful. But if you want to DO something about it, you've got options, and the government isn't the only one.
Several weeks ago on NPR's "Morning Edition," a segment of "Joe's Big Idea" discussed some scientists who were crowd-sourcing their research funding: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/02/13… . I don't see why people seeking to do gun control research cannot do the same thing. There certainly are enough people who would/could help fund the work.
While I don't agree with gun control on a purely libertarian standpoint, I also feel that if you can't get the government to do what you want, then quit complaining and do it yourself (while I mourn the shrinkage of NASA, the void has left room for private enterprise to do at least some of the utilitarian work in space). If your findings are compelling enough, you can make a difference.
Chuck Heston died in 2008. Did anyone get his rifle yet?
Thank you for your article. The Gun Lobby collective has been extremely cynical and manipulative. Speaking with those in my family that hunt and treat weapons with respect and caution, it is astounding how the leaderships of these organizations have been able to cloak their actions from their members. I guess it is the old 'mother and apple pie' strategy. It seems to have worked to obscure the areas in which all of us are pretty much in agreement: good record keeping, penalties for gun trafficking, better mental health services, safer gun engineering and a host of other items. The answer is to turn over the rocks and expose the underside. That is why modern data collection system are so feared. They fear the light.
We can't support every study that those in academia want. Find a cure for cancer, yes. Forget about those other ridiculous studies we gear about all the time, even if they sound "scientific" in nature. The most recent was a grant of our tax dollars to study male duck appendages:
(CNSNews.com) - The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $384,949 grant to Yale University for a study on “Sexual Conflict, Social Behavior and the Evolution of Waterfowl Genitalia”, according to the recovery.gov website.
If this is the kind of nonsense we are funding as "science", we certainly shouldn't be spending any taxpayer dollars on "political science".
the problem is our culture, partisan in the university as well as congress. we live in ny yet i have never heard a mention of what happened here during the revolutionary war. how many people loyal to the english crown were burned out, pushed out and emigrated to canada. how about the civil war atrocities in shermans march to the sea. any research on these topics, no. why, because of the partisanship and subsequent cowardice in academia.
research in these areas would lead to discussion about what a well regulated militia could have done to stop the destruction of lives and property. our country is in trouble because those we rely on for research pick and choose what is politically expedient. i might do the same if my career depended on it.
so we are left with uninformed people taking sides, lacking information that would make a decent discussion possible. never mind what history has to say or statistics, nobody trusts them. just manipulate people to get enough votes for whatever side you choose. not a good way to get the consent of the governed
It's about time somebody wrote about this. It's an important topic and should be discussed.
Good grief — talk about paranoid conspiracy theories spun up and pasted together from bits of gibberish!
Most thinking people will be amused to learn that the quest for truth, humankind's noblest endeavor, somehow is defined and constrained by the federal budget. Apparently any omission by appropriators amounts to an attack on reason, science and truth, on a par with the Inquisition. (What, no Nazi analogies?)
Sorry, but citizens have every right to say how their finite resources, confiscated through taxation, are to be used and not used. If your pet project loses out, too bad. These resources ought to be used only for the public good, and only when there is the broadest possible consensus on that point.
In this regard, it is perfectly reasonable to insist that funds be spent for their intended purpose. For example, the science research budget should be spent on research in the field of science, and not on so-called "political science". The latter of course has nothing whatsoever to do with science. Those who blur the distinction make a mockery of their own claims to be Galileo's heirs.
Nevertheless, if these people are bound and determined to put out junk "science" custom engineered to incite more anti-gun hysteria, there's certainly no shortage of left-wing foundations and billionaires who will pay for it.
Beginning April 14, 2013, AirTran® Airways service from Greater Rochester International Airport will no longer be available
Mike & Ana, you've raised some excellent points. Rochester would not have evolved as it did had it not been for the economic lure that attracted immigrants and migrants from other parts of the country. Granted, in that time of economic prosperity, it could be argued that Rochester was sustained by both an information (innovation) and labor based economy.
For this Rochester native who has lived in large metropolitan areas since graduating from college near Rochester, it has taken nearly a decade and the birth of a child to embrace all that Rochester can offer. The idea of returning home is both attractive and frustrating. You've covered the attractions, but the frustrating part is finding work that utilizes the talents and skills that have been refined in my years away.
If the right career is available for an individual, then Rochester is an excellent place to call home.
Well Michael I can't stop smiling! While I ache for a real slice of pizza and a Brookyn bagel, I am proud of the vibrant culture and promise of our adopted home.mRochester can thrive if young people return here to create new jobs with their energy, vitality and creativity. But David brooks is right that many young people seek their fortunes where there is promise fr a better future. We have to create those opportunities here.
Excellent points. But you have to agree, there certainly seems to be more business opportunity elsewhere, unfortunately. But it's a wonderful community and hopefully has a future brighter than its storied past.
Yes! I chose to move back to Rochester after living in other major cities. My business has actually grown here. With the internet connecting us to other people anywhere, why not make your home in a place with culture AND community?
My decision to settle in Rochester is just verified everytime I go to New York to visit a friend's narrow one room apartment and find out how much they pay for rent. Also, when I ask if they still play lacrosse or hockey like we did in college, I get the "It's just too much of a process to get to the rink/field, etc. with the gear". I love Rochester because life is simpler. I can drive (or bike) to work and play in under 15 minutes, and have a front porch in the city for a 1/4 of the monthly rent of my friends in New York.
Well written Michael and Ana. Y.P.s in Rochester have to be seen and heard. LOUDLY.
@Bart: We can start by being honest. We have hardly spent "trillions" on the poor.
Why don't we look at the policies from 1945 - 1973, you know, when we had a growing, robust middle-class. There is no chance of improving the lot of the poor until the government and business priorities are to continue to screw the middle class. (Hint: it did not involve extracting from the bottom 99% and giving to the top1 %.)
Of course a modest increase in the minimum wage will not raise the poor up to the middle class. (And, really, what serious policy person has even remotely suggested that? Can we do away with that straw man?) Can we at least keep up with, for example, the 1970 Consumer Price Index equivalent? We can't afford that? Really
It's not like we've entered an era of enlightened management, so, yeah, unions are a good thing. Management that whines about this truth might be reminded it was them - modern American management - who broke the half-century covenant with labor, for which we've been paying a heavy price for the past third of a century.
One of the biggest problems in this debate is the validity of both sides' arguments.
The system as is is not working to raise anybody out of poverty. AND Raising the minimum wage isn't going to lift more than a few people out of poverty, and then not for very long.
Continuing the fight a failed "War on Poverty" with the same weapons we've been using will result in more failed battles.
Who are the impoverished, for the most part? Those without a college education, and frequently without a high school diploma, as well.
What jobs are being created here in America under the current "recovery"? High tech and service industry. Service industry isn't growing fast enough or pay well enough to keep up with the "demand" for employment. High tech will continue to be out of reach of the undereducated.
We need more jobs that pay a living wage that are also open to the undereducated. Whether this means we step back from some technologies and build products that can be repaired by people instead of being disposable, or we end incentivizing off-shoring of jobs, or some other method, until we can employ ALL the employable, we will not solve this problem using either Democratic or Republican methods.
Also, if/when we ever get those jobs back, we need to return to the days of significant unionization of the work-force. I have no idea why conservatives hate unions... they are voluntary assemblages of people working on behalf of their own self-interest. I know no one who works in a union "shop" who wishes it were otherwise, and know plenty who would appreciate the benefits of having their entire company's workforce behind them.
Given the likelihood of either recommendation ever coming to fruition, I'm quite certain that the arguers over this issue will continue to argue over and past each other, solving nothing. Only big business and bankers benefit... as they always do when the people are getting screwed over.
The point is the the federal government has been giving trillions of dollars to 'the poor' for decades and we still have more poor people that ever - what's wrong with this? What else should we do?
Exactly, Seth; in fact, at the height of the Vietman War under LBJ, we were spending in three weeks on Vietnam what we were spending on one year on all of the Great Society programs combined. And under Reagan, aid to cities fell 59%, but the wealthiest 1% got 55% of Reagan's tax cuts; the overall share of the pie for that lucky 1% doubled in eight years; the only commodity to fall in price in the 80s was cocaine . . . and before Reagan our country was the world's No. 1 creditor nation, but after Reagan our country was the world's No. 1 debtor nation. So don't you just love it when Republicans prattle about "fiscal responsibility" or "shared sacrifice"? And that notion of "trillions" spent on the War on Poverty is deranged.
Not true. Johnson spent over $200 billion on the Vietnam War. Reagan spent hundreds of billions on "ending the Cold War. We have redistributed wealth upwards for four decades. There are more people living in poverty because the vast majority of economic gains have been in the top 1% of the population, who aren't the "Job Creators" but greedy. They are SITTING on trillions in unused capital right now that they could be using to create jobs. We have also sent millions of jobs overseas for decades, because people in China and India don't need health care or retirement plans (That's sarcasm by the way). We've spent very little fighting the war on poverty and a great deal expanding it.
Trillions of dollars have been expended on the 'war on poverty' since the 1960s and there seems to be more people living in poverty than ever. Can we agree that it isn't working?
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